Featured Editorial

What Great Teachers Do Differently Thanks to YOUR Teacher Appreciation

We all know that one special teacher.  There's that teacher that seemed to reach beyond their role as an educator to motivate and inspire us to believe in ourselves. Embracing the passion of cultivating the education of impressionable minds exceeds the confines of a job, for dedicated instructors. Connecting with students creates the lifelong foundation for building future academic pursuits and goals. Teachers change the lives of students by revealing worlds of learning and discovery essential to long-term success. Demonstrating sincere appreciation and gratitude to educators during Teacher Appreciation Week and every day, we take the time to #ThankATeacher for their time, attention, and dedication extended to students on a daily basis.

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What Great Teachers Do Differently Thanks to YOUR Teacher Appreciation

Sharing an adapted excerpt from What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most written by Todd Whitaker, outstanding characteristics of teachers are illustrated. Taking time to reflect upon these brilliant illustrations, I've come to the realization that if we restructured these same factors, replacing teacher with any one of us as- students, parents, administrators,  friends, and community members- we possess the same potential for greatness. As imitation is noted as being the sincerest form of flattery, modeling ourselves after great teachers not only pays tribute to their dedication, our learning community is also strengthened and improved.

1. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) never forget that it is people, not programs that determine the quality of a school.

2. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) establish clear expectations at the start of the year and follow them consistently as the year progresses.

3. When a student misbehaves, great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) have one goal: to keep that behavior from happening again.

4. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) have high expectations for students, but even higher expectations for themselves.

5. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) know who is the variable in the classroom: they are. Good teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) consistently strive to improve and they focus on something they can control- their own performance.

6. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) create a positive atmosphere in their classrooms and schools. They treat every person with respect. In particular, they understand the power of praise.

7. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) consistently filter out the negatives that don't matter and share a positive attitude.

8. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) work hard to keep their relationships in good repair to avoid personal hurt and repair any possible damage.

9. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) have the ability to ignore trivial disturbances and the ability to respond to inappropriate behavior without escalating the situation.

10. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) have a plan and purpose for everything they do. If things don't work out the way they envisioned, they reflect on what they could have done differently and adjust their plans accordingly.

11. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) ask themselves one central question before making any decision or attempting to bring about any change: What will the best people think?

12. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) continually ask themselves who is most comfortable and who is least comfortable with each decision they make. They treat everyone as if they were good.

13. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) keep standardized testing in perspective; they center on the real issue of student learning.

14. Great teachers (students/parents/administrators/friends/communities) care about their students. They understand that behaviors and beliefs are tied to emotion, and they understand the power of emotion to jump-start change.

*Excerpt from "What Great Teachers Do Differently: 17 Things That Matter Most" by Todd Whitaker (affiliate)

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