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4 Signs of a Great Teacher: Dr. Marvin Thompson

marvin

Courtesy of the star of the new docu-series, ‘Blackboard Wars‘:

1. The students in the classroom are doing more talking than the teacher. “In today’s classroom, learning should be inquiry based, not teacher directed,” says Dr. Thompson. “A good teacher sets the stage for students to investigate, inquire and create an engaging learning environment. A meaningful, class-wide discussion is a positive sign.”

2. He or she shares ideas with other teachers. “The sharing of ideas actually helps the teacher hone his or her skills and incorporate best practices from other teachers,” Dr. Thompson says. “Just as doctors consult one another on patients, teachers should engage in the same type of dialogue with one another.”

3. The teacher knows the intent of the curriculum. “Learning is not just about what the subject matter is,” says Dr. Thompson, “but [about] what the students are meant to master through the learning process. It is not enough to teach students how to multiply and divide, but to ensure they also understand the skills behind the lesson. If a student can’t relate what they are doing to real-world activities, it often limits the relevance of the lesson — which in turn diminishes engagement and interest.”

4. The teacher recognizes and rewards student effort, even for the small stuff. Says Dr. Thompson, “If students are doing something positive — and every child is capable of something positive — recognize them for their effort. Sometimes all a student needs is a little encouragement. A great teacher focuses on what his or her students are doing, even if they’re just showing up for class — because you never know what learning fears they have. You never know what challenges they are facing outside the classroom. A great teacher shows students that they matter. Sometimes, it’s as simple as that.”

 

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One Response to “4 Signs of a Great Teacher: Dr. Marvin Thompson”

  1. Mike Feurstein Says:

    I agree with all of the above. Can we add another? 5. The teacher is open to learning new things from the students. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stepped back, eyebrows up, and thought, “Well, didn’t see it that way!” Teachers don’t know everything. No on does. But collectively, we know a lot more.

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