Now , this topic is deinfintely up for debate - no doubt about it - but I was thinking about the 5 qualities of top teachers. Can I pick just 5? Could you? The answer is probably different dependening on who you ask but I thought it would be interesting to share mine and see what you all think- then maybe I could do a follow up post with your thoughts!
Let's get started!
The first one that came to mind was perseverance. How many times have we fought and fought to get a student what they need in order to succeed? Sometimes there are so many roadblocks, I want to just give up, but I keep going. If I know a student needs something, I keep going until I find a solution or someone (or some people) who can provide some help. Teachers just don't give up!
This comes up every day for me. You walk in the classroom and a million things could go differently than you had planned. 5 students could be absent so you can't introduce that brand new math concept because too many children would miss it so you whip out a math review game or have your class try a useful new app. You and your class are right in the middle of performing a play for several other classes and a student gets a sudden, big nosebleed! You are teaching a math lesson and realize everyone is getting bored and they have that look on their face: "Hey, teacher, we already know this stuff!" or the reverse, you think you had a great lesson planned and it is bombing and you need to stop mid stream and try a totally different strategy. You planned a great science experiment and 2 minutes into it the fire alarm goes off. There are so many reasons you need to be flexible - these are just the first few I thought of. Couldn't you think of enough of your own to write a book?
Now, I am not going to lie, I am notorious for my messy desk (Jodi from the Clutter-Free Classroom would be horrified!) but I do feel like I am pretty organized with just about everything else. Organization isn't all about papers and math manipulatives though - it is being organized when you are trying to schedule 22 parent teacher conferences, staying organized with your schedule and lesson plans when there is a last minute assembly or a snow day (see flexibility above for these, too!). Being organized enough to help your students stay organized too is important. Of course, all those papers.... do you feel like you are drowning in them? Think about how hard it would be to teach if you really, really struggled with organization in all areas. Yikes!
I know I am preaching to the choir, but despite what some think, this is no job where the school day ends at 3pm and you have the whole rest of the day free and 3 months off in the summer!
And as far as going home at 3 footloose and
fancy free, isn't this more realistic?
Teachers work their behinds off and if you are aiming to be the best you can be for your students, you work while you eat lunch, work when you wake up in the morning, work when you should be sleeping, and maybe
even work while you are sleeping if you are tired enough!
This goes for every teacher, but if you can muster up a lot of patience, you can do your job even better. Some days it is easier said than done, right? I don't know how those of you who teach middle shcool and high school do it, for ecample. I don't think I could have the patience for some of what you do, whereas I know some of you say the same about elementary school teachers. Patience is a virtue, right? I know I had plenty of teachers who had a lot of it for my classmates and me, so I try to have as much patience as I can every day.
So what do you think are your 5 qualities of top teachers? Don't be shy! Comment below and let me know.
I hope your week is off to a great start!