The Inspiring Teacher - Beyond The Degree
Qualities Of Greatness To Achieve Excellence.
"The highest of all callings, is that of a caring teacher" ~ Audrey Hunt
The qualifications to be an inspiring teacher go far beyond a teacher's degree.
Not everyone that wants to teach others is qualified to do so. And I'm not speaking of teachers who hold a degree to teach - anyone can qualify for a degree if they work hard enough. The qualifications for being an excellent teacher go much deeper than this.
Let's examine the qualities I am referring to.
- A great love for people of all ages, background, ethnicities and abilities.
- Patience - unending patience.
- A positive out look and attitude
- A deep and profound love and understanding of human nature
- A thirst for knowledge
- Consistently good-natured
- Good sense of humor
These are the basic elements that make an excellent teacher. And if you want to excel, you must not be satisfied with limiting yourself to be just a good teacher - go for greatness. Strive for excellence.
"Teaching Is Believing In Your Student" - Audrey Hunt
The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.
William Arthur Ward
Qualifications That Count + Initiative
Growing up, I always knew that I would one day be a teacher. And I knew that what I would teach would be music. I also knew that within the music genre, I would concentrate on piano, voice, music theory, and music history.
At every music lesson, I was like a series of little sponges, soaking up everything I was taught. But unlike most students, who would only concentrate on "the business at hand", I also developed a keen awareness of how the instruction made me feel. I paid strict attention to my teacher's voice and whether it was demanding and critical or kind and helpful. How did her voice make me feel? Stupid, smart, gifted, slow, fast, dumb, un-deserving, punished or praised? Did I feel the sharp nails of defeat, or the freedom of achievement?
The qualifications of an excellent teacher go far beyond credentials, far beyond talent and even far beyond ability.
John C. Maxwell speaks of the importance of initiative in pursuing excellence ~ "Initiative is Often the Difference Between Success and Failure."
It's the very first step toward qualified teaching and it closes the door to fear. A talented teacher without initiative never reaches his full potential. Incorporate the following and you will be an inspiring teacher:
- Inspire your students by being an example to them. Find ways to share inspiring stories about people their own age. They must observe all that they can become.
- Always, always, find something to praise being truthful and specific. When possible praise the act and not the student.
- In pursuing excellence, always be open to new ideas. Never rest on your laurels. Learn all you can about your craft on a continuing program of self-help, classes, reading and research.
- Always strive to do a little bit more. What can you do to create that little extra something that will take you from ordinary to extraordinary ?
Resource Talent is Never Enough ~ John C. Maxwell
In Conclusion ~
As Whitney's beautiful and touching message reveals to us, "The Greatest Love of All Is Learning To Love Ourselves." This is how we prepare ourselves to love others. And without this love we are lacking the most important ingredient needed to inspire and teach others.
Find the beauty in each student. Everyone is gifted in some way. As the teacher encourages, supports and inspires each student, that special gift will be discovered and then it starts to grow.
Feed your class 'mental vitamins' through the power of your words. Remember the attributes of an excellent teacher as listed above. If you happen to be weak in one attribute, work on it until it becomes part of you.
As a teacher, you will find different types of learners in your class. This is one of the biggest challenges you will face. Your responsibility is to respect these different styles and support them. Use the strengths of each one as you teach.
Each student will have an impact on you. And you will leave an imprint on the minds of those you teach, even for the rest of their lives.
© 2011 Audrey Hunt
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