What Makes a GREAT Teacher?
In my humble
opinion, teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world. You educate the leaders of tomorrow. You help them as they navigate
a classroom full of students who are both very different and very similar to them in a variety of ways. You help them make sense of what is sometimes a scary
, yet beautiful and loving world. You are likely one of the most important adults in your students' lives right now.
Any parent will tell you that their child is their most precious gift. To me, there is not a job more important than whoever is caring for and teaching my children when it is not me. One year from now, when I am sending my daughter on her first day of kindergarten
, I will be putting my faith in her teacher that she will return safely, knowing that her teacher is a grown-up she can trust, who cares about her and who makes her excited to learn and return to school the next day.
So as I prepare to send my first child out into the big world (your classroom) where she will be surrounded by new children and grown-ups, ready to learn and explore this big world, I share with you what I hope for her teachers.
Develop strong relationships with your students. Really get to know them and show an interest in them, their friends, and their family life. How are they adjusting to school? Are they making friends, or do they fly solo
? Learn about their dreams and encourage them. Seek out your students' strengths and offer opportunities to use them and feel that joy of doing something they both like and are good at.
Get to know your students' parents. Involve them when you can beyond parent-teacher conferences.
In the news we hear about bullies, mass shootings, and terrorist attacks. Talk with parents about the scary stuff, and give us comfort about the plan your school has in place. Share with us how you prepare your students and how we can help them deal with a sometimes scary world. We, as parents, are taking a big leap of faith putting the well-being of our precious children in the hands of their teachers.
Don't lose that passion for teaching, love for your students, your creativity, or the energy and dedication to helping them succeed. Those things are what draw your students to you and what gives a parent comfort that their child is having a good experience at school.
how important you are in the lives of your students. For many, especially the youngest, your role in your students' lives may be similar to that of a parent. Whatever your grade level, content area, or specialty, thank you for educating, loving, supporting, encouraging, challenging, and caring for our children, your students, the leaders of tomorrow.