Reflection and Approaches of outstanding teachers
Reflection has a number of attributes. At the top of the list is that reflection prompts gratitude—which is the key to both happiness and goodness.
In learning, reflection reinforces what we want to remember. This is the reason that I encourage teachers to use some strategy such as “Think, Pair, Share” at the conclusion of every lesson. To use “brain terminology,” reflection makes temporary memory more permanent by strengthening
Kerry—a teacher in British Columbia who explores the use of internal approaches to inspire students to learn—reflected on the teachers who had taught her over the course of her own schooling.
She shared with me some attributes of her own outstanding teachers—those who clearly stood out in her memory as effective and inspiring.
What characteristics did these educators share?
They had cultivated personal bonds with students by:
- Treating them with respect and kindness
- Using an honest, direct teaching approach
- Showing interest in them as individuals
- Sharing stories of their own lives
- Maintaining an approachable manner so they felt safe
- Displaying a willingness to give extra help and encouragement
They had held high expectations for students by:
- Requiring them to work hard
- Insisting that they try
- Challenging them to think
- Expecting them to behave appropriately
They had employed best teaching practices:
- Capturing interest through an engaging classroom environment
- Providing a reason to want to step into the classroom
- Making learning fun
- Utilizing a variety of carefully planned teaching strategies
- Giving varied and meaningful assignments
Use a little reflection now. Ask yourself the following question:
“If you were a student, would you want yourself as a teacher?”
If you hesitate in your answer, reflect on Kerry’s list. For your own benefit, you may discover an area you may wish to improve—aside from the benefits your students will receive.