Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Habits of the Teacher Mind

“When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”
~ Wendell Berry

In reflecting on “Habits of Mind” that we want to cultivate in our students it’s interesting to note that they are often similar to the habits we need to cultivate in ourselves as teachers.

Every second we spend in the classroom requires us to make decisions – some small, some large. We have to mediate conflicts while simultaneously ensuring students are comprehending content. We have to plan lessons at the same time we grade past assignments. We have to dedicate ourselves to our students and to our lives outside of school.

How do we do all these things? We employ our own set of “Habits of Mind.”

Much of what we know about what works in the classroom must be learned through trial and error, and patient progress through experience. At Inspired Teaching we have spent several years learning from teachers and from our own teaching experience. Our observations have generated a list of qualities we believe exceptional teachers possess and what follows is an attempt to condense them into what we could call Habits of the Teacher Mind.

What would you add to this list? What would you take away? Let us know!

Habits of the Teacher Mind

Inspired Teachers are…
  1. Passionate about the art of teaching, the subject matter, and the students we teach.
  2. Compassionate and dedicated to building positive, and productive relationships with and among students, colleagues, parents and the community.
  3. Observant and proactive, using the data we collect from our students to help them reach their full potential in school and in life.
  4. Reflective and curious, always seeking new ways to improve our practice and reach our students.
  5. True facilitators who know how to get the most out our students by holding them to and helping them reach high expectations.
Our goal is to teach students how to think, not just what to think and as educators this is also the goal we hold for ourselves.

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