I read an article recently titled What Makes a Great Teacher, orignally published in The Atlantic about a year ago. It dives deep into the research Teach for America has completed over the past several years in an attempt to highlight the qualities and skills needed to be a great teacher. I highly suggest you read it, not only to think about education but also because I think the characteristics of great teachers are necessary for many other things in life.
The characteristic that stands out the most to me is the one of reevaluation, one where teachers constantly assess their own performance and make an effort to improve. To me this is the umbrella which every other excellent quality falls under. If you don’t believe me, take a look at #edchat on Tuesday and notice how many educators are discussing changing a part of their practice or asking a question about how to improve their pedagogy. So many excellent teachers constantly reevaluate and change their teaching practices not only to stay relevant to the new generation of students they are teaching but also to continue being engaged in their jobs and make them more meaningful.
I’d like to think about what the catalysts for change in the classroom are. There are a few things I’ve been wondering and hoping that our readers can share their knowledge about,
- Teachers, do you need to wait to get a result on a class quiz or to grade a paper before seeing that a student might not have mastered material?
- How fast are you able to diagnose the comprehension of a whole classroom full of students?
- What tools do you use to track student comprehension and diagnose the issue?
- Parents, how do you keep on top of what your child is learning and making sure he or she is digesting knowledge to the best of his or her ability? What actions do you take when you think help is needed?