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GTO: Great Lessons for Teachers
Jul 05, 2007 by sensei joe
I picked up the manga GTO: Great Teacher Onizuka during my first few years of teaching. Tohru Fujisawa has truly created a great teacher: Eikichi Onizuka. When I first read the series, I thought: “Onizuka is what NOT to do.” I recently picked up the series and started reading it again. After seven years of teaching high school students I realized: “Onizuka really does know what to do.” Let me explain what I mean before I loose my certification. Teachers must be honest, genuine and determined. They must be sacrificial, humorous, and non-judgmental. They must redeem every moment into a teachable one. In volume 3, Eikichi Onizuka starts his first day of teaching at Holy Forest Academy. He is determined to be the best teacher the world has ever seen. He speaks what is on his mind even if it isn’t inappropriate - often not a good idea since he is a letch. He is genuine – he tells it like it is and acts like himself – even though if that means often being a moron or a thug. He is sacrificial – he sacrifices his own health to rescue a boy trying to commit suicide. He is willing to crack a joke at his expense and he is always getting into hilarious situations. He is non-judgmental – he is warned multiple times by other teachers that his homeroom, Sophomore Class 4, are dangerous… they are. Perhaps he is naïve instead of non-judgmental. He often turns the most unlikely situations into teachable moments – often by accident – he seems to be a very lucky man (I mean he’s not dead yet). And all these things are packed into this one excellent volume. Don’t get me wrong, Onizuka doesn’t do everything right, just look at his lesson plans. But the lessons I have learned from real experience could have been picked up from reading this manga instead of making mistakes in the classroom.
Sensei no Otaku says: “This Sensei is truly GREAT. GTO should be studied by every teacher. Our schools would be better off if more teachers were following Onizuka’s lead.”
sensei joe also recommended: Rose Hip Zero, Air Gear,
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