What makes a good teacher? Like all good recipes, the ingredients for a teacher's success in the classroom are simple, easy to follow, and allow for personal interpretation to enhance the result. Primarily, a teacher's goal is to motivate her students to reach beyond their grasp. Many children are keenly aware of their weaknesses and special education students are particularly sensitive to being "different". A good teacher helps the child realize her strengths and encourages and challenges the student to learn through those strengths. It is in the day to day process of reaching this goal that the ingredients for making a good teacher come into play.
The best teachers are the ones who teach to the whole child. Their vision of education is not limited to the tangibles of academic achievement but encompasses daily doses of compassion, flexibility, communication, humor, imagination, and the willingness to be open minded. Most importantly, a good teacher is someone who uses both his head and her heart in equal measure throughout the school day. Compassion is in understanding that a student may be frustrated, angry or just unable to focus on the academics at hand. A little extra attention, a hug, a query as to how he is feeling today or the simple expression that the teacher values that student and was glad he was there today is all it takes to make a potentially negative situation into a positive, personal learning experience for the child. Bad days happen to everyone. Deal with the misbehavior, and move on, but be fair and consistent in your discipline.
Good teachers don't speak negatively about their students to anyone. Flexibility allows the learning environment to be fluid and creative. Be upbeat and positive and ready to adapt to students moods and needs. Maybe the lesson plan can be more effectively learned if the students stand and move about, play a game with the information or talk about something else that is important to... [continues]
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