What Is The Underlying Approach To Being A Good Teacher Today?

Jeffrey Wright, a unique physics teacher who is the subject of the New York Times’ video “Wright’s Law: A Unique Teacher Imparts Real Life Lessons,” is quoted by one of his Louisville Male High School students, Denaz Taylor, as saying:

I couldn’t care less about Newton’s third law. I want to teach you something to take out of school. That’s what he’s told us before. It makes me feel like he really cares about me and I know he does. He’s a good man and he will stick out of his way for you.”

Wright has won the appreciation of his students, and the video reveals the approach underlying Wright’s attitude to his students…

Wright Acknowledging The Overall Environment That Affects Kids

Schools have them for 6 hours a day, and then kids go home, and whatever atmosphere they have around for the other 18 affects them. And so, schools can change a lot, but we also have to realize that they go home to a completely different environment.”

Why One-Size-Fits-All Education Doesn’t Work For Today’s Kids

What I went home to when I was young is very different to what some of these kids go home to, where they don’t have a mom or dad, or, some of these kids, I hear them talk about how they hear gunshots at night. I’d have a hard time sleeping or studying if I’m hearing gunshots outside my room. …

I’ve heard everything from ‘Mr. Wright I’m pregnant,’ to ‘I’ve had an abortion,’ to ‘I’ve run away and here’s where I’m staying,’ to ‘my father is beating me and there’s holes in the walls’ and you can see where the make-up is trying to hide the bruises. I mean, it’s just very different to where some of the rest of us are. That’s why one-size-fits-all doesn’t work.”

The Foundation Of Wright’s Unique Teaching Approach

In the video, Wright tells the story of his son having a rare genetic disorder, Joubert Syndrome, and how it brought him to questioning why things happen, which led him to the following conclusion, which underlies Wright’s entire unique approach that has won him the appreciation of his students:

There’s something a lot greater than energy, there’s something a lot greater than entropy, it’s the fact that… what’s the greatest thing? Love. That’s what makes it all – the ‘why’ we exist. So in that great big universe that we have, with all those stars… who cares? Well, somebody cares about you a lot, and as long as we care about each other, that’s where we go from here.”

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