Have you ever heard the saying “sometimes a teacher can learn more from a student than the student can learn from a teacher” (unknown)? I believe that teaching is filled with new experiences and every day is a learning experience. You never stop learning and being in the teaching field we all know that.
The best thing we do for our students is getting to know them, how they learn, what they like, what they dislike and how they think. I had a teacher in 4th grade, who she thought she was teaching us respect and she only called us by our last name and never bothered to learn our first name. A teacher has to be happy about their jobs and actually reflect that and they also have to have a passion for what they do. Like in the Lesson Study Japan video, Mr. Seiyama says that he believes that in order for students to be happy about learning, the teacher has to be happy about teaching the class. It is also important to have resources available to help the educators such as materials, people and assistant from the administration.
The high leverage practice #19 makes an important point, a teacher has to learn to teach which requires time and practice. It states that “teachers study their own teaching and that of their colleagues in order to improve their understanding of the complex interactions between teachers, students, and content and of the impact of the particular instructional approaches”.
As educators, we should not be afraid to take risks, it is like the phrase “without a risk, there is no reward”. Sometimes a new idea for the classroom may be beneficial but if the teacher is afraid to break the routine and try something new, then that is something the educator will be cutting back on. Maintaining a flow or rhythm in the classroom, using materials and technology appropriately, planning according to student ability, and evaluating classroom instruction are all important factors in a learning environment.
Successful educators have a sense of purpose, they are motivated and have goals for all of the students. Students are like sponges (we have heard this before), they absorb everything around them. Kids will pick up on anything, including words used or behaviors performed. Setting objectives for the students is important because this allows students to know what is expected of them without having to guess. Students are like our children, we have to learn when to listen to them or when to ignore them (this is like the children back at home). Some children seek a little attention and sometimes they may need it to move on but there will be times were the educator just needs to ignore it.
For the students praise matters, they love to hear anything good we have to say about them and they love to brag about it with their friends. This important to do it in a smartly manner, because students need encouragement and there will be times where they have not used their full potential. You do not want to create an environment where there is no praise or recognition but you do want to create an environment were any praise is valuable to the student. There is also over doing the praise, and I have done this before and it did not work out the best way. The student feel excited in the beginning but like any new trick, it gets old.
I strongly believe that there are good teachers as there are bad teachers. Sadly teachers are labeled good or bad mainly by the students and their parents. A new teacher usually comes in freshly made, with all of these great new ideas and experiments they want to perform. I once read something that said that usually these teachers were disappointed at how different things actually were compared to what they had learned and studied for years. Usually these teachers have to make changes and improve in many areas to best educate the students. This is where they begin to settle as good or bad teachers. Being a good teacher can go a very long way, I am sure we all have at least one favorite teacher, or one teacher we will never forget about and then the worst one we have had. I have 4 people I am very thankful for, 2 of them were counselors. One of the teachers was my second-grade teacher, she helped me get through the school year by always keeping in touch after I found my baby sisters body. She helped counsel me, helped guide my family through the hardships and I shall always be thankful for meeting her. My high school education teacher went above and beyond to get to know me. Until this day I try to visit her one a month and we catch up, it is very nice to have someone else to fall back on. When my dad passed away I was an incoming fifth grader with a mom who had to step up her game and work two jobs. Our first Christmas was to be spent alone and without gifts because we could not afford them. Our school counselor organized a Christmas dinner party and invited us. We were able to make it (they made my mom take a day off) they had gifts for us which consisted of clothes, jackets, shoes and gift cards. It is something that I shall always cherish. When I moved on to middle school I became a victim of bullying but this counselor was able to pull me out. He always checked in on me, he looked at my grades and made sure that y basic needs were met. We never forget the good teachers we have and we tend to hold on to fond memories.