Why Teach?

February 18, 2014, presentation at Blades Hall at the University of Dubuque for pre-service teachers.

It was a joy to spend 1 1/2 hours with pre-service teachers at the University of Dubuque.  The topic was, “Why Teach?” and was focused around the following characteristics of effective teachers:

  1. Passion – loves to teach;
  2. Organization – excellent communicator and proactive rather than reactive;
  3. Content Knowledge – understands the content and knows how to explain it so the students understand it;
  4. Relationship building – cares about students and challenges them;
  5. Classroom environment – thinks outside the box;
  6. Lifelong learner and strives for continuous improvement.

Additional advice included:

  1. Never stop learning!
  2. Develop a support system!
  3. Sharpen your skills!
  4. Stay focused!
  5. Take joy in what you do!
  6. Eat healthy and exercise!

We looked at HOT BUTTONS in today’s education world:

  • Common Core
  • Assessment
  • Performance-based evaluations
  • MTSS/RtI
  • Early Literacy – Third Grade Retention

Those in education are reminded:

  • We are letters to our students written not on tablets of stone but on human hearts.
  • As educators, we do not merely fill a bucket but we kindle a fire.

The evening finished with the following story about “Anthony,” as they were reminded that sometimes we learn more from our mistakes than from our successes.  I won’t go into detail here, but it is a great true story!