1. Good teachers have a mission to create a positive learning environment
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A positive learning environment allows students to learn to their full potential. Students must feel safe, secure, and supported before they can be receptive to new learning. Moreover, students' attitudes toward an overall learning situation have a powerful influence on their attitudes toward the learning episode. Meaning, if students feel positive about their learning environment, they are more likely to regard the learning episode as something important, worthwhile, and rewarding.

2. Good teachers empower their students and get them to think beyond themselves with the goal that they will serve others in a positive manner in their own lives today and as adults. They inspire students that they can make an impact in the classroom, in their school, in their town, and even in the world.

As we mentioned in our first night of class, Pay It Forward.

3. A good teacher must like being around students. They must respect their students just as they themselves want respect. It is a two way street. You must reflect, recognize when your methods fail, and be willing to continually learn and change so that you can have as positive an impact on your students as possible. Jaimie Escalante, who was featured in the film Stand and Deliver eloquently states these things in this clip.


4. Communication is key. Building administrators are always looking for teachers that can relay their ideas in a clear, focused manner, that is easy for all to understand. Teachers must be active participants in the school community and must be able to work collaboratively with their colleagues. Principal Robert Glenn wrote the book Teaching for Excellence. This website details the key qualities teachers should possess when entering the profession.


5. Good teachers have a responsibility to put the subject at the center of the classroom. In doing this, it is not the teacher nor the students who are the focal point of any activity; rather, students and teachers become teammates searching to learn greater truths about the subject at the middle. In this sense, teachers and students are united in a "community of truth," as Palmer calls it, all seeking to explore the "great things" of each subject. To do this, the teacher must be the facilitator ("guide on the side") rather than the entire show ("sage on the stage"). In the following clip from "Dead Poet's Society," the teacher demonstrates how active a role a facilitator can play while still placing the subject clearly at the center. Through the activity he devised and guided, the students come to a deep understanding of how conformity can take hold, and thus become more aware of how to differentiate themselves. In this, the students come into the grace of the great thing of conformity and the individual. The teacher, too, learns in this, as one student decides to operate his free will to do nothing, which was how he came into his own understanding of the concept.


6. Good teachers have a responsibility to respond and adapt their teaching methods to the changing student and the changing world in which they live. Sousa discusses the "new brain" of students today, a brain which seeks novelty and must transition often, and poses the question of how important it is to understand how today's students learns best and to strive to meet those standards. The following clip discusses the way in which teachers must be willing to change their views and their long-held methods to better meet the needs of the students they serve.