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The Art of the Great

“What makes a great teacher?”

I don’t know if you have ever wondered about this, but this question that has plagued me for years.

Over three decades, I’ve worked with hundreds of principals and vice principals, facilitated hundreds of teacher trainings and been in classrooms with thousands of students. I’ve also had an opportunity to work with administrative staff: librarians, office staff and other support staff.

And during this time I’ve had an opportunity to talk with lots of them.

In these conversations it became evident that the who and the how come before the what.

In other words who you are and how you engage with students come before what you teach.

Don’t get me wrong. Knowledge and skill in the chosen field of study is vital.  But who we are speaks louder than subject matter.  And how you deliver the material as well as how you deal with the day to day, moment by moment relationships in the classroom and on the campus is the maker or breaker of excellence.

Here’s the good news. We can develop the who and how. We can improve!

When we look at it this way, self-development is really not an option.  Instead it is a responsibility for every teacher, principal, vice principal and support staff on the campus.

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