Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Dynamic Teacher

This is a call for dynamic teachers. Dynamic is defined as something or someone that is characterized by constant change, activity, or progress. As I hope we all know, the idea that you would be a practitioner of a practice simply because it had been done that way for years does not work in education. Like I have said many times before, there are tried and true educational practices and learning processes that are timeless. However, in an age of exponentially growing innovation, the idea that you would not be willing to change or progress in order to become more effective in education is simply obsolete. We need dynamic teachers.

If you read carefully, you will notice that I did not say dynamic speakers. I have seen some amazing speakers in my time and I have received great motivation and ideas from these speakers over time. However, it is much different when you spend as much time as a teacher does with her students. Dynamic speaking only lasts so long before it become more about the speaker than the audience. We need our teachers to have engaging personalities, make jokes, relate to students, give proper direction, and inspire the students on a regular basis. We need their presence to be felt in class and when the teacher speaks, we want our students to truly feel that what they are saying is important. But there is much more to a dynamic teacher.

A dynamic teacher demonstrates the characteristics of a great speaker but that should always lead into activity. We need teachers who introduce topics, skills, and projects in an engaging and understandable way, but we need teachers who understand that the students, should be active as well. A dynamic teacher understands this and spend time designing lessons that will engage, challenge, and inspire students to be creative while also allowing for collaboration. The dynamic teacher is able to seamlessly make the transition from being an engaging speaker to helpful facilitator. In essence, the dynamic teacher maintains her presence through all of these transitions.

The dynamic teacher understands the value of communication and feedback. Students feel comfortable in asking questions and know that their work will always be reviewed and edited by their teacher. The class is in constant workshop and improvement mode. After all, almost every successful business in the world is operated this way. The students feel good about their work because their is a process in getting to their end goal rather than simply turning something in and never hearing back from their teacher. Imaging spending a significant amount of time on a project for work and then never getting any feedback on how you did or how you can improve. You would soon become jaded.

The dynamic teacher works at being this way over time. She takes risks and never makes the same mistake twice. The dynamic teacher is the ultimate model because she is a lifelong learner and pushes herself to improve each and every day. The minute that you set foot in the room of a dynamic teacher, you will know. There is nothing like it.

The dynamic teacher understands the power behind her position. The dynamic teacher can make positive change in our families, communities, and our world. This is not an easy task. It is not for the faint of heart. But the dynamic teacher thrives on this idea. We need more dynamic teachers! Leading is Teaching.

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