Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Thoughts on teaching

Two things that I’ve been mulling over for a few days:

From Chris Lehmann:
“I want our students to be the '21st Century citizen’ in that they understand how to thrive in an ever-changing world. I want them to have the cognitive tools and energy and passion not just to react to the changes around them, but to help to shape those changes.”

And via Joanne Abel from the Oz Teachers mailing list who points to a quote from Bernard Percy:

“What makes a great teacher?

  • They have high standards and expectations that they won't compromise.
  • They dare to dream of truly making a difference in their students' lives.
  • They're the "restless" individuals, innovative thinkers. They don't want to adapt or conform to the world around them, when that world has limited expectations of what a teacher can do or achieve.
  • They challenge students to think differently, innovatively, and not merely adjust to their environment.
  • They're comfortable in a space with motion, action and innovative thinking.
  • They help students find their true purposes; develop their unique, special talents; and ensure they develop certainty in their ability to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams.
  • They create space for students to find and develop belief in their own potential.
  • They create special, positive moments where a student has a realization or experience that positively affects his or her life, forever.
  • They seek the real barriers that prevent students from learning, i.e., helping students learn the skills, gain the knowledge, and develop their abilities to be problem solvers.
  • They never see the child only as a statistic or number, but as worthy of the recognition of his or her own individuality.
  • They strive to put and keep the joy in learning.
  • They're willing to find the magic residing in each child.
  • They're dream makers, not dream breakers.
Technology in the hands of a great teacher becomes a powerful tool to individualize and customize each student's educational program, one that aligns with their true potential, interests, needs and uniqueness. It's a tool that can help students rejoice in what they can and do accomplish.”

JoAnne goes on: I tell the children that I am teaching them ‘how to learn’ so that they can spend the rest of their lives finding out about the things that they love!


  1. Dear Mrs.McLeay,
    I like the list of "What Makes A Great Teacher?" I think that it is very true. I like all the points that you made. You should tell MY teacher those!!!(Hahahaha)
    Chloe, Mr.Brune's class, NY

  2. Chloe,

    It's wonderful to see you here!

    I'm sure Mr Brune already knows many of these points, and that is why you are learning so well as a student.

    There really is a difference between a good teacher and a great teacher, isn't there? I believe so. Lots of teachers should read these points and evaluate these points and evaluate their practice. Oh, dear, that was a run-on sentence!

    Mrs McLeay,

    Good points once more, I do agree with Chloe, as you can see. Would like to discuss the points. Also the 21st century citizen, which Chloe so clearly explicates. And so does Graham Wegner when he talks about his sons and Chicken Little. I think you should read that blog.

  3. From a negative point of view:

    A super teacher doesnt exist in real Life! Or does it?

    An English teacher

    PS:Would you like to exchange link with me?

  4. By exchanging link I mean to put me on the "blogs I read"?If it is worth it!

  5. Excellent article! I do think that type of teacher exists. Just as we never truly "get organized," we never truly "arrive."

    We must always challenge ourselves to be better. We must remind ourselves why we're in teaching. Our passion must remain in the classroom and never on the gadgets we adore. The focus must always be on teaching children more effectively.

    I'm adding you to my blog reading list. You are a very good blogger. Thank you for blogging!

  6. Jo, that list is really something to focus on. I like to think that I aspire to those qualities but the reality is my human flaws interfere. However, I think that the key is to never be fully satisfied with where you are. As soon as you think you've got this caper worked out, it's time to retire because you won't work to improve anymore. And that's not fair to your students. Look forward to more of your posts in 2006. Maybe we'll cross paths f2f at an IWB conference or something - that would be good.
    Hey Bronwyn G, you seem to be around the edublogosphere a bit lately. Thanks for the input and for recommending my blog to Jo - she may have already read it once or twice before. Cheers!