Teachers are our nation’s greatest assets. The best teachers, those who win, sacrifice all for the education of their children. This article discusses the qualities of teachers who push excellence.
Children love them. Parents adore them. Great teachers are filled with the winning spirit for superior achievement. They are the foundation of a strong education program. They support, encourage and empower students to think beyond themselves and become movers and shakers in society. However, many schools across America are filled with teachers who don’t desire to give one hundred percent of their effort to educate students. But As parents, we want to know that our children are receiving the best education from the teachers who teach them. If teachers do not have a winning spirit, then our children will most likely be cheated out of a quality education. Winning teachers possess a number of characteristics that all parents should look for:
Dedicated to Excellence
Winning teachers are committed to the education of all children, regardless of race, color or ethnicity. Otherwise teaching becomes an unfair and dishonest activity. Commitment means not giving up on a student, no matter how slow, illiterate, or difficult to manage. Many teachers may feel overwhelmed with these types of children. The complaint is that mentally and socially disadvantaged students only slow down the teaching process. However, committed teachers are willing to go the extra mile with all their students. Top teachers will never consider a student’s situation hopeless. Whatever it takes to make a difference in a child’s life, a committed teacher is willing to put all they have into seeing the mark of success upon a child’s life.
Creative in Lesson Planning
Winning teachers love to organize engaging and interest lessons. When students feel excited by a particular lesson, they participate and learn more effectively. Having been a teacher for nearly 20 years, I have experienced this year after year. Boring lessons spell trouble. Students look around the room, searching for things to get into when the lesson seem to have no relevance to their lives. Therefore, teachers, especially new teachers, must sacrifice the time needed to create lesson plans that mesmerize students. Utilizing John Gardner’s multiple intelligence theory is a great way to get students to participate on many levels. The theory consists of 7 intelligences: Visual-Spatial, physical space and visual imagery, Body-Kin-esthetic, using body effectively, Musical, rhythm and sound, Interpersonal, interacting with others, Intra-personal, goals and interest, Linguistic, using words effectively, Logical–Mathematical, reasoning and calculation. Applying exciting and engaging techniques such as these will simply destroy the since of boredom.
Persistent Under Pressure
Winning teachers are persistent in the face of challenges. I have known teachers who have literally walked out of the classroom because of an unruly student or two. But if the teacher fail to demonstrate authority in the classroom, sooner or later, the whole class will go bad. Chaos in schools spreads when there is little or no resistance to challenging behavior. When students act out and disrupt the progress of teaching, they must be dealt with immediately, even if the teacher needs to stop the class and begin again. Teachers who allow bad behavior to continue will miss the opportunity to effectively educate their students, no matter how excellent they are.
Effective in Future Planning
Winning teachers are ready to plan for their student’s success. Teachers who give a damn identify specific student needs and apply their lesson plans to fulfill those needs. For example, if a student needs improvement in math, reading and language arts, the winning teacher researches, gather s and applies the most effective educational materials necessary to close the achievement gap. Such teachers have determined that no student will leave her class without having been given the opportunity to catch up in an area of academic weakness.
Strong in Parent and Fellow Teacher Relationships
Winning teachers communicate well with parents and other teachers. No one teacher knows it all. When a teacher collaborates with parents and other teachers, the chances of successfully teaching a child is increased dramatically. Parents are the closest’ and usually most treasured people in a child’s life. Chances are the children are going to believe more in what their parents say then what their teachers tell them. Therefore, when a teacher and parent work together to teach a child, the affect upon learning can be much greater and the child will mostly likely be successful academically. In addition, when a teacher works with other teachers, the educational ideas that can be discovered are endless.
Confident in Professional Abilities
Winning teachers are confident in their abilities. New teachers must learn how to be confident in presenting lesson plans. Usually, a degree of awkwardness and uncomfortableness exist in the performance of first year teachers. They are unsure of how the students will react to their presentations. However, their presentation of the lesson plan becomes more natural as they interact with students and overcome some of the challenges that befall them each day. Weathering the initial classroom storms are the keys to becoming an excellence teacher capable of reaching difficult students. When young teacher s begins to teach their class with competence and confidence, the students will most likely respond with interest and honor.
Unwavering in Vision
Winning teachers are unwavering in their vision for the students. They are unstoppable when it comes to pushing a child to be all he or she can be. Their goal is to inspire the child to make possible choices throughout their academic and personal lives. They do this by encouraging and supporting the child when his performance does not meet up with standards of the curriculum program. They empower students by providing or recommending personal tutoring, sometimes in an after school program. Winning teachers don’t accept the concept that some students are unreachable. These teachers believe that with the right teaching, guidance and support any student can be academically successful.
Relentless in Providing Challenging Materials
Winning teachers are ready to provide challenging academic material to their students. They don’t allow students to get comfortable with basic material. Winning teachers knows that in order for their students to learn effectively and stay academically competitive, they must be presented with challenging material in all subjects, including math, reading, English, Social studies, Science and the like. Teaching the same basic material throughout the year, does the students a disservice. By challenging students with material one or two years above their grade level stretches their minds and results in a superior education for those who catch on quickly.
Aware and Responsive to Diversity
Winning teachers are culturally aware and responsive. They are knowledgeable of the diversity that exists in their classrooms as well as the entire school. In any giving classroom, a teacher may have a number of students with different cultures, including Caucasians, Hispanics, Asians, Somalians, and African American. The goal of the teacher is to make sure that each culture understand and respect the other. Therefore, winning teachers often tailor the lesson plans toward the beliefs, habits and rituals of specific cultures in order to present a unique learning opportunity for their class. Otherwise, confusion and misunderstanding could erupt when teachers are not culturally sensitive.
Comfortable Working with Teams
Winning teachers work well as a team. No one teacher can do it all. As the old saying goes,” it takes a village to raise a child.” This is also true for schools. It takes a village of teachers to effectively teach a child. The teacher of the year awards are usually presented to teachers who have borrowed hundreds of ideas from other teachers and have combined them to come up with brilliant ideas for the classrooms. I am knowledgeable of this experience as an award winning teacher in 1998 in the city of Milwaukee Wisconsin. I was highly appreciative of my fellow teachers because I had learned so much from them. All winning teachers know how important it is to supportive of other teachers who come up with innovative ideas in the education field. The children of American are not just depending on one teacher for a great education. Instead they are depending on the unity of teachers in every community, city and state of America to get the job done, and done well.