You know that teacher down the hall? The one whose students make more than a year's growth every year? Yeah. That one. You can be that teacher. To begin, there are certain teaching tools every teacher needs to develop in order to become a teacher with those mad skills (I mean tools).
Joy: a love for students and a passion for teaching.
Knowledge: of how the brain works to learn, remember and access information. Additionally, you'll have to become the teacher with an intense desire and drive for knowledge- seeking out new learning and purposeful growth for themselves and their students.
Skill: the ability to teach anything well (with a little research). Knowing words are powerful, skilled teachers choose and use their words with intention. They rehearse scenarios so the words they want to use become natural. Creative thinking comes out here as well as the ability to visualize a path to the end goal.
Adaptability: the ability to adapt and be successful in teaching all students regardless of the circumstances (lack of materials, poor environment, lack of community support, etc.) Adaptable teachers look at all challenges and think, "Ok. New plan. How do I turn this negative into a positive?" Lemons = Lemonade or Lemon Pound Cake =)
Gumption (attitude): stands up for what is best for students. Fun-loving and positive, but firm (velvet over steel) with students, colleagues and administrators. Not wasting time or energy putting up with foolishness or fools is a hallmark of a teacher with gumption. No time for that nonsense- gotta teach!
Organization: has an understanding of and system for accessing standards quickly for classroom use. Also, the organized teacher has systems for necessary classroom structures and daily management of all things education and beyond. Additionally, an organized teacher understands how to prioritize.
Honesty: in all things, especially with themselves. Willingness and ability to regularly take a hard look at their own teaching and revamp when necessary. The honest teacher takes responsibility when student failure is due to a failure in teaching. Not being afraid to throw out bad grades or failed lesson plans and reteach to correct is powerful teaching indeed. Being honest and giving themselves credit for what they've done right is just as important- able to celebrate and enjoy the moment.
Go after it! Be that teacher!
"Reflexes, Learning and Behavior by Sally Goddard
"Choice Words by Peter H. Johnson
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