The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers


nen-america-needs-good-teachersFrom : http://chronicle.com/article/The-4-Properties-of-Powerful/228483/

I read the article (linked to above) and really enjoyed the points. I thought I should share it here with you.

I am not going to reproduce the article but rather just list the 4 main points here and give my input. You can read the full article by clicking the link above.

4 properties of powerful teachers

Personality

“Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable, as opposed to sour or foreboding; professional without being aloof; funny (even if they’re not stand-up comedians), perhaps because they don’t take themselves or their subject matter too seriously; demanding without being unkind; comfortable in their own skin (without being in love with the sound of their own voices); natural (they make teaching look easy even though we all know it isn’t); and tremendously creative, and always willing to entertain new ideas or try new things, sometimes even on the fly.”

Presence

“We might call it charisma, but it’s more than that. It’s the ability to appear completely at ease, even in command, despite being the focal point of dozens (or even hundreds) of people. James Lang talked about what he called “a pedagogy of presence.” He argued that, just as we are sometimes disengaged in our interpersonal relationships, so, too, can we become disengaged in the classroom — simply going through the motions and barely acknowledging students at all.”

Preparation

“Knowing what you’re talking about can compensate for a number of other deficiencies, such as wearing mismatched socks, telling lame jokes, or not having an Instagram account. Preparation occurs on three levels: long-term, medium-term, and short-term. In the short term, to be a powerful teacher you must go into every single class meeting as prepared as you can be, given the time you have. That means more than just reviewing your notes or PowerPoint slides. It involves constantly reassessing what you do in the classroom, abandoning those strategies that haven’t proved effective, or are just outdated, and trying new ones.”

Passion

“Of all the qualities that characterize great teachers, this is the most important, by far. The Beatles famously sang, “All you need is love,” and while in teaching that might not be entirely accurate, it is true that a little passion goes a long way. Passion, or love, manifests itself in the classroom in two ways: love for students and love for your subject matter.”

Claim back your passion for your subject and teaching.

My thoughts

The workload of teachers is far greater than most people realise. To maintain a positive attitude, to be constantly prepared, to engage with so many students on so many psychological, mental and emotional levels is draining and takes an incredible amount of time.

I have seen teachers who are tired. They have lost their passion, their focus, their drive and perhaps have forgotten the very reason they chose to become a teacher. They drain others around them, sap the life out of them and breed a constantly negative environment. They are the teachers the students forget quickly or remember forever (but for the wrong reasons!).

All teachers are powerful! BUT they either use that power for good or for bad! I choose to use my power for good! I hope you are a teacher who realises the incredible influence you have not just over your class, but also over your colleagues.

Claim back your passion for your subject and teaching. Regain the respect of your students and colleagues. Your classroom is your domain and you can make it expand to the outer reaches of the globe if you choose to. You have the power to inspire and impart. Use it!