PLN: What it takes to be a good teacher.


There are many interesting facts and ideas that were brought up in this speech, addressing reasons why not all teachers are extremely successful and great, and changes that can be made to make teachers great. He explained that the top 20% of teachers are considered to be “great” and in one single year they can increase the performance of their class, based on test scores, by 10 percent. The problem that we face, however, is we need all teachers to be capable to do this. What are these teachers doing differently than the rest of the teachers in America?

In the article, What Makes a Great Teacher, the importance of teachers and the role that they play in helping improve students learning is explained, stating, “more than any other variable in education—more than schools or curriculum—teachers matter.” From this I have drawn my own conclusions that the reason many students are tested to be below grade level is not because they are incapable of learning and succeeding, however because their teachers are incapable of teaching in a way that will help get to the proper grade level or above.

Another point that was brought up in the video is that, in teachers contracts, principals are only allowed to observe a teachers classroom a specific amount of times in a year, typically once, and the teacher must be warned when they will be coming. For many teachers, this allows them to get away with teaching poorly and not engaging the students as much as they should all year, and then when they know the principal will be coming, they make sure to make themselves look good. He suggests a way to change this is to have video cameras in the class at all times, opening the opportunity to show the good things teachers do, things that need improvement, and even as a resource for students who are behind to go back and re-watch the lessons. This is a very interesting point that was brought up and I defiantly agree that it will help raise the expectations of the teachers, which I think will positively affect the education that the students receive.

This video has affected me as a future teachers because of the fact that  I now know the importance of actually taking a look at the data from the tests that the students take and making sure that they are improving. If I find that my students are not improving, I have learned from this video that it is mainly my responsibility to change the way I am teaching because that is what plays a large role on the students success rate. To me, high energy and engagement in the students is a must in order to have a successful classroom, and something that I will attempt to incorporate as a future teacher.


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