“And what can I get for you today?”
“I think I’ll have a grande mild in a venti cup with the white mocha syrup.”
“Or, maybe I’ll have a venti extra hot soy latte with the no sugar vanilla syrup.”
“On that note, today could be a venti non-fat mocha, light on the whip.”
“Decisions, decisions, decisions.”
“Um, ma’am, I think that I’ll just give you a coffee!”
“A coffee! What?! I don’t just want a coffee!”
The next time that you go out to your favourite coffee house, watch and listen carefully. As somebody that feels ultimate bliss with my first sip of coffee and my first step into the school, I can say with certainty that coffee and teaching have a lot in common.
- Variety is the spice of life! There are so many different coffee combinations — and if you’re not into coffee, tea, hot chocolate, or flavoured cold drink options — that it’s rare to find two of the same orders. It’s also hard to find multiple students that work and learn in the same way in the classroom. The baristas meet our many coffee needs, and educators, meet the varied student needs.
- Change is constant! Coffee menus are forever being updated. There are new flavour options, new drink varieties, and even new sizes. Education constantly changes too. Curriculum documents are updated, teaching assignments switch, and assessment/evaluation methods change, and we need to embrace these changes. Sometimes we’ll find a favourite new coffee flavour, and sometimes, we’ll find a better way to teach our students!
- Savour the moment! Every morning when I get my coffee — before I even leave the parking lot — I take my first sip. It’s pure heaven! I actually sigh deeply. It’s just coffee, and it’s just a taste, but it’s a moment to enjoy … and I try to enjoy all of these same small moments in the classroom.
- Relationships matter! This is an important lesson that I’ve learned from the many baristas I interact with and observe. I love that I can walk into the coffee shop every morning, and the person already knows what I’m going to order. I love how all of the people there know that I’m a teacher, and ask me about my plans for the day. I love that they smile and laugh, and genuinely seem to want to get to know me. It’s these same kinds of relationships that I need to build with my students. I need to start the day with a smile. I need to find out about what’s new with them, what matters to them, and what they want to learn. I need to make the connections with them that the baristas try to make with the many customers each morning!
- Team work is essential! The baristas are great at showing this. One person takes my order and money and one person makes my drink. Both people communicate with each other, and if it’s busy there, multiple people work together to quickly service everyone. The same is true in a school context as students, teachers, educational assistants, secretaries, caretakers, administrators, and parents all work together to make sure that the students are safe, happy, well cared for, and successful!
What would you add to this list of coffee/education connections? Here’s to many more happy days in the classroom and enjoyable sips of coffee (or tea, hot chocolate, or water)! 🙂
I love how you’ve linked coffee and education.
It’s amazing how many options you can have in coffee- and in education. Now tell me, how often do you buy from the Education Cafe? How often do you just ‘browse’?
I hope you understand!
Thanks for your comment, Yusra! That’s a very deep question. I’d say that I “buy from the Education Cafe” a lot: always trying new ways to engage my learners and helping all of them succeed. Just like I select a different coffee on most days, I like to try many different teaching methods for many different students.
Hope this helps!
Once again, a great connection from coffee to education.
I am pretty sure most trachers ‘buy’ but some just browse in their free time; just like selecting a new coffee combo !!!
Thanks Yusra! I’d be curious to know why you say this. Sometimes selecting a new teaching tool/strategy or a new coffee drink can be hard, but with that first sip, we tend to find something worthy of “drinking” again. It’s just a matter of having that first sip! 🙂
Just like having a first attempt. You’re right!
Exactly the same! Thanks Yusra!