Monday, November 2, 2009

An Outstanding Educator

The two most important qualities that an educator can possess are a willingness to patiently teach and a willingness to patiently learn. Both of these qualities imply a knowledge of the best possible practices, a constant yearning to identify these practices, and the ability to take risks by applying these practices to one's craft of teaching. Inherent in these qualities is the ability to communicate through listening, speaking, reading, and writing well. Indeed, these are the very qualities that teachers seek to foster in their students, and so it must follow that outstanding teachers are excellent role-models.

In order to patiently teach, educators must be aware of the several different modalities through which students learn. Educators must be able to teach concepts and generalizations through these modalities, identify when this is necessary, and be willing to do so. Educators must be willing to teach rather than constantly test, realizing that children will make errors and that they can learn much from errors. Such teachers converse with their students about what they are learning. They enjoy reading and writing with their students daily. Patient educators also need to consider wait time, targeted verbal reinforcements, and hands-on instructional techniques.

In order to patiently learn, educators must hone their ability to observe, realizing how rich a store of information is seen in each student. Remarkable educators meekly learn all they can from students. They constantly seek new information about their craft, being life-long learners who are self-propelled in a quest to become better at what they do. These teachers take university classes, attend workshops, collaborate with colleagues, and always question whether there isn't a better way.

An outstanding educator possesses the qualities outlined. I hold these ideals and hope to become an educator displaying these qualities.

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Photo courtesy of muha covered under a Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons license and available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/36863537@N00/1061897539

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