Chapter 2 of Teach Like a Pirate is all about immersion. Basically, we need to be completely immersed and involved in everything our students are doing in order to be effective. We cannot just be sitting on the sidelines watching.
I love this quote! I think most people I work with would say I am intense. That I need to relax and chill out more often. But the way I see it, I don't have time for that! There is still so much more to be accomplished for our students. We are never finished. There is not such thing as "good enough" for me and so I am always striving to do everything better. Lately my intensity has has been in the areas of school improvement, assessment, etc...I don't think I am as completely immersed in the actually teaching of my students as I used to be so I need to get back there and not let other things take away my focus when I am with them.
The author explains that when our attention is divided, we are not as effective...I completely agree with this. I know last year, especially as the year was coming to a close, I was just bogged down with paperwork, phone calls, last minute notices, etc. As team leader it is also my responsibility to keep my entire team informed so I really felt like I was not always focused on my students while I was stuck making sure important information was passed on, answering questions, etc. I know that I when I could not be totally focused on my class, their behavior declined dramatically as well.
The book describes teachers as lifeguards and swimmers. The lifeguards are the teachers who sit on the side, work at their desk, and simply assign work to students. We all know these teachers. They somehow just hope that their students are learning on their own I guess. Then there are the teachers that swim with their students by being fully engaged and involved in the learning activities WITH their students. Of course, this is the kind of teacher we should all strive to be. I'm sure students learn more and I think they are happier and have more of a desire to be in school when they feel like they have a teacher who is actually involved and cares about their learning.
Read this statement over and over and over and over and over. Are you a teacher of tests or a teacher of kids? I never really had this issue only having taught first and second grade until I moved to Texas. I hate testing and my students aren't even in a test grade! However, it somehow manages to be all consuming. I just give the ones I have to give and try to teach the best I can in between.