Wednesday, 15 January 2014

What Makes A Great Teacher? Part One

     Have you seen Keith Hughes' video, "The Recipe for Great Teacher"? I came across this video the other day through one of the blogs I follow (unfortunately I can't remember which one, if it was you let me know so I can give credit!) and wanted to tune in right away!
     As a first-year teacher I am always asking myself, "Am I doing this right?", "Is there another way that I can do this?", "What should I change for next time?", etc. I've followed Keith through his various social media platforms for quite some time now. As an experienced educator who not only has a love for online sharing, but also for history, I try to follow the example he sets in his career and definitely wanted to see what his thoughts were when it came to "great teachers". Check out his video embedded below:

     Here are my thoughts:

1 ) 25% Content Knowledge
- On the surface this ingredient seems pretty self-explanatory.
  Our job is to teach our students information in any number of
  given subject areas. Not knowing our content = pretty confused
  students! I know that different countries/provinces/etc have
  different requirements, but in Manitoba we spend 3-4 years
  completing an undergrad degree familiarizing ourselves with content
  before we can even apply to complete our education degree.
- Dig a bit deeper, however, and this ingredient is such much more.
  It is not enough to simply know facts about the subject. Teachers
  need to know how to talk about the content to students who may
  walk in absolutely hating the subject. We need to be able to explain
  our content forwards, backwards, and sometimes ten different ways.
  Teachers need to be able to challenge and encourage those who are
  as passionate as us, while supporting and guiding those who are
  struggling and threatening to shut-down.
- Like Keith says, "If you're going to be a teacher you have to love your
  content; then be prepared to hate it a little bit because your kids aren't
  going to love it like you do!"

2 ) 25% Pedagogy
- Pedagogy refers to a teacher's methodology. How do they approach
  teaching, why do they do what they do, what is their role in the
  classroom, etc. I find that pedagogy is something that teacher's are
  really good at recognizing in other teachers but it is also something
  that teachers sometimes have a hard time expressing about themselves.
- Think about this, I bet you can think of any number of teachers in
  your building and probably describe their pedagogy pretty accurately
  just from conversations and observations that you've had. Now think
  about yourself, is it harder? This is why self-reflection is so important!
  As teachers, we need to be approaching everything we do purposefully
  and with conscious thought.
- As a first-year teacher I recognize that my career and pedagogy is only
  at its primary stage of development and will continue to evolve as I
  gain experience. At this point, however, here are some of my thoughts:
     - I want my students to value learning so that they can continue to
       explore their individual interests and needs throughout their life
     - I believe teachers need to know and appreciate their students as
       individuals before they can effectively teach them
     - I know that not everyone learns and expresses their learning the
       same way
     - I believe it is a teacher's job to help our students find out how
       they learn best and allow them to experience success in their
       own way
     - I believe technology can open up numerous doors that may
       otherwise be closed for our students, but it needs to be implemented
       with purpose
    - I want my students to explore content through channels that are
       relevant and meaningful to them and their lives
     - I believe that students need to learn about information through
       various perspectives and be allowed to form their own, informed
       opinions about the world around them
     - I know that teachers need to be learning models for their students
       and should never stop learning and exploring new things


  1. Hi there! I know this is kinda off topic but I'd figured I'd ask.

    Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My blog covers a lot of interesting and helpful posts just like yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other. And also, I think you'll love my recent blog post titled What To Do When Your Motivation Towards A Goal Wanes

    I'm hoping to hear from you too and quickly, you've got a great blog here.


    1. Thanks for reading my blog and taking the time to comment Daniel. To be honest, this isn't something I'm interested in doing at the moment but I appreciate you asking! That isn't to say, however, that I will not be interested in the future. Maybe check back in a few months?

      Thank you!

    2. Thanks for your awesome explanation and additional layering of meaning to my video. *Gives you a teacher fist bump.


Thank you for commenting!