Monday, June 1, 2009

What do Successful Teachers Do?

I have been reflecting a huge amount lately on what makes some teachers stand out a cut above the rest. I think it is quite simple really, they communicate effectively and proactively with parents. They get this right from the beginning. They are transparent with parents about their child's progress and it is communicated in parent friendly terms. It is often as simple as getting excited about an individual moving up a reading level or including adjectives in a piece of their writing - the success is shared and more often than not as and when it happens. I think teachers need to be strategic and savvy at working out at the beginning of each year which parents you need to be on the front foot with, and then work at getting the relationship right.
I am excited about the ease in which such communication and proactive action can be taken given most of our parents and caregivers have email. How neat for a parent to receive an email with a picture attachment sharing the science experience the class had that afternoon. Wouldn't that make for a great dinner conversation around the table that night. I know what I would think if I was the parent receiving that email. I would think - gosh this teacher is onto it, he/she cares, look at the great learning happening for my child etc etc.
From there the relationships with the children themselves are equally important.
Then and only then everyone can work in partnership to activate learning nd provide the stretch and rigor for individuals to reach their potential.

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