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1 Jun 2010

“16 ways to be a smarter teacher”

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…Attention Class!!! An article about teaching, much the same as we think about education. And leadership, ’cause leadership is about teaching!

In an economy filled with surprise and uncertainty, being an effective leader means being a good teacher. But how do you lead and teach at the same time? Who are your most importants students?

Read more at i Fast Company or the short version:

“16 ways to Be a Smarter Teacher”

1. It’s not about you; it’s about them. “It’s hard for some teachers to understand that teaching is really not about them,” It means that instead of asking, ‘What am I going to do today?’ you ask, ‘What are my students going to do today?’ ”

2. Study your students. It’s not enough to know your material. You need to know the people you’re teaching — their talents, prior experience, and needs.

3. Students take risks when teachers create a safe environment. “If they aren’t feeling well, I make them a cup of peppermint tea. If they’re hungry, I feed them”.

4. Great teachers exude passion as well as purpose. The difference between a good teacher and a great one isn’t expertise. It comes down to passion. Passion for the material. Passion for teaching. The desire is infectious”.

5. Students learn when teachers show them how much they need to learn. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

6. Keep it clear even if you can’t keep it simple. One of the chief attributes of a great teacher is the ability to break down complex ideas and make them understandable.

7. Practice vulnerability without sacrificing credibility. Sometimes the best answer a teacher can give is, “I don’t know.” Instead of losing credibility, she gains students’ trust, and that trust is the basis of a productive relationship.

8. Teach from the heart. The best teaching isn’t formulaic; it’s personal.

9. Repeat the important points. “The first time you say something, it’s heard,”, “The second time, it’s recognized, and the third time, it’s learned.” The challenge, then, is to be consistent without becoming predictable or boring.

9. Repeat the important points.

10. Good teachers ask good questions. “If you want to get to the heart of something, ask why five times,”

11. You’re not passing out information. You’re teaching people how to think. The last thing you want to do is stand up and tell people what to do.

12. Stop talking — and start listening. Effective learning is a two-way street: It’s a dialogue, not a monologue.

13. Learn what to listen for. “I’m listening for how the resident assembles all of this information, how well she organizes her thoughts,”

14. Let your students teach each other. You’re not the only one your students learn from. They also learn on their own and from their peers.

15. Avoid using the same approach for everyone. Good teachers believe that every student can learn, but they understand that students learn differently.

16. Never stop teaching.

The article in Fast Company