ave you ever gone to dinner at a friend or relative’s home and eaten a familiar dish that you’ve made and given them the recipe for? However, theirs tastes better than the one you’ve made! Perhaps they added a secret ingredient that made the difference. Like many masters of trade, they may take the same tools and add their own flair, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Here are a few of the secret ingredients of a great educator:
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Care isn’t always a hug, kiss, or treat, but also respect, high standards, smiles, high-fives, and relationships. When teachers are passionate about what they teach and the students they’re instructing, more than likely their students will internalize the passion and will be self-motivated.
Step One is doing everything that’s required of you in your classroom. Step Two is going above and beyond the call of duty, so that your teaching becomes an art form with distinction that affects students for time and eternity.
What does it really mean to be confident? Here are some adjectives that describe confidence: Ambition; ignoring the status quo; moving from old “safe” lessons and blazing a new trail; catering to student outcomes rather than your own or student preference; embracing our opinions and beliefs and acting on them; aiming high enough to risk failure. This confidence in a teacher, embodies the bravery and ambition they hope their students will one day demonstrate.
Educators welcome feedback about their performance, characteristics and opportunities. Teachers that are self-reflective are always asking the question, “What can I do differently to improve student outcomes?” They use past experiences to make changes for the future. Self-reflection along with continued professional development and experimentation, can amazingly impact student’s lives for years to come.
When a teacher owns their role, they take ownership of not only their students, but all the students in their school. They see them as our students, our successes, our failures, and they see themselves as critical components of improving the outcomes of all.
Unlike the ingredients for the preparation of a special dish, these can’t be picked up at your local grocer, but you can choose to use them. By the grace of God, you can make a significant difference in the lives of our youth for now and eternity.
Master the Secret Ingredients in Your Teaching Strategies
Desiree is a 16-year product of Adventist Christian Education, and a second generation teacher. After completing her bachelor’s degree from Oakwood College, she began her career as a 2nd grade teacher at Ramah Jr. Academy in Cleveland, Ohio. Since that time she has earned a Master’s degree in Teaching Reading, from Western Michigan University; served as a classroom teacher for 18 years; Site-Coordinator and Project Director of a summer Literacy Day Camp program called “Freedom School” for 4 summers; Principal/Superintendent of Education, Family Life & Women’s Ministry leader for Central States Conference, and Associate Superintendent for the Northern District schools in Potomac Conference.
She’s committed to Adventist Christian Education and firmly believes the words of Isaiah 54:13, a command with a promise. “And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children.”