I am referring to qualities that consistently appear to shine in people who excel in the art and science of teaching. None of these qualities appear on resumes, in interviews, on elaborate lesson plans.
The New Yorker had an article a few months ago about the difficulty of evaluating good teaching/ an effort that if successful, might make performance-based salary advancements quite acceptable.
Here is my attempt at a definition in five easy steps. Why five? It forces me to distill and compress the essence of a profession. Let me know if these are of any use. I especially appreciate feedback from those of you in the profession. Tell me which, or any you agree or disagree with. Thanks.
1. Ability to see the entire classroom, and like a masterful conductor, move around and keep every player engaged to the task at hand. Every Player knows he/she is responsible to that master conductor. Ask your child: are you allowed to play in your classroom?
2. Ability to explain the subject/concept/skill in a variety of ways within the space of a couple of lessons or so, and through homework activities. Every Player knows that he/she must master the material and that the teacher is his partner in that mastering. Ask your child: did you understand your homework?
3. Ability to simplify/ration/scaffold and extend understanding past the textbook materials, past the assignments. Ask your child: can you pass the test on this material?
4. Ability to encourage, motivate, cajole, see potential in every player. Ask your child: do you like your teacher?
5. Ability to expand the curriculum through projects, real life problems, fairs, competitions. Ask your child: what's the importance of this assignment you and I need to do?
You may add more if you like. Each of us has had a special teacher. How do you remember that person?