Below is a summary of the characteristics of this archetype, followed by a list of strategies for working with this teacher.
“Old School” Teacher
· May have difficulty with technology
· May have difficulty keeping accurate student files/paperwork
· May be open-hearted toward students, and might easily be taken advantage of by them
· May have difficulty with classroom management
· Students may feel that this teacher is out of touch with current technology, but maintain a deep respect for him/her
· Global learner
· Maintains strong, core value and a belief in teaching as a loving profession
COPING SKILLS/STRATEGIES FOR STUDENTS AND PARENTS: THE "OLD SCHOOL" TEACHER
· This teacher responds favorably when students show that they are motivated to learn and willing to be accountable for their own actions. Even if a student has made mistakes in the past, it may not be too late to appeal to this teacher’s willingness to work toward a better grade for the student. The student might ask to meet with the teacher, and sincerely take personal responsibility for any missed assignments that he or she may have foregone. See if it’s possible to make up any late work, or even retake a test that yielded a low score. It’s important when dealing with this type of teacher to be sincere and honest.
· This teacher appreciates students who are in present time during class work and class discussions. Class participation and handling oneself with self-control will go a long way.
· This teacher may be willing to meet/talk/email parents who are seeking advice and help for their son or daughter. He or she may even welcome such contact, because it shows that the parents care. It’s important that such communication be handled respectfully and with consistency. Also, parents must follow through with any commitments the teacher has made on behalf of the student. (Simple documentation is a good thing.) In other words, it may be necessary to politely remind the teacher about retaking a test or giving credit for a grade that was late. In general, teachers are beyond-busy with many duties, and a teacher who makes allowances for student blunders has even more on his/her plate, and might be in need of a courteous reminder or two.
· This teacher may not be so adept at working with technology, and may even feel uncomfortable about the rate of change in technological advances. Finding out the type of communication that works best for this teacher will be helpful when fostering the relationships between teacher, student, and parents. This teacher may prefer contact by phone or meeting in person during his/her office hours. Whatever the case, and since this type of teacher is generally willing to go beyond the call of duty in order to help students, it behooves the student and family to accommodate which type and time of meetings work best for the teacher. This can be challenging for parents with demanding careers who may even be out-of-town a lot. But that’s the breaks.
· Outsourcing parent/teacher communication to another person such as a nanny may not yield the desired result with this type of teacher.
· Remember that teaching is not a job, but rather, a lifestyle. And no archetype embodies that lifestyle more than the “Old School” Teacher. If a student or parent does not take the necessary time to seek help (if it’s needed) from this type of teacher and to consequently follow through with the requisite commitments, then positive change in the student’s work and grades are unlikely.