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by Melissa Kelly

Updated October 07, 2017

Teaching can be a demanding profession. There are times when students can seem uninterested in
learning and disruptive to the classroom environment. There are plenty of studies and educational
strategies for improving student behavior. But personal experience may be the best way to show how
to turn a difficult student into a dedicated pupil. I had such and experience -- one where I was able to
help change a student with major behavioral issues into a learning success story.

If I asked you to tell me what you remembered most about your favorite teacher
growing up, I bet you wouldn’t say much about the subject matter. Instead, I’d
expect you to describe how he or she made you feel as you learned that subject
matter—the sense of excitement or discovery you felt, or the safety to take
chances and make mistakes, or the confidence that you were valued as a human
being, warts and all.

According to research, few factors in education have a greater impact on a

student’s educational experience than a caring relationship with his or her

© Jim Cummins/Corbis

One researcher described it this way: Imagine two teachers teaching the same
lesson on poetic construction. One is very impatient with students and the other
supportive. Knowing only that, we can probably guess which students learned
the lesson better.
Science has found that students who have caring relationships with teachers are
academically more successful and show greater “pro-social” (or kind, helpful)
behavior. A caring teacher can transform the school experience especially for
students who face enormous difficulties, such as dropping out or dysfunctional
home lives. One student who faced these kinds of hardships told
a researcher that the greatest thing a teacher can do is to care and to
understand. “Because if not,” he said, “the kid will say, ‘Oh, they’re giving up on
me, so I might as well give up on myself.’”
Fortunately, research has identified practical tips for teachers to help them build
caring relationships with students. Here are some of the tips I find most

1) Get to know your students and the lives they live. This is especially
important if your students are from a different cultural or socio-economic
background than you. Numerous studies have shown that cultural
misunderstanding between teachers and students can have a hugely negative
impact on students’ educational experience. But research has also shown that
teachers who visit students’ homes and spend time in their communities develop
a deep awareness of students’ challenges and needs and are better able to help
If your time is limited, then ask students to complete an “interest inventory,”
which can be as simple as having students write down their five favorite things to
do. Their responses will give you ideas for making the curriculum more relevant
to their lives—a sure method for letting students know you care about them.

2) Actively listen to students. A teacher who actively listens to students is

listening for the meaning behind what students are saying, then checks in with
them to make sure they’ve understood properly. This affirms students’ dignity
and helps develop a trusting relationship between teachers and students.
If the chaos of the classroom doesn’t allow you to give this kind of focused
listening to a student who really needs it, then set a time to talk when there are
fewer distractions.

3) Ask students for feedback. Choose any topic—it doesn’t have to be

academic—and have students write down, in a couple of sentences, what
confuses or concerns them most about the topic. By considering their feedback,
you are showing students that you value their opinions and experiences. It also
creates a classroom culture where students feel safe to ask questions and take
chances, which will help them grow academically.
4) Reflect on your own experience with care. Oftentimes, we unconsciously
care for others the way we have been cared for—for better or worse. When
one researcher interviewed four different teachers at the same school who all
shared one particular student, she found that each teacher cared for the student
in the way she had been cared for as a child. It didn’t even occur to the teachers
to ask the parents—or the child himself—what the child’s needs might be.
Instead, they made assumptions about the child’s background based on their
own childhoods; as a result, the child received four different types of care—which
may not necessarily have been appropriate to his/her needs.
Reflecting on how you were cared for or not cared for as a child will give you
insight into the kind of care you might be extending to your students, and allow
you to adjust your care to fit their needs.

As teachers, we often don’t realize how even the smallest caring gesture can
have a huge impact on our students. As evidence, I’d like to share the story of
Sam, a high school student from south central Los Angeles who had transferred
high schools three times before being interviewed by researchers for a study.
After years of feeling uncared for in school, Sam was very surprised when he
received a phone call at home from his current school’s office, wanting to know
why he was absent that day. His other schools, he said, never called to check on
him. A small act of caring—but here’s how Sam said it made him feel:

When they call my house if I’m not here, they’re real friendly. My
auntie has an answering machine, and sometimes I’ll hear a
voice start to leave a message like ‘Hi Sam. If you’re there,
we’re wondering why you’re not in school today…’ If I hear that,
I pick up the phone and explain why I’m not there. And they
believe me.They trust me, so I trust them.

Motivating Student
One of the most difficult aspects of becoming a teacher is learning how to motivate your students. It is
also one of the most important. Students who are not motivated will not learn effectively. They won’t
retain information, they won’t participate and some of them may even become disruptive. A student
may be unmotivated for a variety of reasons: They may feel that they have no interest in the subject,
find the teacher’s methods un-engaging or be distracted by external forces. It may even come to light
that a student who appeared unmotivated actually has difficulty learning and is need of special

While motivating students can be a difficult task, the rewards are more than worth it. Motivated
students are more excited to learn and participate. Simply put: Teaching a class full of motivated
students is enjoyable for teacher and student alike. Some students are self-motivated, with a natural
love of learning. But even with the students who do not have this natural drive, a great teacher can
make learning fun and inspire them to reach their full potential.

Here are five effective ways to get your students excited about learning:

1. Encourage Students
Students look to teachers for approval and positive reinforcement, and are more likely to be
enthusiastic about learning if they feel their work is recognized and valued. You should encourage
open communication and free thinking with your students to make them feel important. Be
enthusiastic. Praise your students often. Recognize them for their contributions. If your classroom is a
friendly place where students feel heard and respected, they will be more eager to learn. A “good job”
or “nice work” can go a long way.

2. Get Them Involved

One way to encourage students and teach them responsibility is to get them involved in the
classroom. Make participating fun by giving each student a job to do. Give students the responsibility
of tidying up or decorating the classroom. Assign a student to erase the blackboard or pass out
materials. If you are going over a reading in class, ask students to take turns reading sections out
loud. Make students work in groups and assign each a task or role. Giving students a sense of
ownership allows them to feel accomplished and encourages active participation in class.

3. Offer Incentives
Setting expectations and making reasonable demands encourages students to participate, but
sometimes students need an extra push in the right direction. Offering students small incentives
makes learning fun and motivates students to push themselves. Incentives can range from small to
large giving a special privilege to an exemplary student, to a class pizza party if the average test
score rises. Rewards give students a sense of accomplishment and encourage them to work with a
goal in mind.

4. Get Creative
Avoid monotony by changing around the structure of your class. Teach through games and
discussions instead of lectures, encourage students to debate and enrich the subject matter with
visual aids, like colorful charts, diagrams and videos. You can even show a movie that effectively
illustrates a topic or theme. Your physical classroom should never be boring: use posters, models,
student projects and seasonal themes to decorate your classroom, and create a warm, stimulating

5. Draw Connections to Real Life

“When will I ever need this?” This question, too often heard in the classroom, indicates that a student
is not engaged. If a student does not believe that what they’re learning is important, they won’t want
to learn, so it’s important to demonstrate how the subject relates to them. If you’re teaching algebra,
take some time to research how it is utilized practically for example, in engineering and share your
findings with your students. Really amaze them by telling them that they may use it in their career.
Showing them that a subject is used everyday by “real” people gives it new importance. They may
never be excited about algebra but if they see how it applies to them, they may be motivated to learn

1. The Desire Method
The reason it’s so hard for teachers to grab their students attention is because most
teachers make the classic’About A Topic’ mistake. The’About A Topic’ mistake is when
you teach’About A Topic’. Whether it’s American History, Chemistry, or any other topic
you could possible think of, when you talk’About’ it, you lose people’s attention.

The solution is not to teach’About A Topic’ but instead to teach’For The Student’. Meaning, the Student
needs to immediately feel the benefit of the content you are teaching. When you show a benefit, you
create desire. And where there’s desire, you guessed it, you hold attention.

Here’s a quick start to use the Desire Method. As you know, the absolute most important part of effective
teaching is how you start. If you begin the wrong way, it’s near impossible to get your student’s attention
back. Never start with a typical’Welcome’ or’Here’s what we’re going to learn today’ (classic’AAT’
Mistake). Instead, begin your content withHeadlines and with Hooks.

A Headline is a Promise. What can your content promise your students? If you delve into
your students minds, you’ll discover exactly how they want to learn, and, trust us, they’re
hungry for wisdom. But they need to see how your content is a benefit for them. For
example, learning about the American Revolution could show them how to be an effective
leader, how to bring about a movement of change, the principles of starting something
new (whether it’s a company or a country or an app), etc. Or, the better a student is at
Mathematics (whether it’s 4th grade math or advanced geometry) the better they’ll be able
to Code (which is all about math and algorithms) and create innovative businesses and

2. Feel The Pain

The second best effective teaching tip is to have students feel the pain of missing this
benefit. Notice also how I began this post. I clearly framed a painful situation many
teachers face in terms of desperately trying to get the attention of their class. After I gave
the Headline with a Hook, you were drawn closer in because of the painful scenario.

The pain is always the emphasis of lack. So if the benefit is Attention, the lack of Attention
is the pain. Think about it this way: If your students are LACKING the content they’re
about to learn, what impact would that have? How does NOT knowing your content
ultimately hurt their future success?

The best form of pain is proof and/or giving a specific example. If Steve Jobs had
mastered the leadership secrets of George Washington would he have been fired from
Apple? Who are people you know who were worse off because they lacked the knowledge
you’re about to gain?

3. The Preview Strategy: How To CreateAnticipation For Your

Here’s a brilliant effective teaching strategy for you: Create anticipation for your

Most teachers start the year by saying something general like, “This year is going to be
great, you’re going to learn all about….” – classic AAT mistake. Instead, build up the
benefit, value, pain, lack and top it off with a Preview: “…but you’ll only learn the 4 secrets
to George Washington’s Leadership Success in a few months…”

Did you feel that? Now your students CAN’T learn something? They can’t have something
they WANT right now? Super powerful, 100% attention hacker gold.

Think Hollywood. They never just release a movie, it’s against attention hacking DNA.
Every movie ever released from Hollywood is first launched with a Preview. You go to see
a movie and before that movie begins – you’re shown 5 movies that are’Coming Soon’.
Then you see the Preview again on TV or YouTube and you can’t wait for it to come out
because of all the anticipation they created for you.

4. A Wild Secret for Effective Teaching: Teach with VAK

Here’s something you already know: There are 3 main types of learners – Visual, Audio,
and Kinesthetic. To really master effective teaching, notice which type your students are.

Visual is seeing the material, Audio is hearing the material, and Kinesthetic is feeling the
material. Meaning, the optimal learning environment is NOT to sit passively waiting for a
lecture to end. The IDEAL learning environment is when the Student sees, hears, and
feels the material themselves.

That’s why making animated videos and presentations has become such a popular new
medium of effective teaching recently. Animated videos hit the Audio and Visual, and
when the Student creates one themselves, it hits the Kinesthetic type too.


Filipinos are known to be competitive in the international community. However, our current education system
hinders us from becoming even more competitive.

Starting in the 2012-2013 school year, the education system of the Philippines was enhanced from the ten years of
basic education to a 12-year program through an initiative called the K-12 Education Plan sponsored by the
Department of Education.
The implementation of the K-12 plan in the Philippine Basic Education Curriculum is the key to our nation’s
development. Though the government faces many problems as it implements the program over the course of
several years, it is a necessary improvement since increasing the quality of our education is critical to our nation's
See below some ways that the K-12 education plan will be beneficial for the Philippines according to Isagani Cruz
(2010) in one of his columns in a local newspaper.

Reasons for the K-12 Education System

1. Sufficient Instructional Time
With K-12 education, students will have sufficient instructional time for subject-related tasks, making them more
prepared in every subject area. With the old system, Filipino students were consistently behind on achievement
In 2008, for instance, international test results revealed that Filipinos were behind compared to other countries when
we finished dead last in math.

2. More Skilled and Competent Labor Force

Another reason to support K-12 education is because the graduates of this program will be more prepared to enter
the labor force. High school graduates of the 10-year curriculum were not yet employable since they were not
competent or well–equipped enough for the workplace.

In addition, high school graduates of the 10-year curriculum are not yet 18. With the new curriculum, senior high
school students can specialize in a field that they are good at and interested in. As a result, upon graduation they
will have the specific job-related skills they need even without a college degree. When they graduate from high
school, these young people will be 18 and employable, adding to the nation’s manpower.

3. Recognition as Professionals Abroad

Finally, with K-12 education, Filipino graduates will be automatically recognized as professionals abroad because
we are following the international education standard as practiced by all nations.

There will be no need to study again and spend more money in order to qualify for international standards. With a K-
12 education, Filipino professionals who aspire to work abroad will not have a hard time getting jobs in their chosen
field. Furthermore, they will be able to help their families in the Philippines more with remittances, property
purchase, and small businesses.

K-12 Education Will Help Filipinos Gain a Competitive Edge

Though Filipinos are known to be competitive in the international community, our current education system hinders
us in becoming more competitive among other countries. The K-12 education plan offers a solution to that problem.
However, it is undeniable that there will be problems that arise as we implement the program, which could include a
lack of budget, classrooms, school supplies, and teachers. That said, the long-term effects of K-12 education will be
very beneficial to us Filipinos.
Therefore, we must support the K-12 educational plan to help improve our educational system and our economy.
Remember that change in our society starts with education.

Morality is antecedent to ethics: it denotes those concrete activities of which ethics is the science. It may be
defined as human conduct in so far as it is freely subordinated to the ideal of what is right and fitting.

Some people argue that ethics cannot be taught—you're either ethical or you're not. We beg to differ,

especially in the area of professional ethics. We're not saying we can turn a psychopath into an angel, but we

can certainly make new professionals aware of the ethical culture they are entering.

The relation of morality to religion has been a subject of keen debate during the past century. In much recent

ethical philosophy it is strenuously maintained that right moral action is altogether independent of religion.

Such is the teaching alike of the Evolutionary, Positivist, and Idealist schools. And an active propaganda is

being carried on with a view to the general substitution of this independent morality for morality based on the
beliefs of Theism. On the other hand, the Church has ever affirmed that the two are essentially connected, and

that apart from religion the observance of the moral law is impossible. This, indeed, follows as a necessary
consequence from the Church's teaching as to the nature of morality. It is admitted that the moral law is

knowable to reason: for the due regulation of our free actions, in which morality consists, is simply their right
ordering with a view to the perfecting of our rational nature.

What constitutes moral education is not always clear, a fact that is at the root of some of the conflict. In fields

such as mathematics or physics, there are generally no problems, but the issue becomes murkier in literature,

history and sociology. Discussing a book with a moral lesson in it in a literature class is not the same thing as

advocating that moral lesson, but the distinction is not always clear. In science, the conflict over teaching
evolution vs. creationism has been couched in moral and ethical terms.

3.0 Role of a Teachers as a Moral Educator

Teaching is not more of a profession but a CALLING, where one is given power to pass not only knowledge
but skills and right attitudes. This section closely examines different roles of a teacher as a moral educator.

3.1 Teacher a role model who sets Good Example

Teachers must educate their students on the importance of selecting the appropriate company. They must also

show excellent example to the learners. It is often said that morality is fostered by good example. It is also said

that evil is fostered by bad example. There is an intuition here that children are strongly influenced by the

company they keep. There is also interjected into this discourse the idea that children can rise above their

surroundings. This is usually said to children who cannot avoid bad company, as it were. What is implicit in all

of this is the belief that a moral point of view, or lack thereof, is mediated through social influences. There is
nothing astounding here, except that teachers tend to forget the effects of normative influence.

3.2 Teacher as a counselor who offers Advise

In some working-class families, one of the influences on moral education is the television which interacts with

the children more even than do their parents or teachers (Sullivan, 1980). Though parenting plays a significant

role in the legitimation of culture, it now has a contender in television. For example, before a child reaches the

age of 20 in this country, he or she will have seen 350,000 television commercials. The average child, it is
estimated, will have seen 20,000 commercial messages each year or more than three hours of television
advertising a week (Sullivan, 1980). One might say that children keep a good deal of company with the ethos of
consumption, for television is a mirror of commodity culture (Sullivan, 1980).

When compared with parents and schools, the mass media--that is, newsprint, comics, radio, and television are,

at the same time, more anonymous and democratic. As opposed to parents, who concentrate their efforts on

their own children and possibly their neighbors', the mass media are directed to a wider range of people, but

with patently more utilitarian motives. In essence, the media are supported by modern advertising, whose main

message is to sell products as commodities to people on a large scale as the correlate of mass production. It can
be seen in some of the early advertising journals that the media were to conflict with the family.

The socially constructed nature of television makes it more of a private event, even though the viewer-listener is

receiving communications. A morally responsible actor is not a private actor. As I have already said, a human

act is an expression which has as one of its distinguishing characteristics, significance. Significance implies that

moral action has a public nature. Besides this, television and other media perpetuate pornography and teachers
must be on the look out to warn their children against learning immoral acts from them.

3.3 Forming a Caring Environment

Character formation begins with a caring relationship, first in the home and then at school. Teachers create a

basis for children through encouraging caring relationships in schools that bridge from adult to child through

which mutual influence can occur (Chein, 1972). Any child who is being cared for will likely care for others

and will engage as a citizen in the moral life of the community. The quality of early teacher-student
relationships can have a strong influence on academic and social outcomes that persist through eighth grade

(Chein, 1972). Teaching styles that conform to dimensions of effective parenting were a significant predictor of

students' academic goals, interest in school, and mastery learning orientation. In particular, teachers who have

high expectations tend to have students who get better grades but who also pursue prosaical goals, take

responsibility, and show a commitment to mastery learning. Conversely, teachers who are harshly critical and

are perceived to be unfair have students who do not act responsibly with respect to classroom rules and
academic goals.

Caring schools and classrooms provide multiple benefits for students. Caring school climates encourage social

and emotional bonding and promote positive interpersonal experiences, providing the minimum grounding
necessary for the formation of character (Gramsci, 1971). Moreover, in schools with a strong indication of

communal organization, less student misconduct is noted (Gramsci, 1971) and rates of drug use and

delinquency are lower (Gramsci, 1971). Student attachment or bonding to school improves school motivation

(Gramsci, 1971) and discourages delinquency (Welsh, Greene, &Jenkins, 1999) and victimization of teachers

and students (Gramsci, 1971). Schools characterized by a strong sense of community report decreased discipline

problems and less drug use, delinquency, and bullying; conversely, they also report higher attendance and
improvements in academic performance (see Lapsley & Narvaez, 2006, for a review).

3.4 Developing Social and Emotional Skills

Another best practice among teachers as a way of teaching morals to children is enhancing learners’ social and

emotional skill development. Social and emotional skills are crucial to school success. Recent research suggests

that emotional intelligence has more bearing on life and school outcomes than does academic intelligence

(Kavanaugh, 1983) stated, social and emotional learning programs pave the way for better academic learning.

They teach children social and emotional skills that are intimately linked with cognitive development. Social

and emotional skills facilitate everyday life, affecting relationships and school achievement-skills in
communication, conflict resolution, decision making, and cooperation (Kavanaugh, 1983).

A substantial body of literature indicates that teachers employ programs that address social and emotional

competencies and which are effective in preventing problem behaviors (Taylor 1964), including drug use

(Kavanaugh, 1983) and violence (Kavanaugh, 1983). Social and emotional learning is also a strong predictor of

future children moral outcomes (Taylor 1964). One study demonstrated, for example, that indices of social
competence were better predictors of academic achievement.

3.5 Teaching for Expertise and Perfection

This is a perfect tool for teaching morals among the children that teachers call to task and should continue to.

Teaching for expertise involves direct instruction through role modeling, expert demonstration, and thinking

aloud (Sternberg, 1998), focusing attention on ethical aspects of situations and expressing the importance of

ethical behavior. It also requires indirect instruction through immersion in environments where skills and
procedures can be practiced extensively (Taylor 196).
Immersion in Examples and Opportunities (E & O), the student sees prototypes of the behavior to be learned

and begins to attend to the big picture, learning to recognize basic patterns. The teacher plunges students into

multiple, engaging activities. Students learn to recognize broad patterns in the domain (identification
knowledge). They develop gradual awareness and recognition of elements in the domain.

Attention to Facts and Skills (F & S), the student learns to focus on detail and prototypical examples, building a

knowledge base. The teacher focuses the student's attention on the elemental concepts in the domain in order to

build elaboration knowledge. Skills are gradually acquired through motivated, focused attention. In Practice

Procedures (P & P), the student learns to set goals, plan steps of problem solving, and practice skills. The

teacher coaches the student and allows the student to try out many skills and ideas throughout the domain in

order to build an understanding of how these relate and how best to solve problems in the domain (planning
knowledge). Skills are developed through practice and exploration.

Integrate Knowledge and Procedures (K & P), the student executes plans and solves problems. The student

finds numerous mentors or seeks out information to continue building concepts and skills. A gradual systematic

integration and application of skills occurs across many situations. The student learns how to take the steps in

solving complex domain problems (execution knowledge). This set of novice-to-expert levels of teaching come
in handy in modeling children morally.

3.6 Teaching Self-Regulation and Development

Teachers must ensure that their students learn to use their skills independently. Individuals can be coached not
only in skills and expertise but also in domain-specific self-efficacy and self-regulation (Chein, 1972).). The

most successful students learn to monitor the effectiveness of the strategies they use to solve problems and,

when necessary, alter their strategies for success (Taylor, 1964). According to Taylor(1964) self-regulation is

acquired in stages; these resemble the processes learning in the zone of proximal development. First, the child

vicariously induces the skill by observing a model. Secondly, the child imitates the model with assistance.

Thirdly, the child independently displays the skill under structured conditions. Finally, the child is able to use
the skill across changing situations and demands.

Teachers should understand their roles as facilitators of student self-development. Able learners have good self-

regulatory skills for learning, (Chein, 1972). Teachers have a chance to help students develop the attitudes and
skills necessary for the journey toward their future. This is true for moral character as well. As in any domain,

moral character skills must be practiced in order to be developed. Teachers must be oriented to providing good

practice opportunities for students. For example, if students do not get practice in helping others, they are less
likely to do it independently when the occasion arises (Chein, 1972).

With adult coaching, each student can monitor ethical skill development and hone a particular set of morals.

Once developed, virtues must be maintained through the selection of appropriate friends and environments
(Aristotle, 1988). Virtuous individuals are autonomous enough to monitor their behavior and choices.

4.0 Conclusion

In summary, the paper provides a functional view of what direction a teacher can take in deliberately fostering

moral character of the children. First, teacher educators point out the importance of establishing a respectful and

caring relationship with students, helping teachers understand and practice different ways to do this. This is

accompanied by helping teachers learn how to establish a supportive classroom climate, which is important for

achievement and ethical character development. Secondly, teachers help their students identify the ethical skills

that support academic and social success, guiding them to understand ways to use them during the school day in

academic and non-academic lessons. Thirdly, teachers must learn and instill on their children how to cultivate

expertise in students not only in their academic discipline, but also for an ethical social life. Fourthly, in subject

matter and in social life, teachers assist their learners develop techniques to help them foster self-regulation and

Student moral development is both implicit and inevitable in standard educational practice. The challenge

facing teachers and teacher educators is whether to allow moral formation to occur opportunistically-letting

students learn what they will, for good or bad, come what may-or to foster an intentional, transparent, and

deliberative approach that seriously considers the moral dimensions of teaching and schooling. Two teacher

education strategies are encouraged in schools. The minimalist strategy requires teachers to make explicit the

hidden moral education curriculum and to encourage their students to see the moral character outcomes that are

immanent to best practice moral instruction. The maximalist strategy requires that teachers learn a toolkit of
pedagogical skills that targets moral character education as an explicit curricular goal. It is important to know

that when teachers are intentional and wise in praxis, they provide students with a deliberative, positive
influence on their individual and group characters.

by Derrick Meador
Updated May 13, 2017

Effective teacher to teacher communication is vitally essential to your success as a teacher. Regular
collaboration and team planning sessions are extremely valuable. Engaging in these practices has a
positive impact on teacher effectiveness. Education is a highly difficult concept for those outside the
field to understand. Having peers that you can collaborate with and lean on during tough times is

If you find yourself in isolation and/or always having a conflict with your peers, then there is a
reasonable chance that you may need to make some changes yourself.

Seven things to avoid when trying to build positive relationships with faculty and
staff members at school:

1. Do not talk about or discuss your co-workers with your students. It undermines the authority
of that teacher and additionally taints your credibility.
2. Do not engage in conversation or discuss your co-workers with a parent. Doing so is
unprofessional at best and will create significant problems.
3. Do not talk about or discuss your co-worker with other co-workers. It creates an atmosphere of
divisiveness, mistrust, and animosity.
4. Do not isolate yourself on a regular basis. It is not a healthy practice. It serves as a hindrance
to your overall growth as a teacher.
5. Avoid being confrontational or combative. Be professional. You may disagree with someone
engaging them inappropriately is juvenile at best which undermines your role as a teacher.

1. Avoid starting, spreading, or discussing gossip and hearsay about parents, students, and/or co-
workers. Gossip has no place in a school and will create long-term problems.
2. Avoid being critical of your co-workers. Build them up, encourage them, offer constructive
criticism, but never criticize how they do things. It will do more harm than good.

Eleven things to keep in mind when trying to build positive relationshipswith faculty
and staff members at school:

1. Encourage and show kindness and humility -- Never let an opportunity to show
kindness or encouragement to others to pass. Praise exemplary work, regardless of the person
that did it. Sometimes you can turn even the most hardened of your fellow workers into real
softies once they realize that you are not afraid to compliment them or give encouraging words,
despite how they may perceive you ordinarily. At the same time, when giving criticism, do it
helpfully and gently, never spitefully. Show concern for another's feelings and well being. You
will benefit immensely from even the smallest kindness shown.
2. Be happy – Every day you go to work, you need to make a choice to be happy. Making a
choice to be happy on a day to day basis will make people around you more comfortable on a
day to day basis. Don’t dwell on negatives and maintain a positive attitude.
3. Refuse to engage in gossip or hearsay -- Don't allow gossip to rule your life. In the
workplace, morale is vitally essential. Gossip will tear apart a staff faster than anything else. Do
not engage in it and nip it in the bud when it is presented to you.

1. Let the water roll off your back –Don’t let negative things said about you get under your
skin. Know whom you are and believe in yourself. Most people that talk negatively about other
people do so out of ignorance. Let your actions determine how others see you, and they will not
believe the negative things said.
2. Collaborate with your peers – Collaboration is vitally essential among teachers. Don’t be
afraid to offer constructive criticism and advice with a take it or leave it approach. Also of equal
importance, don’t be afraid to ask questions or to ask for help in your classroom. Too many
teachers think this is a weakness when it is truly a strength. Finally, master teachers share
ideas with others. This profession is truly about what is best for the students. If you have a
brilliant idea that you believe in, then share it with those around you.

1. Watch what you say to people -- How you say something counts for just as much as what
you say. Tone does matter. When confronted with a difficult situation, always say less than you
think. Holding your tongue in a difficult situation will make it easier for you in the long run
because it will create confidence among others in your ability to handle a similar situation.
2. If you make a promise, you better be prepared to keep it -- If you intend to make
promises, you had better be prepared to keep them, no matter what the cost. You will lose the
respect of your peers quicker than it took you to gain it by breaking promises. When you tell
someone that you intend to do something, it is your responsibility to see to it that you follow
3. Learn about others’ outside interests -- Find a common interest that you have with
others (e.g. grandchildren, sports, movies, etc.) and spark a conversation. Having caring
attitude will build trust and confidence in others. When others are joyful, rejoice with them;
when troubled or in mourning, be sympathetic. Make sure each person around you knows that
you value them and know that they are important.
4. Be open-minded -- Do not get into arguments. Discuss things with people rather than argue.
Being combative or disagreeable is likely to put others off. If you don’t agree with something,
think your response through and don’t be argumentative or judgmental in what you say.
5. Understand that some peoples’ feelings are hurt easier than others -– Humor can
bring people together, but it can also tear people apart. Before you tease or joke with a person,
make sure you know how they are going to take it. Everyone is different in this aspect. Take
into account another person's feelings before you poke fun.

1. Don’t worry about accolades -- Do your best. It's the best you can do. Let others see your
work ethic, and you will be able to take pride and pleasure in a job well done.

The top benefit of teaching is the difference you make in the lives of your students. While there are plenty of challenges,
the days where your lesson goes better than planned, a student proclaims you the best teacher of all time, or you
witnessed a struggling student have an “a-ha moment” after your special demonstration, will leave you feeling like
teaching isn’t work – it’s a rewarding passion.

Even the most difficult day of teaching will provide you with some positive experiences. You can be confident knowing
you have chosen a career that truly helps others. In the words of former first lady, Laura Bush, “my advice is simple:
become a teacher…The challenges of teaching are outnumbered only by the rewards that come from helping children
realize their dreams.”

Teachers who love young children enjoy seeing the world from their perspective every day. Instilling a love of learning
into a child’s life or making him feel valued are priceless benefits of teaching.
Secondary teachers have the opportunity to teach in the field of their interest. You can continue to learn about your
passion as you inspire your students. Teachers at the secondary level can take advantage of the idealist views of youth
and provide lessons that carry lifelong meaning.

With creativity and the right outlook, the job never becomes boring. Even if you teach freshman English seven times a
day, each class of students is different and offers a new experience. Each day brings its own challenges and rewards.
Furthermore, teaching is a job that can never truly be mastered. There are always new methods to learn and try, new
technology to integrate, and more information to learn about the subjects you teach. Opportunities for professional
development and increased education are readily available. Learning never stops in the field of education.

The job schedule of teachers can be a major advantage. Even when the extra hours outside the required workday are
calculated, teachers on average work hundreds of hours less than typical professionals. A work day from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.
leaves time to have an enjoyable evening. In addition, teachers have the coveted two to three month summer vacation,
in addition to winter and spring breaks, which provide time to spend with family and friends, travel, take a cool summer
job, pursue other interests, further one’s education, and recharge for another school year.

Also, the schedule works well for raising children. Once they are school age, teachers have the same schedule as their
children, which make them available for after school events and snow days.

While the pay is not six figures, teachers do earn a steady income. With yearly increases, contracted raises, and
increases from furthered education, a teacher’s salary continually climbs. Not to mention, it is rewarding to receive
paychecks all summer long while on vacation. In addition to the salary, teachers typically have excellent health care and
retirement packages that add value to the job.


I really appreciate teachers who are truly passionate about teaching. The teacher who
wants to be an inspiration to others. The teacher who is happy with his/her job at all times.
The teacher who every child in the school would love to have. The teacher kids remember
for the rest of their lives. Are you that teacher? Read on and learn 11 effective habits of an
effective teacher.

1. Enjoys Teaching

Teaching is meant to be a very enjoyable and rewarding career field (although demanding
and exhausting at times!). You should only become a teacher if you love children and
intend on caring for them with your heart. You cannot expect the kids to have fun if you
are not having fun with them! If you only read the instructions out of a textbook, it's
ineffective. Instead, make your lessons come alive by making it as interactive and
engaging as possible. Let your passion for teaching shine through each and everyday.
Enjoy every teaching moment to the fullest.

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2. Makes a Difference

There is a saying, "With great power, comes great responsibility". As a teacher, you need
to be aware and remember the great responsibility that comes with your profession. One
of your goals ought to be: Make a difference in their lives. How? Make them feel special,
safe and secure when they are in your classroom. Be the positive influence in their lives.
Why? You never know what your students went through before entering your classroom
on a particular day or what conditions they are going home to after your class. So, just in
case they are not getting enough support from home, at least you will make a difference
and provide that to them.

3. Spreads Positivity

Bring positive energy into the classroom every single day. You have a beautiful smile so
don't forget to flash it as much as possible throughout the day. I know that you face battles
of your own in your personal life but once you enter that classroom, you should leave all of
it behind before you step foot in the door. Your students deserve more than for you to take
your frustration out on them. No matter how you are feeling, how much sleep you've
gotten or how frustrated you are, never let that show. Even if you are having a bad day,
learn to put on a mask in front of the students and let them think of you as a superhero (it
will make your day too)! Be someone who is always positive, happy and smiling. Always
remember that positive energy is contagious and it is up to you to spread it. Don't let other
people's negativity bring you down with them.

4. Gets Personal

This is the fun part and absolutely important for being an effective teacher! Get to know
your students and their interests so that you can find ways to connect with them. Don't
forget to also tell them about yours! Also, it is important to get to know their learning styles
so that you can cater to each of them as an individual. In addition, make an effort to get to
know their parents as well. Speaking to the parents should not be looked at as an
obligation but rather, an honour. In the beginning of the school year, make it known that
they can come to you about anything at anytime of the year. In addition, try to get to know
your colleagues on a personal level as well. You will be much happier if you can find a
strong support network in and outside of school.

5. Gives 100%

Whether you are delivering a lesson, writing report cards or offering support to a colleague
- give 100%. Do your job for the love of teaching and not because you feel obligated to do
it. Do it for self-growth. Do it to inspire others. Do it so that your students will get the most
out of what you are teaching them. Give 100% for yourself, students, parents, school and
everyone who believes in you. Never give up and try your best - that's all that you can do.
(That's what I tell the kids anyway!)

6. Stays Organized

Never fall behind on the marking or filing of students' work. Try your best to be on top of it
and not let the pile grow past your head! It will save you a lot of time in the long run. It is
also important to keep an organized planner and plan ahead! The likelihood of last minute
lesson plans being effective are slim. Lastly, keep a journal handy and jot down your ideas
as soon as an inspired idea forms in your mind. Then, make a plan to put those ideas in

7. Is Open-Minded

As a teacher, there are going to be times where you will be observed formally or informally
(that's also why you should give 100% at all times). You are constantly being evaluated
and criticized by your boss, teachers, parents and even children. Instead of feeling bitter
when somebody has something to say about your teaching, be open-minded when
receiving constructive criticism and form a plan of action. Prove that you are the effective
teacher that you want to be. Nobody is perfect and there is always room for improvement.
Sometimes, others see what you fail to see.

8. Has Standards
Create standards for your students and for yourself. From the beginning, make sure that
they know what is acceptable versus what isn't. For example, remind the students how
you would like work to be completed. Are you the teacher who wants your students to try
their best and hand in their best and neatest work? Or are you the teacher who couldn't
care less? Now remember, you can only expect a lot if you give a lot. As the saying goes,
"Practice what you preach".

9. Finds Inspiration

An effective teacher is one who is creative but that doesn't mean that you have to create
everything from scratch! Find inspiration from as many sources as you can. Whether it
comes from books, education, Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, blogs, TpT or what have
you, keep finding it!

10. Embraces Change

In life, things don't always go according to plan. This is particularly true when it comes to
teaching. Be flexible and go with the flow when change occurs. An effective teacher does
not complain about changes when a new principal arrives. They do not feel the need to
mention how good they had it at their last school or with their last group of students
compared to their current circumstances. Instead of stressing about change, embrace it
with both hands and show that you are capable of hitting every curve ball that comes your

11. Creates Reflection

An effective teacher reflects on their teaching to evolve as a teacher. Think about what
went well and what you would do differently next time. You need to remember that we all
have "failed" lessons from time to time. Instead of looking at it as a failure, think about it as
a lesson and learn from it. As teachers, your education and learning is ongoing. There is
always more to learn and know about in order to strengthen your teaching skills. Keep
reflecting on your work and educating yourself on what you find are your "weaknesses" as
we all have them! The most important part is recognizing them and being able to work on
them to improve your teaching skills.
There are, indeed, several other habits that make an effective teacher but these are the
ones that I find most important. Many other character traits can be tied into these ones as

Last word: There is always something positive to be found in every situation but it is up to
you to find it. Keep your head up and teach happily for the love of education!

Student-Centered Learning: It Starts With the Teacher
Teachers encourage student-centered learning by allowing students to
share in decisions, believing in their capacity to lead, and remembering how
it feels to learn.
By John McCarthy

Have you ever attended a conference session and seen groups of teachers leave in the
middle? It's painful to watch, yet completely understandable. Often, they leave because
the session was not what they expected. Let's be honest: when teachers and/or
administrators attend learning experiences, what is the one non-negotiable expectation --
without which the session is deemed a failure?

Answer: Leaving with skills and strategies that can be used immediately to impact
instruction and work-related responsibilities.

Achieving this goal means understanding what the participants value, and engaging them
in those areas. Effective professional development caters to what teachers think will help
them become more effective. This also applies to their students. The learners may not be
allowed to leave the classroom when the instruction doesn't involve them, but there are
many other ways that they check out.

Student-centered classrooms include students in planning, implementation, and

assessments. Involving the learners in these decisions will place more work on them,
which can be a good thing. Teachers must become comfortable with changing their
leadership style from directive to consultative -- from "Do as I say" to "Based on your
needs, let's co-develop and implement a plan of action."

This first of my three posts on student-centered classrooms starts with the educator. As
the authority, teachers decide if they will "share" power by empowering learners.

Allow Students to Share in Decision Making

Placing students at the center of their own learning requires their collaboration. They need
a voice in why, what, and how learning experiences take shape.

Why is about relevance. Learners need to understand the value of the subject,
vocabulary, and skills before they are willing to invest effort. The answers "It's required
curriculum," "You need it for the test," or "Because I say it's important" are intended to
save time, but they only result in students giving lip service to the rest of instruction.
Showing relevance from students' perspective is similar to teachers experiencing
professional development that is job-embedded.

What is learned involves students choosing the focus of content. Let their interests drive
the content that teaches skills and concepts. For example, when learning how to write
persuasively, some students may want to deconstruct commercials, product reviews, op-
eds, and/or social issue points of view. The best strategy is simply asking what students
want to explore. Start with a brainstorm of what they like to do, and dialog together to
match their interests with the skills and concepts.

How learning will be demonstrated depends on the different ways that students processes
understanding. Offer a variety of product options based on what you know about your
students. A safe approach is to offer three options. The teacher designs two options
based on what most students may like to do. The third choice is a blank check -- students
propose their own product or performance. If a proposal meets the academic
requirements, perhaps with some negotiation, the student gets a green light. Some
examples include using Minecraft to design models and prototypes, presenting through
social media tools, or writing in a professional medium.

Believe in Students' Capacity to Lead

Give students the chance to take charge of activities, even when they may not quite have
all the content skills. Students are accomplished education consumers. The child in third
grade knows three years of teaching and learning, and the high school sophomore has
experienced ten years.

While content increases in complexity, the school environment does not change
dramatically. Students experience math, science, English, and history, plus other subjects,
and interact with education experts (teachers). Veteran students, like experienced
teachers, know what types of learning experiences work best for themselves.

Reduce teacher direct instruction by increasing student-led learning activities. Some

approaches include:

 Interest-based choices

 Interest centers (also applies to middle and high school students)

 Genius Hour

Recognize That Students Are Reflections of Us as Learners

When educators feel that their professional experiences are respected during workshops
and courses, their buy-in and involvement increases. Confidence rises as they understand
how their existing expertise fits into the new concepts being taught.

Children and teens have the same need for curriculum to be presented in a context that's
meaningful to them. They need to understand how their existing talents fit and how they
can confidently apply the skills in a meaningful way to their lives outside of school. Show
real-world relationships where possible in lessons. For a deeper experience, have
students apply the skills in ways that support or enhance their current "real world." This
can be approached in individual lessons or as a unit. For example, Loudoun County
(Virginia) teachers, led by Dr. Eric Williams, launched One to World, which provides
student-centered learning experiences.

Give Up Need for Control

My fifth-grade son shared these words of wisdom regarding school vs. home activities:
"Why do they (teachers) keep talking about the real world out there? This is my real
Children and teens produce volumes of content through social media, such as YouTube,
podcasts, Minecraft, and Twitch. Some earn money in the process. For their passions,
these youths generate a following and join others as they establish and extend social
networks. When these same content authors and entrepreneurs enter schools, all that
they know and can produce is set aside. Yet when they leave school, they collect skills left
outside and reconnect with their real-world networks.

Students bring much to the table that would engage and deepen their learning journey. My
next two posts will delve into empowering learners in a student-centered classroom. The
difficult challenge -- and first step -- is teacher commitment to reflect on practices that
support students taking the lead.

I am a pragmatist, and I believe in simple, systemic solutions. I firmly believe that the true
art/skill/magic/science of teaching is to perfectly match your style with the individual
student's needs. Conceptually, many teachers know this is the right way to teach.
However, it flies in the face of what most teaching professionals practice. In many
classrooms still, students must either adapt to the teacher’s way of teaching or fail.

I often reflect on what we call “teaching” and have come to the brilliant conclusion that it is
less about what the teacher does and all about what students learn. How you approach
teaching all comes down to what you believe about students and what methods you
believe are the best ways to get them to learn. Here is one example of what I believe:

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A shaggy but beautiful stray dog came to our house in the country one day. Our hearts
went out to it, and we decided to help it. My wife and I put out some food, which it ate, but
it refused to let us approach. Every time we tried, it would shy away and stay out of reach.
The bottom line is that, for one reason or another, it did not trust us. Who knows what its
history was? It trusted us enough to eat our food, but that was as far as it went.

I am sure that, given a few weeks, we could have built a relationship of trust with that dog
-- but, unfortunately, it moved on and we haven't seen it since.
Students who come to our classrooms are much like that dog: Unless they trust us, they
are unapproachable.

We earn our students' trust by showing them respect in the form of meaningful,
challenging, and rewarding learning activities that are worthy of their time and best efforts.

Students in their early years of school are naturally trusting, and -- please don't take this
the wrong way -- we abuse that trust in the name of socialization and classroom
management. In essence, we teach them to obey rather than to build confidence to
explore. As students get older, they often trust less and start behaving much like our
shaggy and suspicious visitor. Most students will take what we offer but will not allow a
learning partnership because they do not trust us.

Trust works the other way, too. As teachers, we have learned to distrust our students. All it
takes is one disruptive young person to ruin it for the rest of the students that follow. We
don't want to get burned again, so we tighten the rules and narrow the focus. We develop
an attitude that we can't trust our students to learn independently. Especially in the early
grades, we feel it is our responsibility to control every aspect of their learning activities so
things don't get out of hand, or so they don't make a mess.

We could call this way of thinking the color-between-the-lines syndrome: We like

everything neat and orderly. So, by the time the students get to high school, some know
how to color between the lines, while others drop out because they don't want to.

There is a solution to this: student-directed learning. As the name suggests, student

independence and choice is a central part of it. Teaching is just as much about taking
risks as learning is. A teacher has to take a chance on students and trust them enough to
be independent learners. That can't happen if the teacher is uncomfortable about tailoring
the curriculum to multiple levels of student performance. (Does this sound familiar?) This
lofty goal of differentiated instruction is achievable on many levels, but it is much easier to
reach when teachers work together to help individual students.

Unfortunately, many teachers have tried cooperative groups, inquiry, project

(process/product/performance)-based learning and had a terrible experience. Perhaps the
students did not behave appropriately, or they did not learn, or it was a waste of time. Too
often teachers with this first experience are hesitant to try again. Instead, they fall back on
what they know works — students in straight rows, individual worksheets, slide show
lectures, and direct instruction. If this applies to you, I would urge you to try again (trust
again). I guarantee that each time you try again, it will get better. Students will learn what
to do, they will behave better, and they will appreciate your trust.

As I said earlier, teaching flows from what an educator believes is the best way to teach a
student. That belief is not demonstrated in mission statements and platitudes, but it is
clearly visible in the way teachers set up and run their classrooms and in how they treat
their students. Once a teacher understands the mechanics of the teaching (learning)
cycle, discipline and classroom management take a secondary role and the teacher can
begin to focus on what he or she can do to help each individual student to learn best --
whatever it takes. We have to get beyond socialization and control, and teach students
how to trust themselves to learn in the early grades. Otherwise, we will continue to be
frustrated as we end up trying to teach a bunch of skittish stray dogs for students.

How do you feel about this approach? Please share your thoughts.