I learned about Guy Doud in one of my education courses in college. We listened to a tape of a keynote speech he gave and read his book as part of the course. Guy Doud was the Teacher of the Year in 1986. He is an inspiration in education, even today. I had the privileged of presenting at a conference where Guy was the Keynote speaker. He is still an incredible voice in education.
Unfortunately I can’t offer you a full view of Guy’s speech (I have it on DVD only), but this clip should give you a look into this teacher of the year, and will, perhaps, encourage you to pick up his book: Guy Doud Molder of Dreams.
Guy Doud speaks about the focus of education: children. When we get right down to it, isn’t that what we are all in this for? He talks about the challenges that children face before they even step foot in a classroom. He speaks to fostering the heart of children before we try to foster learning. A child who is being abused, is hungry, is grieving the loss of a parent, has failed at life, really isn’t interested on your perfectly tuned lessons on superlative adjectives. Whether we like it or not, we are in the heart business. Teachers are called to be all things to the hurting kids who walk through our door. Sometimes we play nurse, other times counselor, and sometimes even social worker. Guy has an incredible rapport with his students and each of them leave his classroom knowing that they are important, that they matter, that they aren’t failures. Watching Guy renews my spirit and gives me the inspiration to love those students who are hard to love. To remember to get down on their level. Many of our students have already been convinced that they are failures. It is up to us to be their cheerleaders and let them know that they are uniquely gifted for a special purpose. Our job is not just to teach and grow learners, our job is to assure students that they matter.