The World Needs more ROCK STAR Educators!

I remember my first concert like it was yesterday. I counted the days down in anticipation, anxiously held my ticket in my hand as we drove to the venue, then finally, when we arrived, from the moment we entered the arena to the end of the last song, I was screaming with sheer glee! It was amazing! I am an avid concert goer still and I can honestly say, I still get that anxious excitement before every concert, and yes, I still do a lot of screaming!
I want students to feel like that about school! I want them to enjoy coming every day. I don’t think it’s unrealistic for students to look forward to seeing their teachers and principals? I want a school where we are all proud of our school and the education students are receiving!
As a principal, I often refer to my teachers and fellow administrators as “Rock Stars.” I didn’t just pluck that nickname out of the air, there is meaning behind it. I believe the world needs a lot more Rock Star Educators! Here are some of my characterizations; which one are you?

“Rolling Stones”: These are your veteran teachers who pioneer new ideas, lead the way for younger teachers, and always have a classic, genuine repoire with students. When they teach; everyone learns. They teach to “sold out” classrooms daily, as students (and their parents) clamor to get into their classes.

“Lady GaGa”: These can range from 1st year to your most veteran teacher. They march to the beat of their own drum. But, when they beat that drum, everyone follows. They will do anything in the name of education; I’ve seen this type of teacher dress like a mole (animal) in honor of the unit mole used in chemistry. This teacher is beloved by their students to the point of tears when their classes finish at the end of the year. Often misunderstood as “weird” this type of teacher gets results and produces some of the best student learning outcomes I’ve seen.

“Lynard Skynard”: These are usually male teachers, or CTE teachers; sometimes coaches. Often they find a way to connect with their students through activities outside of the classroom. They build relationships through stories of hunting trips, camping, outdoor activities, cars, etc. Often seen as teachers that are “hard on students,” they build some of the strongest bonds with some of the most difficult students. They use hands on instruction and project based learning to ensure learning occurs. These are the teachers that help the students “who aren’t supposed to graduate,” graduate.

“Mumford & Sons”/”Avett Brothers”: These are the hip/cool teachers, usually in their 5-15th year. They have found their groove. They are very tech savvy and encourage their students to be as well. These will be the teachers who will have student’s blogging, make an App for the school as a class project, and do a lot of “outside of the box thinking.” These teachers are loved by their students for all the freedom they give them to be in charge of their own learning. These are the teachers who prepare students for today’s college environments. (Sometimes these teachers drive principals a little crazy……  )

“Ke$ha”: These are your YOUNG newbie teachers that just “have it.” They are full of excitement and energy and spend 24×7 at school working……….they want to be involved in anything and everything! They lead your pep rallies, they sponsor your clubs, they are the teachers your students look up to and want to be like. They need guidance; they are prone to impulsive decisions. These will be the “ROCK STAR EDUCATORS & ADMINISTRATORS” of the Future!

The world needs more ROCK STAR EDUCATORS………How About YOU!

10 Responses to The World Needs more ROCK STAR Educators!

  1. Scott Smith said:

    Awesome blog post! Love it!

  2. Mike Hudgeons said:

    Like it! Good stuff Dais!

  3. Nice post Daisy! I love the analogy of teacher as an artist where there is room for others to come in and have their own styles and personalities.

    The most important thing is that they want students to be excited to come to school which I think infers that they are student-centered in their approach.

  4. Christina said:

    I love the way you described each group of rock stars, and we definitely need more of them in education.

  5. Johnny Bevacqua said:

    Hi Daisy
    While I agree with much of what you are describing regarding some general traits of certain types of effective teachers – I do worry, however, about the “rock star” metaphor and its potential negative connotations as well as its potential to narrowing the vision of what an effective teacher might be.

    One example is how this “education rock star” plays out quite interestingly on social media – where the voices of the “stars” can mute out the voice of professional majority – who have equally insightful ideas to share.

    I love my music and I have my favorite musicians but I think we should think about what we are saying to students about “stardom” and popularity when we label our teachers rock stars


    • Johnny,

      Thanks so much for reading & taking the time to comment-that’s a trait of a “Rock Star Educator”! I notice we are both Principals, I’m going to speak in terms of my “building.” When I look at my Building I want ALL of us to be Rock Stars- it’s not a popularity contest….it’s our ability to engage students and make sure learning is taking place not how well they are liked (although ultimately, as you know, the best teachers ARE respected & well liked) There is room in my school for tons of Rock Star Educators; Kids need variety….BUT they DESERVE High Quality Variety!
      My staff knows “Rock Star” is a term of endearment and it is EARNED not GIVEN…..Bottom line…..the more “Rock Star Educators” I can get in contact with my students the better! So I Say bring on the Bon Jovi, AC/DC, Jay-Z, Pink, & Adele of education….Engage my students, they WANT to learn from you!

  6. Bill Martin said:

    This is an encouraging post. I wonder how many readers could see themselves in these archetypes? I think I may be going for the Avett Brothers mold here, if I can say so humbly. I focus highly on freedom and technology. I love the concept of “rock star teacher,” it elevates the profession and tells our story in a bright light.

    • Bill,

      Your comment about “elevating the profession & telling our story in a bright light” is exactly what I was going for! Thanks for reading and sharing your insights! FYI….Avett Bros are one of my favorites (“Murder in the City” in particular)!

      ROCK ON Educators!

  7. I love this post. love your music choices. Enjoyed reading – thanks for sharing. We all need to find our inner rock star. I’m Grateful Dead- loyal followers. Better live, we just spin ideas like hippies spin while they listen 🙂

  8. David Torres said:

    I liked it. “If I leave here tomorrow:things just wouldnt be the same!No No just the Same!….” 28 year vet Coach/Science Teacher

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