Fortunately, there are a number of useful ways to set high expectations without burning yourself — or your students — out. Without reflection, you run the continual risk of making poor decisions, using bad judgment, or unquestioningly believing that students can always accurately interpret your actions as intended. Without the tendency to assess your own abilities, you may continue to plan and teach on the basis of unexamined assumptions — and remain unaware of your biggest strengths and weaknesses.
Based on the research of Jeffrey Glanz in his book Classroom Strategies for the Beginning Teacher, there are eight categories to consider when quizzing your own teaching skills:.
As most educators know, the traditional, teacher-focused, lecture-style teaching method can lead to disengagement and boredom for both teachers and students quite quickly. This teacher has no fear of learning new teaching strategies or incorporating new technologies into lessons. There is no single solution to the question of what makes a great teacher. To those who have never taught, it is difficult to grasp how diverse and dynamic a skillset one needs to succeed in a busy, demanding classroom setting.
Consider these six qualities — and the actionable methods for putting them into practice — to shar pen and develop your own skills. The results, as you may find, can make all the difference.
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“A great teacher eats apples”
A good teacher instills confidence In the book 50 Ways to Improve Student Behavior , middle school teacher Todd Whitaker highlights low student confidence as one of the most persistent obstacles to the success of any teacher. Teacher skills to build student confidence Make learning goal-oriented — If you set defined goals with your students — at the beginning of the school year or even of each lesson — the whole class will have a better understanding of its individual and collective accomplishments. Instill a growth mindset — According to psychologist Carol Dweck, a fixed mindset conceives of student skills as rigid and inflexible.
The growth mindset, Dweck notes, helps students become more receptive to lessons and feedback. While the details of the pedagogy can be subtle, a few common ways to instill a growth mindset include actions as simple as encouraging students to expand their answers more consistently or using success folders.
Far too many teachers forget to do this — to tell and show their students they actually believe in them. Using educational technology in the classroom makes it easier to teach students of all learning backgrounds, helping teachers bring even the most timid of students out of their shells. Curriculum-aligned math games, such as Prodigy , boost student confidence and learning outcomes.
The 6 Qualities of a Good Teacher (+25 Ways to Show them)
Grounding math in a fun, video-game environment that appeals to students can produce remarkable changes in learning outcomes, and even test scores. A good teacher manages the classroom effectively A teacher can be knowledgeable, prepared — and even a great communicator — but still fail simply because of an inability to deal with misbehavior in the classroom. To cultivate a positive and orderly learning environment, establish a routine and system wherever necessary for your daily tasks and requirements — from the general to the specific.
For example, if a student becomes stuck on an assignment, outline clear, teacher-approved guidelines for seeking help in a timely way e. Infographic: How to manage your classroom more effectively. Click to expand! Consider a flexible seating arrangement — Research has shown that physically adjusting the classroom environment can foster greater collaboration, communication, and interaction between students and teachers alike. A good teacher is prepared Every day, the effective teacher comes to class prepared to teach.
Dispositions — The teacher realizes that subject matter knowledge is not a fixed body of facts but is complex and ever evolving. This highlights the importance of using praise and rewards strategically — and emphasizes the significance of using feedback correctly as a teacher. For example, checking questions, performing over-the-shoulder observations of student work, and listening in to group talk are all strategies you can use to communicate your high expectations as a teacher.
We need to find out what is happening and make a plan to get you back on track.
Try to get your students to consider not only that they have the ability to do well, but there is something they have done to bring about the result. Teacher skills for self-reflection Use a daily reflection tool such as a journal — In its most basic terms, the goal of journal writing is to provide a record of the significant learning experiences that have taken place during the school day. Moreover, using a journal to record classroom anecdotes will help when it comes time to write report cards or assessments. An example of a daily reflection journal. This helps expose teachers to different instructional styles and strategies, stimulating critical reflection on their own classroom habits and methodologies.
You might be surprised at how enjoyable the process is — and how willing your colleagues are to collaborate! Many notable classroom events may not have been observed by the teacher — or even remembered — thus exemplifying the value of diaries or self-reports with audio recordings of actual lessons. What options are available?
How can I encourage more involvement or learning on the part of the students? For years, it has been whittling away at its own assumptions, testing its hypotheses, and refining its hiring and training. Over time, it has built an unusual laboratory: almost half a million American children are being taught by Teach for America teachers this year, and the organization tracks test-score data, linked to each teacher, for 85 percent to 90 percent of those kids.
Almost all of those students are poor and African American or Latino. And Teach for America keeps an unusual amount of data about its 7, teachers—a pool almost twice the size of the D.
Data Protection Choices
Until now, Teach for America has kept its investigation largely to itself. But for this story, the organization allowed me access to 20 years of experimentation, studded by trial and error. The results are specific and surprising. S teven Farr is a tall man with a deep, quiet voice. His job is to find and study excellent teachers, and train others to get similar results. He takes his work very seriously, mostly because he has seen what the status quo looks like up close. Farr grew up in a family of teachers in central Texas. When he graduated from the University of Texas, in , he had a philosophy degree and an acceptance letter to Yale Law School, neither of which felt quite right.
So he deferred law school and joined a new, floundering outfit, Teach for America. Many of the three dozen kids in his classroom were the children of migrant workers; they would disappear for weeks at a time as their families followed the harvests. Talking to Farr about those two years feels a little like talking to a war veteran. Farr lived with three other Teach for America teachers, in a house that had been confiscated by U.
Marshals in a drug raid.
- The Washington Post
He taught English and English as a Second Language. Texas required that students pass a standardized test before they graduate, and as test day approached, Farr felt a mixture of anxiety and resentment. Even though many were only sophomores, some of them dropped out as a result. The principal congratulated him on his scores, but Farr cried into his pillow that night.
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After his two years were up, Farr went to law school, as planned. He came back to Teach for America in —this time in charge of training and support.
But a small number were getting phenomenal results—and it was not clear why. Farr was tasked with finding out. Starting in , Teach for America began using student test-score progress data to put teachers into one of three categories: those who move their students one and a half or more years ahead in one year; those who achieve one to one and a half years of growth; and those who yield less than one year of gains. In the beginning, reliable data was hard to come by, and many teachers could not be put into any category.
But in desperately failing schools, where most kids lack basic skills, the only way to bushwhack a path out of the darkness is with a good, solid measuring stick. As Teach for America began to identify exceptional teachers using this data, Farr began to watch them.
2. Establishing Their Own Standards for Success
He observed their classes, read their lesson plans, and talked to them about their teaching methods and beliefs. He and his colleagues surveyed Teach for America teachers at least four times a year to find out what they were doing and what kinds of training had helped them the most. Right away, certain patterns emerged.
First, great teachers tended to set big goals for their students.