Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

What I Believe About the Power of Teachers

I believe in the power of teachers. But I have found that some teachers fall into the trap of looking for the latest “magic pill” to deal with the ever-increasing challenges we face in teaching today’s students. The pressure to find an immediate solution to prove that our students are learn- ing—according to a test score—outweighs our focus on long-term growth.

My experiences have taught me an important lesson. Teachers are always the key to
effective instruction. It’s not the textbook or the latest program on the market. In classrooms in which all students learn—regardless of gender, ethnicity, poverty level, or background—teachers do two things. First, they care about their students. The old saying is true. Students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.

But caring alone isn’t enough. You also must connect with your students in ways that will help them learn. The best teachers use a set of core instructional strategies to positively influence the learning of their students. They don’t jump from bandwagon to bandwagon; they do the things that work. Today, think about your instruction.  And remember, you are the one who makes a difference.  

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