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July 30, 2008


Jason Nolan

Well, having been a teacher since 1986, I can't say that Taylor had that kind of impact, but I can say that I play that video to many of my student, all of whom plan to become educators (though not all teachers, I'm happy to say). They all get a kick out of it. I like the fact that he's bringing some passion to the field, but of course he forgets to mention that what drives teachers from the field is not the children, it is those administration and the institutions of learning that have forgotten what their real goal is.

Kate Olson

I first saw Taylor's "What Makes a Teacher" this year (I know, I know, I'm WAY behind) and it made me smile as it was my first year of teaching and I was getting a bit downtrodden already - it definitely made my step a bit lighter when I walked into school the next day. Love this initiative he's on top of, but of course Jason is right........inspiration can't cure all.

Christian Long

Jason: No doubt that the reasons why teachers leave the field are as diverse as the individuals who enter it, you're most likely right in positing the idea that the students are rarely reason number one (or 100). And while it is easy to blame the institution or administration for losing site of the reasons why others enter the profession, one must also acknowledge that early-career teachers often have to shed either a) idealism or b) their own egos a bit in order to maintain a sustainable career over time. Much burn-out, suspect, stems from having little wisdom as to what the career really entails in the first place, not to mention a shifting professional landscape that reads very differently from this generation to previous legions of teachers who lived in a world where most made it a 'career' (no matter what field they were in).


Kate: Yup, you're a bit behind the viral video expresslane, but we forgive you! Especially since you're still trying to figure out the whole bell schedule as a 1st year teacher. (wink)

Patricia E Bryte

I just found Taylor's work--the one about what teacher's make. I realized I AM that kind of teacher, tho I am a professional development instructor at a voc ed school (a fairly new idea to have prof dev!), not public school. And I don't get benefits or a union. But I do have the kind of passion Taylor expresses. A student said I was like a 5 yr old on sugar--and I don't do coffee in the morn. I use my Amazon Herb root juice/protein powder. At age 66 I thought I was past history, but the world is just opening.
to me with my passion for quantum science and spirituality, I think the issue goes deeper than the "system" and paperwork--we are enculturated in a paradigm--world view--that is separatist and mechanical. Check out Inst of Noetic Sciences (ions.org) for some world views for a saner teaching/learning environment. It is shifting, but too slowly. I lost my oldest daughter 6 years ago; a major result of the school and medical mainstream mindset! Way to go Taylor and anyone else who loves to inspire!
One thing that inspired me with my students lately was when I let them create their own quiz and each of 4 groups asked a question related to self actualization. Most folks would say they wouldn't even know what that is!
Best to all, Patricia Modesto CA

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