An article from The Washington Post recently was published describing the attributes of a great teacher. After being in several classrooms, grades, and school districts, I agree that the top two characteristics of a teacher are love and grit.
- Love-Focusing on the emotional, social, and academic needs of a student
- Grit- Refusing to give up on a student
Another important emphasis was the idea that teaching is both an art and a science. While there are definitely effective strategies teachers can implement on a day to day basis, it takes the skillful teacher to properly entwine research based practices in the classroom with specific students.
Although our current education system is focusing on the science behind teaching (which is appropriate within limits), the art part can be overlooked in the process of collecting hard data. While hard data is important, I believe the art part of teaching can be measured from student wellness. For example, 1. How students feel about themselves as learners 2. The excitement students feel in the classroom 3. The overall happiness of each student. While I acknowledge that a lot of external factors (such as home life) can heavily influence these feelings, all students, to some extent, should be able to feel the magic of the classroom and the love of learning. If not, our school systems should be focusing on self-health so students are engaged in the beauty of living.
What do you think? Read this article to engage in the discussion.