6 Teachers We Love

Local educators talk about the art of teaching and what they've learned from your kids.

Photo by Skip Brown.

Colin Brown

Principal, McKinley Elementary School, Arlington | Years in education: 25

❝ I really enjoy greeting kids in the morning at the buses. Once in a while you can catch that student who’s sad, pull them aside and say, “Hey, what’s up?” and sort of turn their day around. Usually it’s something pretty simple, like “My mom wouldn’t let me have extra pancakes,” or “I was playing video games” and then they had to hustle out of the house. You can turn that around pretty quickly.

❝ My job is kind of like everybody’s job in the building, combined. There’s nothing I would ask someone else to do that I wouldn’t be willing to do myself. I have mopped floors, stacked chairs, accompanied kids to the hospital in an ambulance.

❝ I believe elementary school teachers are the hardest-working teachers in the system. Students this age just need more things. They’re holding their nose because they have a nosebleed. “My tummy hurts”—how do you deal with that? Sometimes they just need a hug.

❝ As a teacher you’re impacting a classroom of students. As a principal, you hear what teachers need and you help make those things happen—make all the classrooms better places for students to learn.

❝ Children generally need the same things. They want to be loved. They want to know that you really care about them. And if that’s the case, then they will do whatever they can to please you and match your expectations.

❝ You’ve got to do that extra thing to make sure a student knows they matter. You have to hear them, be patient, be empathetic and sympathetic, and understand them. You have to take the time to do that. It can’t happen just by accident. It has to be very purposeful.

Categories: Education
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