Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lessons From The Great Teacher Onizuka

I recently finished watching all 43 episodes of the anime Great Teacher Onizuka or GTO for short, and I have to say that it was quite entertaining.  It follows the adventures (or more accurately, misadventures) of an ex-gang leader turned school teacher named Eikichi Onizuka.  His unconventional and often over-the-top methods of teaching were a riot, but they proved to be effective in the end.

Thinking about GTO made me remember our recent workshop on The Teacher as a Life Coach.  (Yes, I am a teacher as well.)  While it's true that Onizuka wasn't a model TEACHER, - he didn't present the academic lessons well, reading books made him fall asleep, he smoked like a chimney, he was a hopeless horndog - he was an excellent LIFE COACH having been able to give his very problematic junior high school students the emotional guidance that they needed.  It reminded me that facts and knowledge aren't the only things students should be learning.  More importantly, they have to be taught life skills that will help them cope as they journey through life.

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