Tenets of an Effective Educator
I’m working to put a workshop for teachers together. So, the first thing I always do when mapping out a workshop is to remind myself of the characteristics which I need to embody and the tools that I need to employ. In a recent post by Carl Hendrick I noticed a comparison between great coaches and great teachers. He reinforced the concept that effective teaching is a result of good relationships.
As with planning a lesson for the classroom, I put some thought into what outcome I wanted. I considered what my measuring stick might look like and the details of what I would be measuring. Begin with the end in mind. So, I jotted down some ideas that would guide me through creating and facilitating the workshop. Then, I realized, these same criterion might be a good guide for most any effective educator.
- Identify your passion and share it.
Find an element that you strongly believe is important and outline exactly what it is you love about that element. Relate your passion for that element to those with whom you are working. Share your enthusiasm and excitement. Show them how much you love it. Let your passion be contagious.
2. Be knowledgeable.
There will be things that you know and resources that you rely upon for most any topic you are going to address with your teaching. Don’t stop with what you already know or what you have learned – strive to know more. Learn as much as possible. Refresh and renew the resources to make your knowledge the most current and grounded.
3. Set high expectations.
We all want our students to strive for and achieve excellence. What is the ultimate goal? Set the bar high. Just because your learners may not have the same background knowledge or experience, that doesn’t mean they cannot make great strides of achievement. With support, anything can be accomplished!
4. Model expected behavior.
The best example is a good model. Do as I tell you is not as effective as let me show you. We are always showing others through example whether we realize it or not. So, why not be a positive example? When we model expected behavior, there is a guide for others to follow.
5. Command respect and trust.
The best way to command respect is to give respect to others. When we show respect to others, we are honoring them and showing our reverence for them. If we want to be respected, showing that respect is a must. Along with that, remember that a true community of learners develops a concept of trust in one another. We grow to know what to expect and to rely upon one another. So, if we don’t trust others to give us their best, we can never be the receivers of trust and respect.
6. Create a space for scholarly endeavors.
Just as we decorate our homes, when we create materials such as explanatory handouts or research guides or even rubrics, we are decorating our scholarly space. We are not living up to our own expectations when there are grammatical and spelling errors or when the materials are not eye appealing and inviting. Design with the expectations in mind. Your work is a reflection of you; so let that reflection show who you are and what you expect.
Inspire your students to be better than they thought they could be!