Do you have a teacher who was so significant in your life that you still think of him/her to this day? Cathy and I both have teachers who were instrumental to us for different reasons. In my life I can think of three – Mr. David Webster, Mrs. Nancy Bear and Mrs. Dianna Risk. All three taught collaboratively in a special kind of cohort program that was provided for students in the small community where I grew up. And all of these educators played such an important role in my decision to go into teaching because they did so much more just teach standards and impart knowledge.
The creativity these teachers used in their planning went far beyond direct instruction. Mr. Webster actually provided my first experience “teaching” in front of a class. He helped his students choose a math topic that they understood well, guided them through the development of lesson plans and gave them the opportunity to teach that topic to others. I actually got to stand up in a classroom and teach – and I was only in 5th grade! He gave me so much encouragement that I still keep his “teacher evaluation” page in a scrapbook. (Never underestimate the impact your feedback can have on a child!)
Mrs. Bear’s understanding of her students and how they learn best was phenomenal. In a time when collaborative learning wasn’t necessarily practiced very much, nor necessarily encouraged, she came up with creative ways for students to work together in groups and provided opportunities for us to go out into our town to involve our community in our learning. I remember one project our class did that centered around the question “Which is better for people…a 4-day or 5-day school/work week?”. My group directed our focus on the medical community and interviewed doctors, nurses and other medical staff to get their thoughts and input. Talk about a real world way to conduct active research?! I still remember sitting in front of a local doctor asking questions and feeling so very professional and important.
And Mrs. Risk…well Mrs. Risk is still one of the main reasons I strive to be the best teacher that I can be, but more importantly, why I always try to make personal connections with my students – to make them feel valued and special. (Her picture is below.) Daily she strove to know her students better, to delve into their lives to find strengths, weaknesses and even underlying reasons for behavior in classrooms. Genuine communication with parents and students was the most important part of what I learned from her and it seems I still always measure myself as a teacher against what she was to me. She was one of a kind.
As teachers, we know that our jobs help children become successful adults and that forming relationships with our students is one of the most important things we do. Even though we know the importance of our jobs, staying motivated and on track can be challenging. Tools to help make our jobs easier can mean so much to the teacher who is devoting all of their extra time to be the best teacher he or she can be. To help with this, we like SMART software that helps turn lessons into learning experiences at education.smarttech.com. SMART will help you get outstanding results by taking learning from passive listening to active collaboration!
One tool that really helps with this is SMART software. For teachers who want to encourage student creation, like Mr. Webster did, it lets every student get hands on with the lesson on their own device. It can also help in following Mrs. Bear’s example, because it supports project based learning by letting kids work together in real time. And for teachers who strive to personalize learning like Mrs. Risk did for me, SMART software is full of formative assessment tools that help understand how each student is learning every day of the year.
While our intentions are always good as teachers and we are always striving to do our best, some days a little extra motivation is needed. We created this print for you to sit at your desk when you need a little extra motivation:
Simply click on the image above and you will be able to download the 5 x 7 jpeg file.
If you are looking for more inspiration as a teacher, take a look at SMART’s World Teachers’ Day blog post: Teachers’ Balancing Act. Can you think of that one (or two…or three) teachers who made such a lasting impression on you? Let us know about him/her in the comments below!
Can you think of that one (or two…or three) teachers who made such a lasting impression on you? Let us know about him/her in the comments below!
SMART Technologies helps great teachers get outstanding results by taking learning from passive listening to active collaboration. Learn how SMART software helps turn lessons into learning experiences at education.smarttech.com. This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SMART. The opinions and text are all mine.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of SMART . The opinions and text are all mine.