Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The best teacher is___?



The best teacher is the best teacher. 
Just like this view changes over time, our students change as well. 
What and how we contribute to their learning defines good teaching.*

The best way to ensure learning is to put the best teacher in the classroom as possible.  The leader of the room that is devolving leaders as not just followers, manages risk, allows failure, prevents sarcasm and inspires others to go father then they expected!

 In a master teacher’s classroom, we find students talking and interacting with each other as well as the material.  This first component of articulation and alliteration ensures the students understand the material thoroughly enough to verbally navigate through the topic, and not just provide a yes or no answer.  (Think DOK 3 or 4)

 Master teachers are not afraid of students moving, activity or even motions.  Kinesthetic learners thrive when a teacher allows them this freedom of expression. Think learning styles, auditory, verbal, written, spoken or kinesthetically.

 Scaffolding, connecting to prior knowledge and building on the familiar is another trait of the best teachers.  Building and developing these connections allows students to relate to the topic.  These teachers know about their students, their needs, wants, fears and aspirations and use each to the student’s advantage.

 The best teachers always have a positive attitude, even if they do not have a positive attitude.  The material is the most important and interesting topic, anywhere!  Regardless!  This passion to teach flows through the topic, to the students.  This positive and contagious attitude is an attribute about ourselves that we choose.  Other characteristics we are born with, but our attitude is under our control.  Think locus of control.

 Finally, the best teachers have a purpose about everything.  Thoughts, actions and activities are all intentional, deliberate and planned, even the “random” ones have an underlying objective.  Nothing is really left to chance.  The topic becomes relevant, the ideas interesting and the activities stimulating. The best teacher does a better job of helping others learn, than any other method available.  Other things teach us lessons, like experience, trial and error or even just guessing and checking?  But the best teachers ensure effective learning every time!  Take the best teacher every time.

 These thoughts, comments and notes were abridged from breakout sessions and inspired by anecdotal evidence provided while observing events and activities demonstrated by our staff at WMS.  The powerful conference provided many “take-always” and are still relevant a year later.  This author receives nothing for this endorsement.

*Effective Schools Conference, Scottsdale AZ, March 7-9, 2012
Follow on twitter @EffectiveSchool


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