This 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.
- Effective teachers are masters of their content.
- 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!)
- Effective teachers must know their content deeply and flexibly enough to make connections for students.
Effective Teachers GET Effective Teaching Strategies.
- Effective teachers understand how to engage students in rigorous and relevant lessons.
- Effective teachers establish a context for student learning.
- Effective teachers facilitate student learning.
Effective Teachers GET Collaborative Planning.
- Effective teachers are innovative and collaborative lesson planners.
- Effective teachers have clear objectives in mind for their lessons.
- Effective teachers know how to design lessons for student mastery.
- Effective teachers begin their lessons with the end in mind.
- Effective teachers assess students on a regular basis through formative assessments and give feedback to students.
- Effective teachers pace their lessons appropriately.
Effective Teachers GET the Importance of Classroom Management.
- Effective teachers have strong classroom management skills.
- Effective teachers teach routines and procedures.
- Effective teachers are consistent with expectations.
- Effective teachers create a nurturing and safe learning environment.
- Effective teachers have a positive attitude.
- Effective teachers have a sense of humor.
- Effective teachers never stop learning and growing.
Effective Teachers GET the Main Thing: a Focus on Students.
- Effective teachers believe all students can be successful.
- Effective teachers have high standards for student learning.
- Effective teachers have a laserlike focus on individual students and can personalize instruction for their students.
- Effective teachers show interest in students and build positive relationships.
- Effective teachers treat students equally and fairly.
- 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.