Thursday, September 18, 2014

5 Habits of an Effective Teacher

So...as a mathematics instructional coach my job is to help teachers improve their craft. In general, I'm supposed to focus on the mathematics portion of their job, but invariably I find myself thinking about the entire job - not just math. Just the other day I Googled (how is that for verbification?) "habits of an effective teacher" and was a bit overwhelmed at the options. 

If you look closely at the screenshot, you'll notice that I only clicked on the short lists. Five habits? Sure I can handle that. 30 habits!?!?!? Goodness no. Clearly they need to learn the habits of succinctness, brevity, or self-censorship (if that is even a habit).


I clicked on each of the "5 habit" lists are here is what I got...
List 1
List 2
  1. clear and open communication
  2. clear classroom procedures
  3. create powerful relationships with your students and their parents
  4. have personal routines/hobbies to maintain your sanity
  5. plan in advance for how to participate in public activities
  1. Taking a wider view of student success.
  2. Recognizing instruction as a performance.
  3. Internalizing personal accountability.
  4. Understanding student motivation.
  5. Continuing focus on instructional improvement.

These are great lists, but somehow I couldn't shake the feeling that they don't capture the habits that are necessary as teachers move from the old, NCLB-influenced standards to the new CCSS. Then this list showed up in my Twitter feed. While it doesn't include classic buzzwords like procedures or accountability, any teacher who exhibits these habits would most likely be Educational Awesomeness in the classroom.

Let's try it! Can we enjoy teaching? Embrace the change brought upon by CCSS? Spread positivity while rolling with the turbulent transition to a new way of teaching? Find inspiration in people and things all around us? Make a difference for our students and colleagues?

If we can, then Educational Awesomeness awaits!

Do you have a SHORT list of habits that are devoid of educational mumbo jumbo? Post your list here...