What defines a student-centered educator? Is it enough to know the book, to know the drill, to know the test, to know the system, to know what the administration expects? We think not. A student-centered educator will manage this while saving his or her best energy for observing, appreciating, and considering deeply the one unique learner who sits before him or her, hoping to be understood.
What else does it take to be a student-centered educator?
The following is a set of perspectives and qualities of a student-centered educator. It is by no means exhaustive, but it does help us begin the conversation.
1. A student-centered educator appreciates, through intuition or knowledge gained from study, the singularity and importance of each child.
2. A student-centered educator comprehends the vital importance of his relationship with children, while keeping in perspective the nature of his role and its limitations.
3. A student-centered educator has an understanding of developmental issues and recognizes that any educational approach must be well matched to the capabilities of her students.
4. A student-centered educator values the areas of strength in each child and seeks to nurture them.
5. A student-centered educator has an understanding of the context in which his teaching occurs and within that context has something of value to contribute to his students.
6. A student-centered educator has a deep sense of the joys and responsibilities of being a caring adult in the life of a student.