Monday, November 24, 2014

Teacher Advice from 1895: On Patience

When I was a mathematics teacher, being patient was easy. Really, all I needed to do was to make sure I was patient with my students. Rarely did I need to do much interacting with parents or colleagues such that my patience was put to the test. Worst case scenario: close my door and just teach my awesome students.

Now that I am an instructional coach, I often find myself in situations that require great restraint and patience. This is clearly an area in which I must grow!

As I was reading the Annual Report of the Public Schools of the City and County of San Francisco for the School and Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 1896 (yes...I'm a total edu-nerd!), I came across this list of advice on patience for teachers.

Still relevant after nearly 120 years...especially as we move to the Common Core Standards.

  1. Be patient with yourself. 
  2. Be patient with the other teachers. Their ideas cannot coincide with yours exactly. 
  3. It requires great patience for a teacher with high ideals to view with serenity her failure to meet her ideals. 
  4. Be patient with the school director who was once a teacher. He has to be patient with you for not teaching as he did. 
  5. Be patient with non-professional school directors. They cannot see things from your standpoint, but they may be of great service through their common sense loyalty to the school. 
  6. Be patient with your fad-admiring associate. She sees virtue only in the new things and thinks you very slow. If she can get along with you, you certainly ought to with her. 
  7. Be patient with the principal. He has to be patient with all of his teachers, and if he is equal to this trial with six, eight, ten, or twelve, you ought to be patient with him. 
  8. Be patient with the children. They are but children, untrained and untamed. It is neither easy nor natural for them to be even and reliable in their work, in their thought, or in their disposition. 
  9. Be patient with your conservative associate teachers. It frets them to see you so progressive, and you need good judgment in speaking to them or of them, as well as listening to what they say to you and in hearing about what they say of you.