But, what makes a rock star…a rock star? What makes a normal person more than just a guy on stage with a band and a microphone? What are the elements that cause him (or her) to be sought after and revered … and how do we, as teachers, get that special magic for our classrooms?
The greatest of all classroom teachers are indeed “rock stars”. Bono has nothing on them. When they walk through hallways, students call their names; they seek them out…in stores, at the movies, on the street…everywhere. Students thirst for the attention of these special teachers and these teachers give it to them heart and soul. In return, their students are engaged in class and want to do well…strive to do well. Rock Star teachers have a cadre of fans hanging on their every word…waiting to soak up whatever bits of knowledge are thrust upon them…waiting to perform...waiting to excel. The formula for Rock Star Teaching is simple…basic even. Teachers have to love what they do. Plain and simple. Number one rule. Teachers must love what they do and love their students…not always and every second of every day…but generally, as a rule, and more often than not. Kids can tell if the care and compassion in the classroom are not sincere. They know if teachers are faking it. Teachers need to smile…the whole face and body kind of smile that says “I enjoy what I do and I enjoy you”. That rock star smile.
Students should be treated as an audience to engage. Every lesson must rivet students…must be active and alive. Teachers need to move among their students— testing and checking and getting the whole group involved. Making students feel they are a part of something. Have you ever been to a concert where only one person in the audience stands and screams and sings? No, it is most of the people; most of the time.
Most importantly, teachers must be present and enthused…rock stars are. Subject matter must be engaging and relatable. It truly is up to teachers whether or not students are going to love what they need to learn. Why do we love music or that special rock star? Because we can relate to what they are singing. Rock stars don’t randomly choose topics and blurt them out…there is universality in and within their words.
A rock star teacher finds ways to relate what is taught to the lives of each student. It may not be an easy thing to do, but it is possible and it is necessary…and it is the job of a rock star teacher.
Finally, rock star teachers motivate the crowd – make students believe in themselves and what they are learning. Nobody wants to fail…sometimes…teachers forget that. Don’t! Be the engaging answer your students deserve – and use 21st Century Learning to help you do it!