When I went to college to become a teacher the program was largely about learning to teach. How many seasoned educators can relate to the following story:
A few years ago, my principal called me into his office and explained that too many students were failing my language arts class. I deflected his comments as no fault of my own.“They’re not putting in the effort it takes to master the content.”
How many of us have had similar conversations and responded the same way? Saying things like they aren’t trying … are lazy … don’t have the basic skills … didn’t meet deadlines … need to learn responsibility. There is often truth to these statements. But I have come to believe that great teachers accept responsibility for motivating their students. The most effective educators establish an environment where kids not only want to succeed but feel that they can. They focus on learning, rather than focusing on teaching.
Research indicated that the top three factors related to student learning are 1) the quality of the teacher, 2) effective instructional practices, and 3) student engagement.