What would Dumbledore do?

I found an interesting post over at Edutoipia called 7 Lessons for Teachers from Dumbledore. It was posted a couple weeks ago, but I am slow, as you may have noticed.

Katy Faber, the post’s author, says the 7 things we can learn from Dumbledore are:

Calm Acceptance

Kindness in the Face of Rudeness

Self-Deprecating Humor

Being Humble

Looking Out for Inequality

Showing Up

Being Brave

These are good lessons for all of us, teachers or not.

Faber provides quotes from the books to support her claims and goes on to discuss each of the lessons as they might be applied by us muggles.  I especially liked her thoughts on being brave:

Being brave looks like speaking up for kids and teachers and what you know is true. You have lots of experience and should have a voice in how your school works and how you can be the best teacher (or parent) possible. Trust your voice, be brave, and share it regularly. Just as Dumbledore would do.

It is hard sometimes to trust our voices after so many years of people telling us we don’t know what we are doing.  But we know our students better than anyone else, and we need to advocate for them.  We also, as Faber says, need to advocate for ourselves and our colleagues.  We need to do what we know is right even if everyone else seems to think we are wrong.

The post was a fun read for me, a Harry Potter fan.  But there was much to be learned from it.  Her conclusion, while amusing, is good advice:

In fact just today, I told my students about these lessons from Dumbledore. When something went wrong in the classroom (the technology did not work), a student simply said, “Dumbledore!” That was all I needed. I searched for what Dumbledore would do, and decided calm acceptance and patience was the way to go. I need to keep Dumbledore’s lessons in mind each day as I teach, parent, be a colleague, partner and friend.

These lessons are, as Faber indicates, valuable for more than just teachers.  They are lessons we should all try to learn no matter who or what we are.  I am going to try to remember them, to make them part of me the way they are part of Dumbledore. Some times I do pretty well, but there are other times when a reminder wouldn’t hurt!

If you haven’t read the post over at Edutopia, I really encourage you to do so.  It’s a good one.


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