Worth Repeating: Effective Teachers

ImageThis blog was posted three years ago…but the message warrants repeating.  So here you go…

Next Tuesday, we will welcome almost 60,000 students through our school doors and into your classrooms. Each day this week, I will highlight key strategies for kicking off your year in an epic way. Epic? Yes, epic in the sense of surpassing the usual or ordinary. That’s what we do best in Chesterfield County Public Schools — surpass the ordinary!

Let’s start by talking about the importance of you — the effective teacher. As Harry and Rosemary Wong state in The First Days of School: How To Be an Effective Teacher, “the greatest asset of a school is its people.”  While school officially begins the first Tuesday after Labor Day, school does not really begin until a teacher walks into a classroom. What the teacher knows — the content — and what the teacher can do — strategies to engage students in the content — is the most significant factor in student achievement. Many authors detail the characteristics of effective teachers through their research, books and blogs, including the Wongs, Annette Breaux, Todd Whitaker, Anne Reeves, James Stronge, Debra Pickering and Robert Marzano.

Today’s blog focuses on what I believe are important characteristics of effective teachers.

Effective Teachers GET, Connect and Understand Content.

  1. Effective teachers are masters of their content.
  2. Effective teachers know their curriculum, know where to find the curriculum frameworks for Chesterfield County Public Schools and know how to teach and test the written curriculum. (This is a three-fer!)
  3. Effective teachers must know their content deeply and flexibly enough to make connections for students.

Effective Teachers GET Effective Teaching Strategies.

  1. Effective teachers understand how to engage students in rigorous and relevant lessons.
  2. Effective teachers establish a context for student learning.
  3. Effective teachers facilitate student learning.

Effective Teachers GET Collaborative Planning.

  1. Effective teachers are innovative and collaborative lesson planners.
  2. Effective teachers have clear objectives in mind for their lessons.
  3. Effective teachers know how to design lessons for student mastery.
  4. Effective teachers begin their lessons with the end in mind.
  5. Effective teachers assess students on a regular basis through formative assessments and give feedback to students.
  6. Effective teachers pace their lessons appropriately.

Effective Teachers GET the Importance of Classroom Management.

  1. Effective teachers have strong classroom management skills.
  2. Effective teachers teach routines and procedures.
  3. Effective teachers are consistent with expectations.
  4. Effective teachers create a nurturing and safe learning environment.

Effective Teachers Just GET It!Image

  1. Effective teachers have a positive attitude.
  2. Effective teachers have a sense of humor.
  3. Effective teachers never stop learning and growing.

Effective Teachers GET the Main Thing: a Focus on Students.

  1. Effective teachers believe all students can be successful.
  2. Effective teachers have high standards for student learning.
  3. Effective teachers have a laserlike focus on individual students and can personalize instruction for their students.
  4. Effective teachers show interest in students and build positive relationships.
  5. Effective teachers treat students equally and fairly.
  6. Effective teachers produce results.

This list is just a beginning.  Please take a minute to reflect on this blog, then comment by filling in the blank: “Effective teachers ______________________.” (Give a shout-out to your school by letting us know where you teach.)

Harry K. Wong and Rosemary T. Wong, The First Days of School.  Mountain View, CA   :  Harry K. Wong Publications, Inc., 2009.

About donnadalton

Currently, I am honored to serve as the Chief Academic Officer for Chesterfield County Public Schools. This year begins my 41st year in public education and my final year in Chesterfield. Prior to this position, I served as the Director of Professional Development, Director of Curriculum and Instruction, and Mathematics Instructional Specialist. I have taught mathematics at the elementary, middle and high school levels. I have been married for 40 years to my husband, Bob, and our house is ruled by our sweet dog, Bella. We have one son and a daughter-in-law and are proud grandparents to Tyler and Kinsley!
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

32 Responses to Worth Repeating: Effective Teachers

  1. Charmaine Sowers says:

    Effective teachers invest in their students. They create an atmosphere of trust in their classroom that opens the door to learning. They live and teach by example.

  2. Meghan Tarabay says:

    Effective teachers give students the opportunity to dive head first into learning with fun, hands-on and engaging activities, while focusing on student growth and success!

    -Salem Church Elementary School, “We are STARS, and together WE shine!”

  3. Barbara Schaedel says:

    Effective teachers realize that students come from all sorts of various backgrounds and have great empathy which is reflected in their teaching style and translates to each student. Go Woolridge Wildcats!

  4. Annwyn long says:

    Effective teachers have a passion and love for all their children and teach creatively engaging the spark of excitement within every child!

  5. Michelle Baldin says:

    Effective teachers, like those at Manchester Middle School, recognize the individuality of each child that comes into the classroom, and challenge them academically and socially while creating meaningful relationships!

  6. Cheryl Regan says:

    Effective Teachers go above and beyond the call of duty meeting students where there are and helping them reach beyond their own expectations/limitations taking them to their highest potential teaching the whole child. Effective teachers teach the child to be creative and innovative thinkers and problem solvers thinking outside the box. “Every Child is an Artist…” Picasso
    Go Bensley Tigers! Love $ Bensley Art!

  7. Teena Stuller says:

    Effective teachers support one another for the good of all children in the school, not just the students in their classroom.
    As Pete says…. It’s all good at CHES!

  8. Cody Sigmon says:

    Rather than succumb to the temptation to mentally rank their students’ academic performance from “high” to “low” (especially with respect to standardized tests), effective teachers carefully observe individual learners’ strengths and areas for growth in order to implement differentiated, just-in-time curriculum.

    Carver Middle School

  9. Elise E Hughes says:

    Effective teachers see who their students can become not just who they are and provide opportunities for students to step outside their comfort zone and even make mistakes. Elizabeth Scott Elementary…Scorpion Pride!

  10. Paula Spencer says:

    Effective teachers create a sense of community among their students, so that everyone feels accepted and valued. Students are more likely to take a risk when they know their classmates are cheering for them.

    ~Evergreen Elementary

  11. Molly mcfadden says:

    Effective teachers build relationships.
    CE Curtis

  12. Peyton Chichester says:

    Effective teachers are flexible enough to roll with whatever comes their way. You have a room full of random-element generators* if you’re not flexible enough to cope, you (and your content) are dead.

    *Yes, there are less flattering names for our little angels, but it’s the beginning of the year, let’s be nice!

  13. Amy Waltz says:

    Effective teachers foster relationships. This extend to students, parents, other staff members-all relationships are important.

    -A.M. Davis Elementary

  14. Joy Duncan says:

    Effective teachers see value in each student. They work hard to bring out the best in each of their students.

    • Elizabeth Gormley says:

      Effective teachers are intentional. They keep the end in mind to ensure that their teaching has purpose and meaning for students.

      -Thomas Dale High School

  15. Emily Serfass says:

    Effective teachers are strategic in their practices in EVERY aspect of their teaching. #1stthings1st #WeareRobious

  16. Jane Emrick says:

    Effective teachers help every student have a measure of success, every day.

  17. Christine Miller says:

    Effective teachers are willing to swim upstream against the society’s current of “easy wins.” We show the value of goal setting, the necessity of struggle, and the prize of pride. This growth mindset rewards perseverance. It applauds achievements and it realizes that learning is not always comfortable. Making this environment warm and fun is the goal of effective teachers who help each child grow even when it is hard.
    Christi Miller – Swift Creek Elementary – Go Gators!

  18. cynpatey says:

    Effective teachers deem building relationships the foundation for educating and engaging students and families. -Providence Elementary

    • Tiffany House says:

      Effective teachers build relationships with students and other professionals and strive to gain knowledge that can be used effectively to enhance learning for all students. Effective teachers know their student’s needs and strengths and use that knowledge to help them grow as learners and as citizens. Go Panthers! Falling Creek Elementary.

    • Tiffany House says:

      Effective teachers build relationships with students and other professionals and strive to gain knowledge that can be used effectively to enhance learning for all students. Effective teachers know their student’s needs and strengths and use that knowledge to help them grow as learners and as citizens. Go Panthers! Falling Creek Elementary School.

  19. Karen Johnson says:

    Effective teachers adapt. Things are changing constantly. Try to be flexible.

    CCTC @ Hull

  20. Katie says:

    Effective teachers build a community in which all students feel loved, needed, and important. Jacobs Road

  21. Margot Geisler says:

    Effective teachers at Meadowbrook celebrate diversity and model care and compassion for their students.

  22. Alycia Allen says:

    Effective teachers provide differentiated instruction that meets the needs of all students and many opportunities for students to become responsible and accountable for their own learning.
    ~ O.B. Gates Elementary #gatesrocks

  23. Sarah Matthews says:

    Effective teachers create excitement for their students, staff, and co-workers. They keep everyone moving towards a positive goal. They share their insights, lessons, and successes with others so that many can benefit. They also welcome pre-service teachers with open arms to continue their legacy for being passionate about education. Shout out from Watkins Elementary and our Passionate Exciting Staff!

  24. Michelle S Cunningham says:

    Effective teachers at Chesterfield Juvenile Detention Center embrace our unique population by providing a safe and nurturing educational environment to students that come to us in crisis.

  25. Belinda P Northington says:

    Effective teachers at Matoaca Middle are COMMITTED to empower, lead, and serve our students, parents, and school community!

  26. David Atkins says:

    Effective teachers reinvent themselves from time to time, adding new procedures and approaches to their toolbox to keep pace with the needs of their students.

  27. Sharon Allen says:

    Effective teachers know how to inspire reluctant students to learn, speak and listen.

  28. Jacob Mertz says:

    Effective teachers know how to draw students into their instruction. –Harrowgate

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s