6 Points from What Great Teachers Do Differently

What Great Teachers Do Differently 

14 Things that Matter Most

Copyright 2004

Todd Whitaker

Many common sense ideas

Great for new teachers or reminders for veteran teachers

1. It’s People Not Programs

No program is better than an effective teacher.

  • Being a teacher is about relationships.
  • Presentation is key.
  • Must have credibility, relationships, and excitement
  • Create a positive atmosphere-Power of Praise that is authentic, specific, immediate (don’t praise because you want something. Don’t Good, BUT)
  • You won’t like all of your students, but act like it.
  • Model appropriate behavior. The teacher is the filter.
  • Teacher responses are significant.
  • Be positive in interactions with ALL STUDENTS and STAFF
  • Make it cool to care

2. Schools should spend less money on programs and more money on good teachers and support the good teachers that they have.

3. Teachers need to give clear expectations. Great teachers expect good behavior, so that’s what they get. Respect and Trust are key components

  • Have multiple plans for multiple situations
  • Don’t ask what is the reason. Ask what is the purpose?
  • Don’t focus on the least effective people. This will make the top performers feel bad/guilty.
  • Ask: What will my best students think?

4. Prevention vs. Revenge

  • Focus on prevention not punishment
  • Goal=Improve Future Behavior
  • Powerful words in life: “I’m sorry that happened.”
  • What do you do when a student misbehaves? Be Prepared.
  • No one strategy works all of the time.
  • Principal’s Office-What do you expect to happen? Changed Behavior or Punishment?
  • When people become uncomfortable, they change.

5. Have high expectations for students and for yourself.

  • Teachers’ responses are the key.
  • The Teacher Takes responsibility for what happens in the classroom.
  • It’s ok to fail at something in the classroom. This goes for the teacher and the student.

6.  People Skills

“When the teacher sneezes, the whole class catches a cold”

  • Obvious-Don’t be mean to students, make fun of, or embarrass
  • Perceptions can become reality…if you heard a kid is a bad kid, you will start to believe it
  • Maintain self-control in classroom management-Use your ability to ignore!
  • Don’t escalate a situation.
  • Stay out of the blame game.
  • Don’t talk in broad statements to everyone if everyone isn’t the problem.

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