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Posts Tagged ‘Great Teacher’

4 Ways to Identify a Great Teacher

September 8, 2014

poetAuthor Dana Goldstein has compiled 4 characteristics of a great teacher. I don’t agree with them. My four would be patience, caring, engaging and self-motivated.

Perhaps you agree with Ms. Goldstein’s 4:

• Have active intellectual lives outside their classrooms.
Economists have discovered that teachers with high SAT scores or perfect college GPAs are generally no better for their students than teachers with less impressive credentials. But teachers with large vocabularies are better at their jobs because this trait is associated with being intelligent, well-read and curious.

In 1903, W.E.B. Du Bois, who once taught in a one-room schoolhouse in rural Tennessee, wrote that teachers must “be broad-minded, cultured men and women” able to “scatter civilization” among the next generation. The best teachers often love to travel, have fascinating hobbies or speak passionately about their favorite philosopher or poet.

• Believe intelligence is achievable, not inborn.
Effective educators reject the idea that smarts are something that only some students have; they expect all children to perform at high levels, even those who are unruly, learning disabled or struggling with English.

How can you tell if a teacher has high expectations? Ask your child if he or she has learned anything new today. Research suggests that most students already know almost half of what is taught in most classes. Lame teachers—like one I watched spend a full 10 minutes explaining to a class in a Colorado Springs middle school that “denominator” refers to the bottom half of a fraction—spend too much time reviewing basic facts and too little time introducing deeper concepts.

• Are data-driven.
Effective teachers assess students at the beginning of new units to identify their strengths and weaknesses, then quiz students again when units end to determine whether concepts and skills have sunk in. Research from the cognitive psychologists Andrew Butler and Henry Roediger confirms that students score higher on end-of-year exams when they have been quizzed by their teacher along the way.

• Ask great questions.
According to the scholar John Hattie, when teachers focus lessons on concepts that are broader than those on multiple-choice tests, children’s scores on higher-level assessments—like those that require writing—increase. How can you identify a high-quality question in your child’s schoolwork? It tests for conceptual, not factual, understanding—not “When did the Great Depression occur?” but “What economic, social and political factors led to the Great Depression?”

Parents shouldn’t be the only ones looking for these four traits. Principals and policy makers should focus less on standardized test scores than on these more sophisticated measures of excellence. Together, we can create a groundswell of demand for great teaching in every classroom.

 

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4 Signs of a Great Teacher: Dr. Marvin Thompson

February 18, 2013

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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.”

 

Click on the link to read The Short Video You MUST Watch!

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Click on the link to read Teaching is Worth It!


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