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December 11, 2011

A Few More Traits Of A Master Teacher

There are many aspects of being a better than average teacher. I always like going to various teacher training events, but there's nothing like...

...the rough and tumble, unpredictable world of the everyday classroom.

In my previous blogs I looked at some aspects of a good teacher, here are some more that I have picked up from my own experience and noticed in others.

A. Awareness: Teachers, especially in elementary and secondary schools, must have eyes in the backs of their heads. They need to be aware of everything that happens in and around their classrooms. Teachers need to be able to read body language and the energy of a group and be able to stop trouble before it starts and keep students on track.

It seems that every possible emotions, personal dynamic or news item flows through my classroom. From person crisis (like a death in the family) to a major world event, like civil upheaval, war or earthquake, my students always seem to have some kind of personal impact - and story.

B. Mentorship: Many of my adult students come from backgrounds full of need, trouble and crisis. They need a stable and caring hand to step in - or even just be available. This takes commitment and (it might seem) too much time. But it is well worth it.

I find that my students need to be reminded of their ultimate goals as they get stuck and distracted by the demands of everyday life and obligations.

C. Maturity:This is a crucial characteristic of any teacher. Students experience emotional ups and downs, and insightful teachers are able to sense the changes and respond to them appropriately. Teachers must be steady, reliable and consistent, they must also be unselfish and must not show favoritism. They must also consistently encourage students to grow as human beings and to develop academically.

I've taught in all kinds of different settings, and faced all kinds of unlikely situations. I'd love to do some short term master teacher sessions. Let me know if your school could use some stories and encouragement from us.

I'll have a few more thoughts on what makes a good teacher in my next post, but feel free to send in your observations. A good teacher is always learning.

Listen, read and speak. Make your new language your own.

My best to you as you make your way through this intriguing , constantly shifting linguistic landscape.

Morf

About the author of this entry:

Morf has a BA from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington and an MAT (Master's in Teaching English) from the University of Washington (Seattle). You can contact him at mmorf@mail.com.

Posted by mmorf at December 11, 2011 07:21 PM

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