Successful Teaching Graduate or Successful Teacher?

It constantly amazes me how students studying education seem to sit on one of two sides – they are either brilliant students, with great ideas on how to work in a classroom, but have little “real” experience (I’m not belittling, I mean the experience that leaves you questioning the role of a teacher, the success, the difference you can make); or they’ve worked in the education industry for a long time, know the stresses and strains, disappointments that come with it, and are left disillusioned with study and it’s relevance.

308-guide-to-being-a-successful-teacherI’m probably offending many readers here, and I genuinely don’t mean to – I have worked with people on both sides of the fence, and I actually think I’ve been on both sides at different times. When completing assignments I struggle with that line- I am someone who has worked in early childhood for 10 years, under many curriculum’s and have experience with converting theory to practice, the stresses and strains of teaching, but also the disappointments. Setting out to make a real difference, change the lives of children, only to discover that we can’t “win” them all. I feel often assignments at uni require us to have a great handle on theory, being able to write assignments well, quote theorists and reference these using APA correctly. However, when you go into a classroom, theory will serve little purpose if you cannot find a way for your theory to connect with the students. Often they don’t. Over my 10 years, I have rarely seen 2 children with similar behaviours. They have some similar characteristics that help me identify ways to assist the child, but differentiation for students has never been identical for 2 children. NEVER. What that means, is that the theories, strategies and understandings I have developed won’t suit EVERY child. In fact, I will find over the coming years that my experience will combine with the theoretical knowledge to produce what I hope to be as “superb teaching”.

Yep, I genuinely want to be an amazing teacher – not an “award winning academic” or a “principal’s dream” but an amazing teacher. When working on these assignments for uni, that’s what I think about. How can I use this to help me become an amazing teacher. I don’t think about “how can I get a perfect grade?” – that’s not my style. I want to pass. Every single time I want to pass. But what is more important to me than a perfect grade is seeing the knowledge and understanding that I develop and express in my assignment production to be converted to teaching that is above and beyond what is expected of me. I have a dream…

Here’s an interesting post on 25 things successful teachers do differently.  This list consists of things that are instantaneous (such as knowing when to ignore students) but also things that form part of our personal pedagogy.  Here’s my top 10 from the list:

6. Successful educators expect their students to succeed

7. Successful educators have a sense of humor

11. Successful educators are reflective

13. Successful educators communicate with parents

15. Successful educators adapt to student needs

17. Successful educators take time to explore new tools

18. Successful educators give their students emotional support

19. Successful educators are comfortable with the unknown

21. Successful educators bring fun into the classroom

24. Successful educators break out of the box

Cited From:

It’s interesting to look at the list and see what fits for you – the one’s I’ve listed above are just the ones I feel most strongly about.  What is it for you?


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. mariakaffatou
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 18:20:45

    Reblogged this on mariakaffatou and commented:
    Being an educator always includes more than it suggests: to educate…..
    Where does education start and most importantly when does it stop? Working in the Early Childhood sector I totally agree with everything that has been mentioned in the article about our role….
    There is always though that side of the educator being that extra valuable family member. The one that is always aware when the child is sick, or has not had adequate sleep, or is hungry, needs a pair of glasses because s/he cannot see well, suffers from nightmares, doesn’t eat well….
    Working in Early childhood suggests that we are the extra parent that takes the responsibility to look after children while the parents are not there and who more often than not, spends more time with these children than their parents do…
    What a great responsibility!


  2. Trackback: Planning with Purpose | christyanneroberts
  3. christyanneroberts
    Apr 21, 2014 @ 20:37:50

    Hello Lisa Rose, I have enjoyed reading your blog post and have linked to it via my own blog, to share some of your reflections which have inspired my thinking. I am thrilled to read how passionate you are about Early Childhood, and agree that the responsibilities are very high! Thank you for providing the link to the ‘Successful Educators’ article, I feel it highlights the personable aspect of teaching.
    Warm Regards


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