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Great Teachers, Great Teaching


Great Teachers, Great Teaching With Jeff Bertrandt Survey Says . . . Every survey conducted since 1968 by Phi Delta Kappa, the professional organization for educators ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Great Teachers, Great Teaching

Great Teachers, Great Teaching
  • With Jeff Bertrandt

Survey Says . . .
  • Every survey conducted since 1968 by Phi Delta
    Kappa, the professional organization for
    educators, has shown that Americans worry about
    the lack of great teachers.

Gallup Poll
  • In 2002, Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Study found that
    73 of Americans said that one of the most
    serious problems facing education is the lack of
    good teachers.

A Reason to Worry
  • Teachers have a greater effect on students, and
    ultimately our society, than anyone other than

  • What makes a great teacher?

Great Teachers
  • All great teachers are alike in a key way they
    use their natural talents to the utmost, whether
    they are aware of it or not.
  • Great teachers dont waste time on their
    weaknesses if those weaknesses dont interfere
    with their teaching. They manage weaknesses if
    they must.

Talent Scout
  • When good teachers understand their talents, they
    build on those talents to create strengths, they
    become even better with students.

What goes wrong?
  • Bad advice by college practicum professors that
    are out of touch with the best teaching
  • They will tell teachers, to be a good teacher you
    must focus on the things that come harder to you.
    Things you like less or dont do well.
  • The easy stuff will take care of itself you need
    to be well-rounded.

Bad Advice
  • The theory is counterproductive and destructive.
  • Fixing weaknesses simply doesnt work.
  • At best, hard work and devotion will allow you to
    become mediocre in those areas.

Wasted Effort
  • When you attempt to fix weaknesses it distracts
    attention and draws effort away from what you
    naturally do well.
  • It prevents many teacher from seizing the
    opportunity to be great.

What you need to know!
  • This misconception leads thousands of teachers to
    waste their talents by trying to fix weaknesses.
  • The Result
  • Generations of students are being taught by
    teachers who are struggling to be well-rounded
    instead of maximizing their talents.

The Power of Talent
  • Teaching is more than a job, its a calling.
  • Teaching with strengths makes teachers happier,
    more productive, likelier to stay in the field,
    and more productive in the classroom.
  • The influence of teaching with strengths on
    students has a dramatic long term effect.

About this Class
  • Focus
  • Teaching with Your Strengths

Part 1
  • The Unorthodox Behavior of Great Teachers

The Impact
  • Teachers influence on students is second only to
    that of their parents.
  • One of the first things to understand is great
    teachers, in the best way, are unorthodox.
  • What does that mean?

Unorthodox Teachers
  • They dont operate like other teachers.
  • They dont believe everything they are taught and
    are told.
  • Great teachers methods and intuitions are

  • They work by instinct, sometimes more than they
    even know.
  • They have worked out the strategies and
    approaches that succeed for them in reaching
    different students.
  • Their instincts lead them to the results they
    want better educated students.

Innate Talent for Job
  • Great teachers have something that less effective
    teachers dont Innate talent for the job.
  • That talent is natural and individual and it
    spurs great teachers to behave in ways unique to
  • They recognize that some of what they have been
    taught about teaching is misinformation.

Sifting through the Junk
  • Great teachers know that a lot of what they
    learned about teaching is tremendously useful,
    but some of it isnt, and they can tell the
  • The distinction is important.

2 Essential Feeling Common to Great Teachers
  • Love Love of students, learning and teaching.
  • 2. Exasperation of educational nonsense,
    conventional wisdom about teaching that is, in
    fact, misinformation.

  • Some students are inherently lazy, rebellious,
    or difficult.

National Education Association
  • NEA survey, Status of the American Public School
    Teacher 2000-2001, asked teachers if they
    intended to stay in the profession, and if not,
  • Of those that said they will leave teaching if
    they can

  • 57
  • said working conditions and low salaries will
    drive them out.

  • 8
  • said its Administration

  • 5
  • said they couldnt stand the parents

  • 4
  • Only 4 said their desire to leave teaching is
    related to their students

2002 Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Survey
  • 76 of American adults said that lack of student
    discipline is a serious problem facing schools.
  • A lot of people seem to
  • think that young people
  • are just plain troublesome.

The Disconnect
  • The state requires young people to attend school
    until the age of 16.
  • Some people think that students are a captive
    audience, and should follow the orders and
  • of teachers
  • unquestioningly.

What Teachers Know
  1. You cant force someone to learn.
  2. Students essentially are volunteers.
  3. Students must be emotionally engaged to learn
  4. Emotional engagement is a process that starts
    with a psychological connection and it cant be
    mandated by the state.

The Trick
  • The one thing we have going for us is that
    students are innately curious, and curiosity is
    the first tool we can use in making that
    psychological and emotional connection.

The Ripple Effect
  • Students who are disengaged
  • Get labeled lazy
  • They get so bored they act out and get
  • labeled rebellious
  • those that are so disengaged refuse to
  • participate at all and get labeled

Great Teachers
  • Know it is harder to reach some students than
  • That its possible to engage almost any young
  • If you can get the least compliant and hardest to
    engage kid in the class on your side the rest of
    the class will follow.
  • Winning over noncompliant students is
    tremendously rewarding.

How do they do it?
  • They dont try to force, coerce or trick
  • They tap into students innate interests and
    needs to help them learn.
  • The side effect
  • Building caring, trusting
  • relationships with students.

The Science
  • Human beings need stimulation
  • No one wants to look at a wall for 8 hours a day
  • Everyone is naturally inclined to learn
  • Between the ages of 1-25, new neurological
    research shows, our brains are developing neural
    pathways and connections we will use the rest of
    our lives.

  • Great teachers use their students needs,
    interests, and curiosities and turn them toward
    the curricula.
  • Its about captivating
  • them, not entertaining
  • them.

What really burns me
  • Anyone can teach.

What it Takes
  • Teaching demands talents for teaching natural
    abilities that require cultivation and hard work
    to master
  • Assuming anyone can teach breeds mediocrity, just
    as surely as thinking anyone can be a lawyer,
    architect, a doctor, a police officer would
    foster unremarkable performance in those

A Bad Assumption
  • Not-so-good teachers spend their careers trying
    to do something they wont ever excel at, that
    never gets easier, and that is increasingly less
  • Exceptional teachers are forced to compromise
    what they know is right to fit in with the pack.

A Bad Assumption
  • Outstanding teachers rarely get the recognition
    they deserve
  • They are pressured to assume models that arent
    meant for them and lead to mediocrity.

The Results
  • Thinking that teaching requires no more innate
    ability than driving a car or making toast leads
    to mediocre teachers and worse mediocre students.

More Educational Nonsense
  • The more education or experience, the better the

The Truth
  • Seniority doesnt necessarily equal excellence.
  • Experience doesnt translate into exceptional job
    performance in teaching or any other field.
  • The positive effects of experience on job
    performance wear of pretty quickly, in most
    professions they wear off in 5 years.

The Teacher
  • The first 2 years of a teachers career provide
    constant education on what they didnt cover in
    college about real world teaching.
  • Experienced teachers and mentors can be a
    lifeline to new teachers and help others become
    great teachers, but not every teacher will be so

  • The mathematical and statistical study of the
    combined results of several studies, has
    uncovered the five-year fade out effect.
  • That is that someone teaching for 6 years has all
    the benefits of experience, as they relate to job
    performance, that a 30-year teaching veteran

Frank Schmidt, Ph.D (Leading Meta-Analyst)
  • Initial learning on the job is pretty steep
    during the first five yearspeople have learned
    about as much as they are going to learn about
    how to do that job after the fifth year. The
    difference you can attribute to experience will
    fade away and no longer affect performance. What
    will become important will be mental ability,
    personality, and conscientiousness personality
    traits. These traits do not fade away. That is,
    their predictive ability (for job performance)
    continues. (Schmidt, 2004)

What does that mean?
  • Its the people with the personality traits for
    the job who keep getting better, year after year.
  • Some teachers have the right personality traits
    and some dont, no matter how long theyve been
    in the classroom.
  • Thats why some veterans are so helpful to
    students and young teachers and some arent.

Experience vs. Talent
  • 2 totally different things
  • Students dont respond to seniority or
    post-graduate degrees.
  • Students respond to teachers who have passion for
    their work.
  • Educator experience has less influence on
    students than simple good teaching.

  • Half of all teachers have a master of science
    degree in education.
  • That degree is more
  • important to the teacher
  • who holds it than it is to
  • the student being taught.

Still Worth It
  • Many teachers find them personally rewarding.
  • Learning more about the work you love is
  • Get exposed to new ideas and practices
  • Get to work with other motivated teachers who are
    as excited about teaching as you are.

Financially Speaking
  • On average, teachers over 3,000 a year on their
    advanced education.
  • Professional Benefits
  • 48 of teachers say they
  • earn more money by getting
  • more licenses and certifications,
  • including advanced degrees.

An Important Note
  • Dont expect a higher education to turn a
    mediocre teacher into a great one.

More Nonsense
  • Keep a professional distance.

Image is not Everything
  • Great teachers.
  • Find the image of the hardened disciplinarian
    disturbing and
  • distressing.
  • The get tough position suggests that you are at
    war with the students.

Do you know this teacher?
  • Give them an inch and they will take a mile
  • Do it because I said so
  • Uses threats to coerce
  • respect because they cant
  • earn it.
  • Only uses threats and
  • punishment to manage classes.

That Teacher . . .
  • Those methods are the result of poor classroom
  • Uses threats and intimidation to maintain order.
  • Leads to greater disrespect
  • Kills learning
  • Eventually corrodes the teacher

What Great Teachers Know
  • Its all about relationships
  • Respect has to be earned
  • Respect is not a quality that can be assigned
  • Students need to respect their teachers before
    they can respect themselves and believe their
    work in school is important.
  • Teachers have to be the ones to reach out and let
    the students meet you half way.

  • Kids can spot fakers and posers instantly. They
    dont see why they should listen to you if you
    dont really care about them.

How Great Teachers Do It
  • Win students over, sometimes subtly, sometimes
  • Do it by building positive, not punitive
  • Learn names quickly
  • Find out personal interests
  • Learn what they care about
  • Use that as your hook

What Everyone Wants
  • Real human interaction helps you excel
  • Students want caring teachers and classrooms
  • Adults want workplaces where their managers care
    about them and their opinions count.

Another Misconception
  • Set high expectations.

Setting the Bar
  • Great teachers dont set high expectations, they
    set the right expectations for each student.
  • Talented teachers have an innate sense of what
    those expectations should be.
  • They then tailor them to individual classes or

Standard Fare
  • Every teacher sets and enforces basic rules
  • Come to class on time
  • Be prepared
  • Pay attention
  • Participate

Rules are Expectations
  • Rules can directly relate to what students can
  • We package them as goals.
  • Student input on goal setting means they are more
    likely to achieve them.

Realistic Expectations
  • Teachers however need expectations to be
    realistic. C-A, Athletic Champion
  • A high expectation is a hope, the right
    expectation is a plan.

Problems with High Expectations
  • High expectations can be mistaken for impossible
    standards, even by educators and especially by
  • Rather than inspiring students to greatness or
    encouraging them to achieve, those impossible
    expectations doom students to failure.

Problems with High Expectations
  • Not conducive to learning
  • Can erode students self esteem
  • As students get older they
    begin to stop trying to meet impossibly
    high expectations, which can mean
    they have given up trying to win
    their teachers approval.

The Worst Part
  • Students stop being able to distinguish the
    difference between exorbitant expectations and
    the ones that are within their reach.
  • Every lofty expectation
  • looks impossible.

Low Expectations
  • Low expectations are thought to boost self-esteem
    because they provide successes.
  • After the first couple of
    successes even young people can recognize hollow
    victories when they see them.

Low Expectations
  • Suggest subtly that students arent capable of
    doing better.
  • Stall students
  • Dont help them stretch
  • or exceed present abilities
  • Does not encourage them
  • to develop new skills
  • Inspire mediocrity

Importance of Expectations
  • Expectations are important and the right
    expectations for an individual student are

  • Public praise gives students a big head, and
    public rebukes keep them in line.

Great Teachers . . .
  • Love to see young people learn
  • Get very real and personal satisfaction out of
    student success
  • Happily voice that satisfaction in class

  • Recognition is neither benign or destructive
  • Recognition is a powerful motivator
  • More so when given publicly
  • Especially when it is for an achievement the
    student is truly proud of.
  • The research shows that the more public the
    praise, the better.

  • A magic curriculum, method, or theory will work
    for everyone.

  • We have been burned before
  • Can barely finish one mandated
    initiative before they introduce
    the next brilliant method
  • Great teachers think the magic method is

  • We know that every student is different and
    learns differently
  • Fortunately for us that human brains are similar
    enough that education doesnt have to be
    reinvented for each child.
  • Someone should tell an administrator that.

Magic Methods
  • No one method can accommodate the difference in
    the aggregate and yet speak to the differences in
    every individual.
  • They also dont and cant account for the
    differences among teachers.
  • What works for me might not work for you.

How does it work?
  • Different methods work for different teachers and
    different methods work for different students.

Whats the Solution?
  • Great Teachers cherry pick among the theories,
    methods and curricula.
  • They take what looks productive and leave the

Get Ready to Laugh
  • Teachers must
  • love students all
  • the time.

Great Teachers
  • Love their students just not every single
  • According to the NEA survey Status of the
    American Public School Teacher 2000-2001 73 of
    teachers got into the field to work with young

The Reality
  • Great Teachers love learners
  • Love being part of a someones development
  • Love knowing they played a significant role in
    someones life
  • They love being remembered for their
    contributions to someones education
  • Love building the relationships

Why Teachers Do It
  • Great Teachers respect and admire students for
    the work they do.
  • They become teachers for the young people but
    stay in it for the learners.
  • Even the best teachers, however, know that no one
    can like every student all the time.

  • So why do we consider Great Teachers to be
  • Because sometimes doing what conventional wisdom
    considers the right thing is actually doing the
    worst thing betraying the education of a child.

3 Things Great Teachers Do Wrong
  1. Create flexible structures
  2. Share control
  3. Express Emotions

Create Flexible Structures
  • Though Great Teachers tend to be well organized,
    they dont always stick to the plan.
  • They create new lessons on the fly.
  • They dont treat every student the same way.
  • They dont teach all their class the same way.
  • But they arent chaotic

Go With the Flow
  • Great Teachers teach the moment.
  • They establish boundaries and standards.
  • They are able to flex to the situation even if it
    means throwing the prepared lesson out the window

Share Control
  • Great Teachers dont try and rule the classroom
    with an iron fist, they encourage and invite
  • Making students part of the classroom management
    helps students assume responsibility and
    authority over their learning.
  • Students become dependable and reliable by being
    given responsibility for their own learning.

Express Emotions
  • Great Teachers show their pride in and care for
    their students using words and actions.
  • Show pride in student accomplishments
  • Are personally invested in their students growth
    as people.

The Power of Emotion
  • Emotions are very powerful and transmit easily
    young people respond to them quickly.
  • Emotion is part of being alive so suppressing
    them or removing them deliberately restrains the
    art of teaching.
  • Be human

The Power of Emotion
  • You can gain a lot more trust by showing emotion
    than by holding it back.
  • Students learn more from teachers who laugh with
    them, cheer with them, and sometimes, cry with
  • When students see real emotion coming from a
    teacher, they realize that a real person is
    teaching them, and that creates a personal,
    powerful presence in the classroom.

  • What was the name of the
  • best teacher you ever had?

  • 2. What misinformation did
  • that teacher reject?

  • 3. What unorthodox
  • behavior did that
  • teacher manifest?

  • What made that teacher so memorable to you and
    influential on your education?
  • Why do you still remember that teacher?

  • 5. What did that teacher do that youve never
    seen another teacher attempt?

  • 6. How did that teacher make you feel?

  • 8. Do you use any of that teachers methods,
    sayings, or behaviors in your own classes?