What makes a good teacher?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Aliceacc, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 11, 2010

    (Nope, I'm not asking you guys to do my homework for me :lol:)

    There are several conflicting threads running at the moment, all attempting to define good teaching.

    Several deal with the legislation in FL. Another deals with a teacher who is burnt out, yet chooses to remain in her job. STill another asks about the best teachers we've known. All seem to boil down to the question:

    What makes a teacher a GOOD teacher? Better yet, what's the difference betwen GOOD teaching and GREAT teaching??

    What do you think??
     
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  3. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Good teaching gets the material across...great teaching inspires students to want to know the material AND more! A great teacher equips students with the drive, desire, and tools to become independent lifelong learners. (Sorry - only on 1st cup of coffee - prom night here last night...I am just going off the top of my un-caffeinated head.)
     
  4. Grover

    Grover Cohort

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    Apr 11, 2010

    "Preeminent is the one whose subjects barely knows he exists."

    Lao Tzu
     
  5. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I think a great teacher could teach on a deserted island-no projectors, no plans, no textbooks. Some people just have that innate ability and passion in their hearts.
     
  6. skittleroo

    skittleroo Connoisseur

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    :)

    I do think a good teacher must like what she/he does. You cannot despise your work and put enough energy in it to do well. Time at work does not equate to good teaching. However, you should be fully invested when you are there with the kids. Good teaching is about knowing ways to impact students' learning and motivate them to continually want to learn more about the world and life.....
     
  7. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    Totally agree!

    Good teaching is preparing great lessons.
    Great teaching is preparing great lessons based on the understanding of your students' background and academic ability.

    Good teaching is teaching a grading.
    Great teaching provides effective feedback.

    Good teaching expects students to succeed.
    Great teaching expects ALL students to succeed by demanding hardwork from them and at the same time providing encouragement.

    Good teaching is using different learning strategies.
    Great teaching is learning about the psycology of students and using behavioural strategies as well.

    I could go on and on...Overall, great teaching is about understanding and connecting with your students while demanding hardwork from them.
     
  8. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    Apr 11, 2010

    Honestly, I think a good teacher in many ways is like a ying yang. First, they know how to balance knowledge and emotions. I see too many times on here, people getting mad at students for being kids. The posters sound smart, but imo part of being a teacher is understanding kids. By understanding kids, I mean, if you're a secondary teacher you understand the drama of teen set. I see too many times people will have the prek/kinder set and be all I can't believe they did such and such! Um, they're 4-6. :unsure: I think when it comes down to it, a good teacher knows how to enforce their schools standards, but knows what's too much. Learning is happening, but social/emotional growth is happening to. I also think a good teacher knows when to reward and when, how much, to punish. I see too many threads presently, and when doing searches, saying "If I catch so and so doing something, they're gonna get the book thrown at them". It's almost like there's a joy in punishing. Or certain teachers want a punishment that is bigger than the crime. :unsure: So, I think to me the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher, is a great teacher understands and CARES about their students. Students are not stupid. Just because they many not be misbehaving doesn't mean they don't know a teacher doesn't give a hoot about them. However, I think a good teacher also have to more than this. If you're "smart" or are weak in a lot of subjects, you're never going to be a good teacher or a good role model. If students believe they're on your level, education wise, or smarter than you, they're not going to take you seriously. Just as if you come to school is flip flops and sweat pants. That is not a good role model and eventually students will notice you come to school looking like a bum, students know people in high paying jobs wear business attire. I think a good teacher understands and cares about students, but at the same time has the professonialism of anyone with a higher education.
     
  9. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I completelly agree!!
     
  10. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    The good/great question is one my former principal would ask on interviews...the answers were always interesting. Here is an excerpt from what I wrote in response to an editorial in our local community paper:

    As a professional educator, I can attest that my public school colleagues are not only good teachers, but great teachers. Great teachers are those who do their best for their students every day. Great teachers are reflective practitioners, are flexible and adapt to the dynamics of a diverse learning community. Great teachers never stop learning; they stay current on educational research, engage in dialog with other professionals and push themselves to bring new and exciting curriculum into their classrooms. They not only teach children to look at the world in new ways but to think critically as well. My sons have been taught by great teachers. I am honored to say that I work with such professionals daily.
     
  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I'll make this short but sweet!

    I'll sum things up with my most favorite quote EVER:

    “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
    --William Arthur Ward

    Isn't it the truth? :whistle:
     
  12. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I think the above posters hit it on the nose. A great teacher basically inspires the students to become life long learners. The great teacher works hard to make students feel comfortable asking questions and to not be afraid to make mistakes.
     
  13. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think it comes down to how passionate you are about it. If you are passionate, you put your all into it, and that entices students. Your passion fuels you and from that fuel you strive to create lessons that reach out and grab your students so that they are blown away and involved and "get it".

    Sincerely caring about your students makes the difference too. If I care if student A gets it or not I am going to do my darndest to make sure he or she does get it, and that student will eventually see my determination and will be more likely to work hard for me because when someone believes in you, you don't want to let them down. Quite the opposite; you want to please that person.

    A great teacher never gives up. He or she revises, revamps, and redoes whatever it was that didn't work until it does work. In this way the great teacher constantly evolves and only gets greater.
     
  14. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    A good teacher is like pornography. You can't define it, but you know it when you see it.
     
  15. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Wow.
     
  16. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Apr 11, 2010

    Great teachers lead every decision with: Is this good for my students?
     
  17. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 11, 2010

    I'm going to be learning to teach under the Charlotte Danielson framework. When I googled her name I came up with this in regards to quality teaching:

    Domain 1: Planning and Preparation:
    1. Demonstrates knowledge of content and pedagogy
    2. Demonstrates knowledge of students relating to their age group, varied approaches to learning, skills and knowledge, and interests and cultural heritage
    3. Selects instructional goals that have value, clarity, and balance, and are suitable for diverse students
    4. Demonstrates knowledge of resources for teachers and for students
    5. Designs coherent instruction using appropriate learning activities, instructional materials and resources, instructional groups, and lesson and unit structure
    6. Assesses student learning using techniques that are congruent with instructional goals, criteria and standards, and uses assessments for planning


    Domain 2: The Classroom Environment:
    1. Creates a classroom environment of respect and rapport in both student-teacher and student-student interactions
    2. Establishes a culture for learning, instilling the importance of content and student pride in work, and sets expectations for learning and achievement
    3. Manages classroom procedures, including instructional groups, transitions, materials and supplies; performance of noninsructional duties and supervision of paraprofessionals and volunteers
    4. Manages student behavior, setting expectations, and monitoring behavior, and responding to misbehavior
    5. Organizes physical space safely and in a way that enhances the effective use of physical resources for learning

    Domain 3: Instruction:
    1. Communicates clearly and accurately in oral and written directions and procedures
    2. Uses questioning and discussion techniques to encourage student participation
    3. Engages students in learning through representation of content, activities and assignments, student grouping, instructional materials and resources, and structure and pacing of instruction
    4. Provides feedback to students in a timely fashion that is accurate, substantive, constructive, and specific
    5. Demonstrates flexibility and responsiveness in adjusting lessons, responding to students, and displaying persistence

    Domain 4: Professional Responsibilities:
    1. Reflects on teaching
    2. Maintains accurate records of student work and progress, as well as noninstructional records
    3. Communicates with families to provide information about the instructional program and individual students and to engage families in the instructional program
    4. Contributes to the school and district
    5. Grows and develops professionally in terms of enhanced content knowledge and pedagogical skill and service to the profession
    6. Shows professionalism through service to students, advocacy, and decision making

    Reference:
    Danielson, Charlotte. Enhancing Professional Practice: A Framework for Teaching.

    ------------------------------------------

    Sounds like a good rubric to me. I'll let you know how that goes? :dunno:
     
  18. halpey1

    halpey1 Groupie

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    I agree with the others. I think a great teacher makes learning FUN. If you make learning fun kids will want to learn... to help kids learn to LOVE learning is my ultimate goal.
     
  19. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I wonder if I can use this quote in my portfolio? :D
     
  20. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    A good teacher's first question is always: how do my students benefit from this?
     
  21. beatlebug731

    beatlebug731 Comrade

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    This is the topic I wrote my PA state standard application essay on. In a nutshell, its enthusiasm, respect, and the understanding that all can learn.
     
  22. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    This might be the case with the little ones, but for life-long learning, I can't agree with the "fun" part. Not all learning is fun, nor can it be made fun. A great teacher recognizes when something is just plain boring but teaches in in such a way that the students understand it's relevance, and the students learn it in spite of the fact that it's not fun.
     
  23. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    My student's first day assignment is a letter to me answering the following questions:
    1) Who are you as a person?
    2) Who are you as a student?
    3) How can I be a good teacher?
    4) What makes a bad teacher?

    DO NOT USE NAMES OF TEACHERS!
     
  24. Rebecca1122

    Rebecca1122 Comrade

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    A relevant quote that I happened upon, and I like it!

    "Good teachers do not just happen, they are the product of the highest personal motivation." -Dwight D. Einsenhower
     
  25. tracykaliski

    tracykaliski Connoisseur

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    That's a great quote Rebecca!
     

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