Why is Mr. Braithwaite the best teacher?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Mr. Braithwaite would have to be seen as the best teacher because he holds high expectations for his students and displays a fundamental care for them.  They recognize that Mr. Braithwaite is one of the few adults who demonstrates this dynamic to the children.  As a result, they recognize him as one who will always stand for them and stand by them.  He holds them to uniquely high standards.  At times, these cause frustration and anger.  When Braithwaite seeks to teach moral lessons of courage and restraint, it offends the youthful sensibilities of many of the children.  Yet, the students understand that Braithwaite is authentic in his teachings and does not seek to subvert them in trying to impart values of meaning and transcendence within them.  This commitment and authenticity in the way he interacts with his students after his initial bout with insecurity is where Braithwaite becomes so beloved.  

Braithwaite represents the best teacher because he is able to live his belief system of honor and dignity.  He transmits to the students who come to realize that he is not hypocritical in his approaches.  He actually does believe in what he is teaching to the children because he lives it.  This sincerity and authenticity is what makes Braithwaite so loved and why he represents the best teacher.  If anything can be taken from what Braithwaite demonstrates, it would have to be that in order to reach students, one cannot be inauthentic in the position of power as an educator.  Braithwaite recognizes this.  In doing so, he becomes the best teacher.

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