What I've Learned
as a high school history teacher
Michael Hawthorne has taught in the Hartford School District in Hartford, Vt., for 16 years.
I’ve learned that half of what I know about teaching and what works with students is instinctual, and the other half is “stolen” from other good teachers. I observe other teachers’ classrooms to see how their teaching style and lessons work, and I’ve been able to team teach with some of the best teachers our district has to offer; some were veteran educators, others were very early in their careers. The common thread is the passion good teachers have for their subject and for their students.
I’ve learned that not everything I try in the classroom will work the way I envisioned—I need to listen to the students and be able to make changes on the fly. They are the most valuable resource we have as teachers.
The most important lesson I’ve learned is how fortunate I am to have a career in which students and colleagues become part of my family and help keep me energized and young. There is no job I would rather have.Photos: Mara Nerenberg
What have you learned on the job?
Send an email to Cindy Long with your job title, the name of your school, city and state, and the five top lessons you’ve learned in your position in public education.