Helping Teachers Make a Difference in the Lives of Their Students

What Amazing Teachers Do – Lessons I’ve Learned from The Amazing Teacher Podcast

Hello again, It’s been  a while since I last added a post to the SITC blog, and I apologize for that.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with the Amazing Teacher Podcast.

I’m learning that publishing a podcast isn’t as easy as I thought it would be. First, I have to schedule a time to Skype the guest. Then, I have to record the interview, and finally, I have to edit the interview, eliminating all (or at least most) of my mistakes and adding the intro and outro to the audio file. It’s a little time consuming, but I am so happy that I decided to publish the show.

I have learned so much from the amazing teachers that I have had the pleasure of interviewing, and most importantly, I have been inspired to make a greater impact on the students that I come in contact with every day.

As of this posting, I have published nine episodes, and the tenth show should air on Monday, January 6th, 2014.

They include:

Episode #1:

Episode #2:

Episode #3: amazingteacherposterfinal

Episode #4:

Episode #5:

Episode #6:

Episode #7:

Episode #8:

Episode#9:

Episode #10: Lisa Mims (www.oldschoolteach.com – Probable air date: January 6, 2014)

I wanted to share some of the nuggets of wisdom that these amazing teachers have shared on the podcast, just in case you haven’t had a chance to download the show. : )

Here’s what I’ve learned about amazing teachers – from amazing teachers.

1. Amazing teachers build positive relationships with their students and their parents.
Every teacher who has been on the show has shared the importance of building positive relationships with the students. Being able to connect in a positive way with every student in the class is so essential to having success in the classroom. Matt Gomez reminded us in episode eight that building a positive relationship with the parents is also essential. Krissy Venosdale, in episode six taught us how important it is to partner with the parents, especially for students with special needs.

2. Amazing teachers never stop learning.
Many of the guests shared that even though they might have many years of experience under their belt, amazing teachers are always looking for new ideas and different ways to present the lesson. Amazing teachers collaborate with other teachers to be even more effective in the classroom.

3. Amazing teachers identify and ignite students’ passions.
Both Krissy Venosdale and Matt Gomez mentioned this. Larry Ferlazzo also spoke on this. Finding out what makes a student excited is the first step in motivating a student to action. Giving students an authentic audience is also an awesome way to motivate a student. Many of the guests have students blog or tweet and even Skype with other students around the world. This adds so much more value to an assignment when a student knows that what they will be producing will be seen by more than just their teacher.

4. Amazing teachers trust their students.
Pernille Ripp in the first episode shared that she has removed all rewards and consequences from her class – in effect, trusting her students to do what they are supposed to do. I was a bit surprised by this when I first heard it, but it seems that the more amazing teachers I speak with, the more common it is to just trust the students. It begins, I believe, with creating those positive relationships and a class culture where students know that the teachers believes in them.

5. Amazing teachers persevere.
Danielle Mizuta in episode four characterizes an amazing teacher who, in spite of all that he/she is asked to do, the focus is on the students, and that commitment to the student keeps him/her moving forward. Amazing teachers don’t quit. They don’t complain or give less than their best effort. Amazing teachers persevere. Like Julia Thompson shared in the latest episode, amazing teachers are not grumpy.

6. Amazing teachers give second chances
I was inspired by Rebecca Mieliwocki’s image of a teacher with a shovel. In the third episode, Rebecca reminds us that amazing teachers are willing to be that teacher who will do whatever it takes to help that student dig him/herself out of the hole they’ve dug. It’s easy to let the student fail as a lesson on responsibility. Amazing teachers make a more lasting impact on the student by offering a little redemption and helping him/her out of their hole.

7. Amazing teachers try new things.
Many of the teachers on the podcast have shared that being open to changing things up a little is a characteristic of amazing teachers. Whether it’s a new kind of technology or just a deviation in the routine, trying something different makes the lesson more interesting.

8. Amazing teachers uplift and inspire.
One theme that is common among all the guests that have been on the podcast is the dedication to uplift and inspire kids. Pat Hensley had her students place on the top of their papers, “I am a born winner.” Julia Thompson reminded us, “Your role as a teacher is to uplift and inspire…” Students leave the classrooms of amazing teachers feeling better, smarter, happier, taller. In the next episode with Lisa Mims from oldschoolteach.com, she shares how she has adopted Rita Pierson’s TED talk quote,“every kid needs a champion.” One never knows what baggage a student brings into the classroom. Amazing teachers understand this, and dedicate the the time that they have with their students to uplifting and inspiring. They become the students’ champion.

Like I said, I have been so inspired by the conversations that I’m having with these amazing teachers. I hope that by listening to me pick their brains, new teachers and hopefully some not-so-new teachers have found inspiration as well.

I’ve created a printable PDF poster (8 x 10) that shares what I’ve learned from these amazing teachers.

I have it available on the podcast website – TheAmazingTeacher.com.amazingteacherposterfinal

Feel free to download the PDF.

I would like to thank the amazing teachers who have been so gracious in allowing me to pick their brains on the podcast. It has truly been an inspiring 10 weeks.

Until next time,

Here’s to your Success in the Classroom!

 

Thanks,

Sam

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