All Great Teaching Comes Down To These 3 Traits
Care, connection and content.
Passion is contagious and if you as the teacher are not excited, engaged and energetic about your content area it is going to be difficult to pull in the interest of you students.
This is especially so when teachers are competing for the attention of their students against a finely tuned social media industrial complex with algorithms designed to increasingly shorten students’ attention spans.
In this way, teachers need to be the thermostat of the energy of a classroom, not a thermometer.
To be interesting to students a teacher must be interested.
Where else will a teacher be able to find such a diverse, interesting, talented and unique group of young people all in one place such as a classroom?
Every student and their parents want and deserve to be noticed and known. This was always important but even more so with hybrid learning, remote schooling and in a period of time where half of our students’ faces are covered in masks.
Perhaps the last line of Glennice Harmon’s 1948 poem, They Ask Me Why I Teach says it best: “They ask me why I teach, and I reply, “Where could I find more splendid company?”
To reveal the richness of their subject teachers need to be content masters.
Not only does this mean you have a firm understanding of your curriculum, state standards and requirements on AP exams but are you a lifelong learner.
Are you continually seeking out new and better course materials, primary documents and refining your questions?
Do you seek professional feedback from your colleagues and coaches both inside and outside of school?
The best teachers are ultimately the best learners.