No Matter What…You're Live!

I often read posts and tweets asking what kind of advice you could give to new teachers.  The tips passed along are very thoughtful and helpful for those new to the profession.  Even for us who have been around for a while (am I in THAT group now?), these tips are great reminders about effective practice.

Whenever I see the above question posed, I often think of the usual elements.  Eg. effective communicator, classroom manager, personable, effective planner, etc, etc.  Don’t get me wrong, these are all very important along with many other traits.  But the BIG idea we all need to think of as teachers is the fact that day in and day out – you’re LIVE!

I first heard this phrase from a colleague, who sometime ago, started a business using this as a slogan (Paul if it’s OK I am borrowing it for a moment). However, when you think about it, it is very real for educators.

Each day, in or out of the classroom, educators are LIVE.  The number of interactions each day with students, staff, parents and community members are significant.  Each day you are expected to have your “A” game.  When you do not deliver, you usually hear about or realize it.  Reflective practitioners know this instantly.

As teachers, we need to realize that each day, we are delivering numerous mini-workshops/presentations to students.  As administrators we need to have our “A” game each day as well.  That is why few people want to become admin’s. If we (or someone else) do not make good judgments, we will definitely hear about it.  If one thinks about it, we have many common traits with professional athletes, only a televised audience is not watching at the time.  Mind you, a school with a bunch of adolescents is pretty much network television each day.

So, if I was to give professional advice to a new or seasoned teacher, I would indicate that each day you’re LIVE.   From here, we could discuss the specifics/nuances of what that means.  However, I think this is one BIG IDEA we all should remember in our day-to-day work as educators.

This was originally posted on Bircher’s Banter


  1. Just brilliant! I recently commented that being an educator is an honor & a responsibility to the public, parents, but most of all our kids. Teachers who aren’t here for the right reasons bring us down & need to go work somewhere else. This is Varsity time people – times are tough…we don’t have room in our profession right now for JV!
    We need to bring it! But bring it with understanding, compassion, empathy, enthusiasm and never forgetting that we are always…LIVE!
    Thank you for this, Dave – you rock!
    ~Gwyneth Jones

    February 20, 2011
    • Dave said:


      Living in a very small town makes a teacher/administrator quite visible, so I know all about being LIVE.

      And thx. for the “rock” comment. I’ll have to get my guitar out again! 🙂


      February 20, 2011
  2. John Ebner said:

    I just had this discussion with my principal the other day. We were having a pre-observation conference. We were discussing how we are always performing like we are on a stage.

    February 20, 2011
    • Dave said:


      Many similarities to that. Except I am comfortable in front of a classroom…on a stage not so much. 😛

      I think we as educators should reflect and look at ourselves, how we act, teach and communicate with the people in our building. If we continually do this, we can become the high level educator we all wish to be.

      Thanks for the comment.


      February 20, 2011
  3. Thanks for the slogan – I can’t think of a more apt way of describing the role of Principal. Often the face to face day starts before you enter the building – and it doesn’t stop from that moment on. Even at home people expect instant access and instant problem solving. “When you enter a school – you’re live.” – it just sums up the experience. (And it is pleasing to note the role is so similar in the USA as it is here in Australia.) Cheers

    February 23, 2011
    • Dave said:


      Yes, I am sure we all have the “busy” thing in common.

      I find that in my day-to-day duties and even during vacation, it seems that educators need to have their “A” game on a regular basis. Grated the ones who do are effective practitioners and people. If an administrator can keep his/her mistakes low and minor in nature, all will benefit.

      Thx. for the comment.


      February 24, 2011

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