Consider teachers. In the broad sense, they are people who explain how something is done or has happened. More narrowly, teachers are the first adults outside your family who showed you the ways of life.
A great teacher not only teaches but also leaves a positive lifelong impression. Think of teachers you had from preschool through college. How do you remember them? Was it the subjects they taught, how they explained things or how they interacted with you?
Great teachers don’t operate in a vacuum, especially when it comes to bringing parents into the fold. Today’s great teachers communicate regularly with mothers, fathers and guardians, treating them with respect, friendship and as equal partners in the student’s education.
Teachers — the great ones — take the initiative to be leaders by getting involved, asking why not and offering solutions. Inside their relaxed manner is a student anxious to break out.
Teaching to common core state standards and teaching to the test might be necessary evils, but great teachers know how to cover the basics while generating sparks among young imaginations. They leave no doubt who is in charge in the classroom while encouraging students to question, explore and learn outside the shackles of rigid lesson plans.
Ultimately, great teachers raise the bar. They make things happen and offer a hand to students and colleagues alike who also want to make a difference. That’s why we remember great teachers.
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