** Not your ordinary, endless list – just what’s number 1.
I’ve been involved in teacher training and professional development for a long time. A lot of the time, I’m trying to keep up the good fight against so many preconceived notions about what makes a better teacher. Right now, we are having an energetic conversation HERE about the issue of whether certification/degrees make a better teacher. Despite my own career, I’m convinced that certification actually hurts teachers and detrains them – especially language teachers. There is nothing but a lot of perpetuated misinformation about what makes good teaching.
I am not going to outline them all here but rather want to point those interested to a stellar article that I’ve often returned to and digested for thought – What Makes An Expert. Though not directly related to teaching, it focuses on what makes someone rise to the top of their profession/interest. So many valuable lessons for teachers all revolving around the notion that “teachers are made, not born” (another big myth we have out there). Please read at your leisure and comments welcomed.
To end, here is my own list of the myths that exist about – “A Better Teacher”. I’ll refrain from commenting on them and leave this for another post.
1. Teachers are of a certain character type/personality.
2. Professional development always is beneficial and teachers never “get worse”.
3. There is a relationship between increased subject knowledge and increased teaching effectiveness.
4. Teacher pay has no bearing on how effective they will teach.
5. Teaching is an academic subject and there is a set body of knowledge all teachers should know.
6. What a teacher thinks about their student’s abilities does not influence their teaching or educational outcomes.
7. A degree represents a better teacher than one without, all other things equal.
If you liked this post, you’ll be interested in this one: The #1 teaching factor affecting student success.