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What Great Teachers Do DIFFERENTLY

A presentation about the 14 things that matter most in making a great teacher.

Nicole Keller

on 15 December 2010

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Transcript of What Great Teachers Do DIFFERENTLY

What Great Teachers Do DIFFERENTLY:
Fourteen Things That Matter Most It's People, Not Programs By: Todd Whitaker Created and Presented By: Nicole Keller The Power of Expectations Prevention Versus Revenge High Expectations-for Whom? Who Is the Variable? Make It Cool to Care What About These Darn Standardized Tests? Ten Days out of Ten The Teacher is the Filter Don't Need to Repair-
Always Do Repair Ability to Ignore Random or Plandom Base Every Decision
on the Best People In Every Situation, Ask Who Is Most Comfortable and Who is Least Comfrotable There have been many innovations that were pushed as the “answer” to solve all of our woes in education: whole language, direct instruction, open classrooms, mission statements, or assertive discipline.
However it is people, not programs that determine the quality of a school, and great schools have great teachers.
Without great teachers, the school lacks the keystone of greatness.
In regard to classroom management, great teachers focus setting expectations not writing rules or thinking up consequences of every broken rule.
Great teachers expect good behavior- and they usually get it.
Great teachers establish expectations not only for their students but also for themselves. When a student misbehaves, great teachers try to keep the behavior from happening again while less effective teachers get revenge through punishments.
Great teachers must focus on what they have the ability to influence.
Effective teachers need the principal to reinforce their expectations for student behavior and to support their responses to misbehavior.
An audience member asked, “Do you mind if we grade papers or read the newspaper while you are speaking?” The presenter responded, “I don’t mind at all – as long as you are comfortable with your students doing whatever they want to do in your class while you are teaching.”
What really matters is what teachers expect of themselves.
Great teachers have high expectations for students but even higher expectations for themselves.
If the students are not focused, great teachers as what they themselves can do differently.
Great teachers strive to improve and they focus on their own performance (the one thing they can control).
When we focus on our own behavior, we feel empowered to make a difference.
Teachers must take responsibility for their performance in the classroom because accepting responsibility is an essential difference between more and less effective teachers. A teacher’s behavior sets the tone in the classroom, teacher’s lounge, and etc.
By filtering out the negatives that don’t matter and sharing a positive attitude, teachers can create a much more successful setting.
Consciously or unconsciously, teachers decide the tone of their classroom and school. Five things that help praise work:
1. Authentic praise for something genuine
2. Effective praise is specific
3. Immediate praise
4. Praise must be clean- it can’t be used to get someone to do something in the future and not “buts” must be included
5. Effective praise is private The educators role is to take a positive approach 10 out of 10 days.
You don’t have to like all of your students, but you do have to act as if you like them.
Effective teachers look for opportunities to find people doing things right and know how to praise those people so they’ll keep on doing things right. Effective teachers work to treat people with respect 10 days out of 10 days because they know that once a relationship is damaged it may never be the same.
Good teachers consistently compliment and praise students.
A great sentence to use in doing repair is “I’m sorry that happened.” You aren’t saying it is your fault or placing blame. You are just saying that you’re sorry it happened. Great teachers have an incredible ability to ignore.
Great teachers know how easily on or two students can disrupt the flow of learning, but they also know when to go with the flow, when to take a stand, and how to quell minor disturbances without further distracting others.
Great teachers have learned from experience which issues demand immediate attention and which will wait for a more teachable moment.
Very little happens at random in the classroom of great teachers.
Great teachers have a plan and purpose for everything they do.
Great teachers do not try to prove who is in charge in their classroom; everyone knows.
Great teachers don’t teach to the middle but aim high.
Effective teachers make decisions following these simple guidelines:
1. What is the purpose?
2. Will this actually accomplish the purpose?
3. What will the best people think?
Situations arise even for the best teachers when tough decisions have to be made.
When making decisions, ask yourself, “Who is the most comfortable and who is the least comfortable in this situation?”
When people become uncomfortable they change, so great teachers make the people who do the right thing feel comfortable. Great teachers shift the focus away from views and beliefs and center on behaviors.
Two questions should be asked and answered:

Then teachers need to determine if they agree that the first question is the core of their school.
Great teachers will shift the focus from beliefs to behaviors. 1. What should our schools be doing?
2. What do standardized tests measure?
Great teachers have a strong core of beliefs. They have developed principles to guide their decisions and goals that define their vision for the year.
The real challenge and the real accomplishment is to get all the students to care about what happens in the classroom.
Once it becomes cool to care, there are no limits to what can be accomplished.
Students care about great teachers because they know great teachers care about them.
Whitaker, T. (2004). What great teachers do differently: fourteen things that matter most. Larchmont, NY: Eye On Education.
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