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New Teachers

Setting Teachers Apart

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Hannah Happ Hannah Happ 310 Points

Hello! My name is Hannah and I am a pre-service secondary science teacher at Wartburg College. In my science methods class at Wartburg, we talk about different ways teachers can become great. I was really wondering what sets the good teachers apart from the great teachers. Is it the teachers that write their own curriculum or the teachers that perform labs regularly? Please share your insights on what you believe sets the good teachers and the great teachers apart! 

Mary Bigelow Mary Bigelow 10275 Points

Hi Hannah! This is really a thought-provoking question! I think that teachers don't start on Day 1 as 'great', and I've never seen a rubric to assess 'greatness.' Writing curriculum and doing lab investigations are certainly important components of science teaching, but in my experience the characteristics of great teachers relate to their unrelenting passion for what they do -- caring about their students, respect for students and their learning--treating them fairly and allowing them to explore and make mistakes, respect for their colleagues and being willing to learn from them, a passion for their subject area(s) and a commitment to continuous personal learning, focusing on big ideas rather than trivia, reflecting daily on the teaching and learning processes, being able to communicate effectively, going beyond the written curriculum to allow students to pursue their own interests, having a knowledge of the role that schools play in society, and I could go on. Developing this passion is an evolving process. Being a great teacher is not something you do or are, it's something you strive for. I'd love to hear what others say! -- Mary B

Timothy Nikoley Timothy Nikoley 30 Points

Hmm, If I had to say what would cause a teacher to be great instead of a 'normal' teacher, it would be the teacher who can connect with the students to stimulate their interest in the topic. 

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