My reading this weekend included a BlogCatalog discussion facilitated by Tim Wicks - Senior Teacher in a Special School for High School students. The discussion is entitled "what makes great teacher?"
The word "knowledge" or "be smart" makes an appearance in the discussion a few times and I liked Tim's response..
"You say my list has no mention of knowledge. I will add it to the list, .... I am very focused on relationships, and for me knowledge comes in way down the list. Why? So many teachers are brimming with knowledge, yet do not connect with their students."
I would add that sometimes knowledge gets in the way of learning for many teachers. I believe strongly that NZ Early childhood curriculum reflects an emphasis on 'relationships' in education - it is the teacher's job to reflect that in practice. I know that the new New Zealand School Curriculum recently add this in their Key Competencies.
The team at Manaia is currently considering, reflecting, discussing and establishing our new team philosophy, so I was interested to read international ideas about ‘what makes a great teacher’.
I read through Tim Wick's Time to Shine Blog and “15 Critical Traits of the Remarkable Teacher” and wondered what my list might look like and how our final Kindergarten philosophy will read. Tim’s list includes - Be crazy about children, Be fun, honest, Be a learner, Go beyond the boundaries of your classroom, Be a good listener, work with children's strengths, promote self management... Others in the discussion added passion, dedication, adaptability... I liked the suggestion of being a good facilitator.
I would like to make my list more succinct.. here's my list of top five...
1. Be an effective facilitator
2. Be a passionate learner
3. Work with children's strengths
4. Be adaptable
5. Have great expectations of all
6. Show respect
7. Be caring
Ahhhh - its hard to stay on just the top 5.. and already I have shuffled, deleted, added, rearranged...
Quick thinking - off the top of your head - what are the Top 5 teacher characteristics that you value?
Thanks Elaine for your comments - I have reflected further on this topic in:
What makes a great teacher? II