So I’ve spent a LOT of time this week of Spring Break working on operation “Get a Teaching Job”. I spent an entire day working on my Resume’, that was fun. And so far I’ve spent all of today working on filling out an online application. Although I will admit that the majority of that time has been spent writing what I’m about to share with you. One of the questions the application posed was, “Describe the skills or attributes you believe are necessary to be an outstanding teacher.” Now, I don’t know about you but that just wasn’t something I could answer in just one sentence and do it justice. And the more I wrote, the more I found myself thinking about the Proverbs 31 woman. It begins, “A wife of noble character who can find…” and then goes on to list all the qualities of a good wife. I found myself writing my own version of the Proverbs 31 Woman… The Outstanding Teacher!
A truly outstanding teacher is a good leader by being good with people & organization. As a leader & an outstanding teacher she works with people of all ages from students & their parents to the administration and co-workers. An outstanding teacher strikes a good balance between being too soft and easily pushed around and being too hard and pushing everyone else around. She is a likable person who stands her ground when necessary (especially with students) but will happily accept constructive criticism & follow those in leadership above her as well.
It’s always best to know where we’re going before we leave! For this reason I believe an outstanding teacher, in addition to being good with people, must also be organized. The students & their parents are trusting her to lead them through the daily activities of school, field trips, projects & homework. Those are a lot of plates to keep spinning and it takes a great deal of organization in order to spin them in an outstanding manner.
In an average school year of 180 days, the outstanding teacher will spend approximately 900 hours with this next generation. This is why an outstanding teacher is passionate about her students. Nine hundred hours influencing the future is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. The outstanding teacher is passionate for the entire well-being of her students, from education to personality development she takes it all seriously. It is the outstanding teacher’s goal to wake up the thinker, the researcher, the artist, the dreamer, the future person inside each and every one of her students by teaching them the skills they will need to be that future person.
In conjunction with passion, the outstanding teacher must possess compassion. Within those 900 hours of teaching and skill building, many of her students will unfortunately have the worst day of their lives. Whether it be as small as the temporary loss of a friendship or as earth shattering as the permanent loss of a parent, these students will experience life and it’s cruelties. An outstanding teacher knows how to be compassionate when these events take place under her care. For a teacher to be unfeeling toward her students during these traumatic life events, no matter how seemingly small, is in my opinion a tragedy. Every moment of life is a teachable moment and sometimes there are more important things in life to learn than the times tables. With that being said, I also believe that many times the best way to weather a life event, is to engross yourself in the glorious routine of school and learning. Knowledge has a way of soothing life’s aches and pains like nothing else can.
Last, but certainly not least, the outstanding teacher possesses adaptability. As a teacher there will be curve balls thrown at your head all day every day, from Johnny throwing up in the middle of science class to tomorrow’s meeting getting moved to today… in five minutes. It is an outstanding teacher’s job to be proactively organized & plan the way for her class every day knowing that those plans can and probably will change at the drop of a hat. An outstanding teacher has the ability to make those changes without even making it noticeable that there were any changes at all. In addition to adapting to the daily changes, an outstanding teacher is a timeless one; she doesn’t use the same exact lesson plans for 25 years straight. It is the outstanding teacher’s responsibility to prepare her students for their future, one that doesn’t even exist yet. In order to do this the outstanding teacher knows the world her students live in today and anticipates the world they could create and teaches them to create tomorrow.
So what do you think? Would you agree with those statements? Would you hire me?