Do you interact, connect and delight?

The above presentation from the Inbound marketing conference is worth  a look. Some of the best minds in marketing are imparting their message in easy to grab messages that may resonate with you. They do for me anyway. I read my fair share of marketing blogs, largely because I find the message marketers are imparting today can connect with what we as teachers are trying to do in classrooms with a student population that I think is different to the one I encountered when I first entered teaching in 1988.

In 1988, you could walk into a classroom and establish a presence by commanding respect. I saw plenty of teachers who used fear as a tactic, and to be truthful, in my early days I did what many young teachers do – I mimicked some of the behaviour of senior teachers who employed tactics like that to control classrooms. Kids might not have liked it, but they pretty much accepted it, as did many of their parents who would sometimes tell teachers I worked with that they had their permission to give their kid a good clock over the ear if they messed up in their room! I could see pretty early on though that establishing relationships with my pupils based on shared respect and mutual understanding was far more effective, and far more enjoyable. What really helped develop my skills was becoming a parent. When you start to see your students through the lens of the parent perspective your empathy quotient kicks in and everyone benefits. At least, that’s what I would hope would happen. No guarantees there.

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Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah were responsible for the above slide. When I look at this and think of education and the students I teach today, I can draw some parallels. In my classroom I am interacting and connecting all the time, and I try very hard to delight my students by finding interesting material that can draw them into the learning experience. My teaching in 2013 is more about personalising the learning experience rather than asserting control and authority. When I think of the best learning experiences from my own education, it was the teachers who worked this way who had the most impact on me too.

Their next slide echoes true for me also. Maybe it’s always been this way.

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Ring true for you?

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