What do Rebel Teachers do differently?Aug 02, 2022
When people think of a rebel, they often think of a person who goes against the status quo. A rebel is someone who is not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, no matter what others may say. Rebel teachers are no different. They stand up for what they believe in, even if it means going against the grain. So, what do these teachers do differently?
Rebel teachers are passionate about teaching and making a difference in their students' lives
Most of us got into teaching because we know of the impact it can make on the lives of the students we teach. I don’t think anyone was like “I love analyzing classic novels written by dead white guys and filling out endless forms!” when they became a teacher. Yes, we teach our content, and yes, we will fill out that form, but that is not our WHY.
They believe that all students can learn, no matter what their background or situation may be
This is my driving force in my classroom. I tell my students all of the time that I will not allow them to fail because I know that they can do the work and learn the material.
They may not be able to do it or learn it in the EXPECTED way, but that doesn’t mean they are stupid or incapable of learning! That is when we work together to come up with a different way to get the material. Maybe instead of listening to me, they need an animated YouTube video, or a peer who can explain it to them in language they can better understand. They may not be able to write me an essay about how a character changed over the course of a novel but they can create a comic strip showing that or a bomb-ass podcast discussing how that change happened.
My students know that I am never going to give up on them because they are capable human beings, and they come to truly believe that they can learn. They just need to find the way in which it works best for them.
Rebel teachers are always looking for creative and innovative ways to improve their teaching methods
I feel like I have shiny object syndrome, or I’m like that dog from Up “Squirrel!” when it comes to new and interesting ways to teach.
I have come, in recent years, to find that I don’t always get hooked on new and interesting things unless it is going to improve my teaching or improve student learning. I am not just about trying new things because they are fun. Gimkit and Blooket are cool and fun, but they aren’t worth teaching a new program to students when they can get to Kahoot in their sleep. (This is what works for me and obviously, you have to do what works for you)
So, while I love to find new and creative ways to help students learn, I take it all with a grain of salt and only add what is reasonable to my tech teacher toolbox!
They're not afraid to break the rules if it means doing what's best for their students
So, I know that there are some rules as teachers that we can’t break, but if I am working with a student and we are being productive and they are making real progress, I don’t care if they are late to their next class. If a student needs to get up and move around to help them focus, who does that hurt? What does it matter if a student is wearing a hat or I can see their belly button? It is only impacting learning if we bring attention to it and start having a fight with the student about it!
Rebel teachers are constantly learning and growing as educators
I know that I do not have all the answers (you knew that too about me right?). I am not the greatest teacher ever and I am far from perfect, so I know there is more for me to learn as well. I love to learn! I am a serial student!
But I also am able to acknowledge the intelligence of others and the fact that I can learn something from everyone. From my students, coworkers, and admin. So, I do. I talk to them and look for what they are passionate about and where their strengths lie and try to glean as much info from them as possible about that topic.
They build strong relationships with their students and colleagues
The learning I do from colleagues as part of the last point is part of forming these relationships. I genuinely love my coworkers, my students, and their families and that is because I try to see them as whole people with lives outside the classroom and special interests and things they love and things they hate.
If you're a teacher who is passionate about making a difference in the lives of your students, we want to invite you to join us for the upcoming Design Your Digital Classroom Summit. This conference will be all about helping rebel teachers like you learn new ways to use Google technology in the classroom. You'll have an opportunity to connect with other educators from around the world and share your best ideas, and you'll leave armed with tons of resources that will help you take your teaching skills to the next level. So what are you waiting for? Register today!