What Do We Focus On

Justin Tarte (@justintarte) tweeted the following: RT @edteck: Observing a Classroom? Watch the Students, Not the Teacher –http://bit.ly/de5OHN

This reminded me of a story that I often tell my teachers. I heard the story many years ago at a Principals conference.
A teacher wanted to submit a video of one his lesson to an organization that at the time was awarding $10,000 to the teacher of the year. He gave the video to his mentor to look at and for feedback. The mentor watched it and to be honest he wasn’t very impressed and he said to himself perhaps I am tired and maybe I need to watch it at a different time. So he waits a few days and still nothing too exciting. He decides that he can’t call his former student now teacher back he will just have to wait for him to call. And so after a few days he calls and asks so what did you think. Before his mentor could answer the teacher who was so excited said wasn’t it great how I moved around the room and wasn’t it skillful how I Incorporated material for the visual and the oratory learning and so on. Then it clicked with the mentor. When the teacher watched the video he watched himself but when the mentor watched it he was looking at the class and the students and saw a completely different picture.
Moral of the story we need to remember that we the teachers are not the focus but that we must be always focused on our students.
My quick thoughts



  1. Brad Patterson said:

    Great tweet, great story and a very important point. Thanks 4 sharing 🙂

    May 12, 2011
    • Brad
      My pleasure.
      Thanks for your comment 🙂

      May 12, 2011
  2. Shira Leibowitz said:

    An insightful post! For so long in education we have focused on what we teach and are now participating in a paradigm shift, focusing on what students learn. The mentor you met years ago was wise, and ahead of his time. We now have faculty mentors in a training program that teaches them to support their mentees to focus on student learning. It is a vital shift in perspective and impacts so many areas of our work in schools. Thanks for sharing!

    May 15, 2011
    • Shira,
      Thank you for your comment.
      it is true it it is a major shift but if we are committed to student learning and putting the needs of our students first it is one that needs to take place.
      Thanks again

      May 17, 2011

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