Yesterday, I presented the idea of the #HowToTeacher Rules and gave you Rule 1 (if you haven’t read it, go there first…this post will make more sense if you do). I feel like that rule is key to being a great teacher. All other things that great teachers believe and do stem from the passion for teaching and learning. Rule 2 is tied very closely to the first, but it focuses on who you teach. These two rules are the key to all of the others!
You know what? Maybe I should tell you what Rule 2 is before I talk about how great it is. 🙂 Let me do that now.
#HowToTeacher Rule 2: Great teachers believe firmly that ALL students can learn and they act on those beliefs.
Great teachers believe firmly that ALL students can learn an they act on those beliefs. This is just something that is in the DNA of great teachers. There does not seem to be any challenge too big for them. They are relentless in the idea that every student in their classroom can learn. It seems like they have a million tools in their bag of teacher tricks to try. Nothing that students can throw at them will change their minds that every student can learn.
Students with IEPs?
No problem. They have been to trainings, talked to other teachers, and read strategies for this just for fun.
ESOL students that have little to no English?
Great teachers have workbooks, translators, and are even learning the language the best that they can (almost enough to almost enough to say a couple of things to parents during conferences).
Class with five ADHD poster children all at once?
Multiple seating options, standing desks, a focus corner, and lots and lots of back-up activities for different learning styles.
They don’t know who they are messing with. “I can’t” or “I won’t” are not words that great teachers understand. They will find a way to reach those students (or die trying)!
I could go on and on, but you get where I am going here. Great teachers are not stumped by students with difficult situations or difficult students. Their belief in the ability of every student to learn trumps the challenges to make that happen. They live for the teaching and learning process (Rule 1), and they will not accept that anyone is not able to be a part of that process.
You know the teachers like this. They make other teachers frustrated with their refusal to think that any student student can not learn at the same level (with scaffolding) as the others. These teachers make the other teachers want to try harder and find a way to reach each and every student. They are relentlessly relentless!
This is the key to great teaching. You must not only believe that this is true, but you have to act like you believe it. Never give up on a student. Never stop finding ways to reach them. There is some way for each student to learn and you will find it!
How to find paths for each student will be covered in other #HowToTeacher Rules, but the belief that every student can learn has to got to come first!
I know you are one of the never-give-up teachers! You are one of the amazing ones that won’t take “I can’t” for an answer! I applaud you for that. You are an awesome teacher! Thank you for all that you do to reach your students! Never stop! Keep on teaching, Teacher!