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The Big XII: Skills for Teaching (and Life!) Heather Sparks, NBCT Oklahoma Teacher of the Year May 5, 2009
12. Empathy Get to know your students and the lives they live. Show interest in student activities. “Even on your worst day, you’re a student’s best hope.” ~Larry Bell
11. Respect Show the respect you expect. Find ways to connect to students. Create a special greeting.
10. Patience “Students that are hardest to love, need your love the most.” Know when to “reschedule” students Keep your “power” in perspective.
9. Flexibility Be willing and able to make changes. Learn to compromise. Create win-win situations.
8. Collegiality Know your strengths and those of your colleagues. Find common ground and work together. ALWAYS treat the school secretary, custodian and other “power players” with respect.
7. Creativity Don’t be married to one specific teaching strategy or textbook. Explore resources regularly. Seek professional growth opportunities.
6. Problem Solving Have a solution before you complain about a problem. Ask advice of other professionals. Involve families.
5. Positive Attitude Fred Factor Being positive is a choice! Which candy salesperson are you?
4. Sense of Humor Don’t be afraid to laugh at yourself. Create class jokes that include everyone. Learn jokes appropriate for your field or subject.
3. High Expectations Set worthy goals for yourself and reflect often on your progress. Establish high expectations for your students.
2. Amnesia Learn to let go…Don’t be a garbage truck! Every day is a fresh start for students.
And the number one skill needed for successful teaching… (and successful living)
1. Self-Care Know your needs and make sure they are met. As much as possible, leave school at school. Adopt a hobby and give yourself permission to enjoy it!
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