How to Be a Great Teacher (or Anything, Really)

For those of you who are Choral Music Education, or really anyone who is interested in teaching, there is a good article about what makes a great teacher over at Study Hacks. The article looks at data on effective teachers that was obtained through the Teach for America program. Basically, they looked at thousands of teachers over 20 years and came up with a few traits that the best teachers shared. You will find them to be pretty similar to things you’ve heard from me, Dr. Popejoy, and many of your other professors. So, here they are:

  1. They set big goals for their students and are perpetually looking for ways to improve their effectiveness.
  2. They’re obsessed about focusing every minute of classroom time toward student learning.
  3. They plan exhaustively and purposefully, “working backward from the desired outcome.”
  4. They work “relentlessly”…”refusing to surrender.”
  5. They keep students and their families involved in the process.

Looks pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Well, you’d be surprised just how hard it is to maintain that “exhaustive” and “relentless” preparation and planning. In my mind, that’s the same kind of devotion you need to be successful in your private lessons, your classwork in general, and in Concert Choir. Are you “obsessed” with being a successful student right now? If not, will you be able to suddenly change and become obsessed with the success of your students once you get out into the real world? That sort of thing doesn’t just happen overnight…it takes a lot of practice, so start now! There’s a lot more interesting stuff in the article, so I’ll let you read it yourself, but I think it’s great reading for anyone interested in being successful at really anything. [via Study Hacks]

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