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In this post, we’re going to look at some of the things that highly effective teachers do in the classroom when thinking about using technology.

I’ve used the word habit on purpose – this is more than a frequent activity, it’s something that is hardwired into how highly effective teachers think. It’s part of their daily process and is habitual to them because it makes complete sense to try to glean every drop of potential from any tool (technological or otherwise) to benefit their students.

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1) Highly Effective teachers Always Start With Why

If you have visited this site before and you don’t know this by now reading this site, have you even been paying attention?

Seriously though, highly effective teachers always start with “why” because they understand the importance of setting clear goals and objectives for their students. When teachers begin by explaining the purpose of a lesson or activity, students are more likely to be engaged and motivated to learn. This applies to the classroom in general, as much as it does for the use of technology.

By starting with “why,” teachers can provide a context for the material and help students understand how it connects to their lives and interests. This can make learning more meaningful and relevant, which can help students retain information and apply it in new situations.

Starting with “why” also helps teachers establish a sense of direction and purpose for their own teaching. When teachers are clear about their objectives and the rationale behind their teaching methods, they can make more informed decisions about what to teach and how to teach it. This can lead to more effective instruction and better outcomes for students.

In summary, starting with “why” helps teachers set clear goals and objectives, engage students, make learning more meaningful, and establish a sense of direction and purpose for their teaching. This is why it is an important practice for highly effective teachers. The use of technology helps teachers to solve the problem: how can we help our students learn more effectively?

2) Highly Effective Teachers are Malleable and Adaptable

Highly effective teachers are malleable and adaptable because they recognise that every student is unique and has different needs, abilities, and learning styles. Effective teachers understand that they need to be flexible in their approach to teaching in order to meet the diverse needs of their students.

Being malleable and adaptable also allows teachers to respond to changing circumstances and new information. For example, if a lesson is not working or if students are struggling with a particular concept, effective teachers are able to adjust their teaching methods or lesson plans to better meet the needs of their students.

Effective teachers are also willing to try new approaches and experiment with different teaching strategies in order to improve their practice. They are open to feedback and willing to reflect on their teaching in order to identify areas for improvement and make changes as needed.

In addition, being malleable and adaptable allows teachers to stay current with new technologies, teaching methods, and research findings. This enables them to bring fresh ideas and innovative approaches to their classrooms, which can help to engage and motivate their students.

In summary, highly effective teachers are malleable and adaptable because they recognise the unique needs of their students, are responsive to changing circumstances, and are willing to experiment with new approaches in order to continuously improve their teaching practice.

3) Highly Effective Teachers Embrace Change

Highly effective teachers embrace change because they understand that education is a dynamic field that is constantly evolving. They recognise that in order to be effective educators, they must be willing to adapt and evolve with the changing needs of their students, their schools, and their communities.

Effective teachers also understand that change can bring new opportunities for growth and improvement. By embracing change, they can learn new teaching strategies, explore new technologies, and try new approaches that can help them better engage and motivate their students.

In addition, effective teachers recognise that change is often necessary for improving student outcomes. They are open to new ideas and innovations in education, and are willing to work collaboratively with their colleagues and administrators to implement new initiatives and programs that can benefit their students.

Furthermore, effective teachers understand that change is a natural part of the learning process. They encourage their students to embrace new ideas, perspectives, and experiences, and help them develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in an ever-changing world.

In summary, highly effective teachers embrace change because they recognise that it is necessary for continuous improvement in education. They are open to new ideas and approaches, and work collaboratively with others to implement positive changes that can benefit their students and communities.

4) Highly Effective teachers Share, Share, Share and Share Some More

Highly effective teachers share, share, share and share some more because they understand the value of collaboration and the power of learning from one another. Effective teachers recognise that teaching is not a solitary endeavour, and that sharing their knowledge, expertise, and resources can benefit not only their students but also their colleagues and the wider educational community.

Sharing helps to build a sense of community among educators, foster a culture of continuous learning, and encourage the development of new ideas and approaches. Through sharing, teachers can learn from one another’s successes and challenges, and can benefit from a wider range of perspectives and experiences.

Effective teachers also recognise that sharing is an important part of professional growth and development. By sharing their work with others, they can receive valuable feedback and suggestions for improvement, and can learn from others’ experiences and insights. This can help them to refine their teaching practice and develop new skills and competencies.

In addition, sharing can help to create a more inclusive and equitable educational environment. By sharing their resources and expertise, teachers can help to ensure that all students have access to high-quality educational opportunities, regardless of their backgrounds or circumstances.

In summary, highly effective teachers share, share, share and share some more because they recognise the value of collaboration, the importance of continuous learning, and the benefits of building a supportive and inclusive educational community.

5) Highly Effective Teachers Think Win-Win-Win-Win

Highly effective teachers think Win-Win-Win-Win because they recognise that education is a collaborative endeavour that involves multiple stakeholders, including students, parents, colleagues, administrators, and the wider community. Effective teachers understand that in order to achieve positive outcomes for all, it is important to adopt a win-win-win-win approach that benefits everyone involved.

Thinking Win-Win-Win-Win means seeking solutions that are mutually beneficial for all stakeholders. For example, effective teachers might work with parents to establish clear expectations and goals for student learning, or collaborate with colleagues to develop interdisciplinary projects that incorporate multiple subjects and perspectives. By doing so, they can create a learning environment that is inclusive, collaborative, and supportive of all stakeholders.

Effective teachers also understand that in order to achieve win-win-win-win outcomes, it is important to be open to feedback and willing to collaborate with others. They recognise that everyone has a valuable contribution to make, and that by working together, they can achieve more than they could on their own.

Furthermore, effective teachers understand that a win-win-win-win approach is essential for building strong relationships and creating a positive school culture. By prioritising the needs and interests of all stakeholders, they can create a sense of shared purpose and a culture of respect and collaboration that benefits everyone.

In summary, highly effective teachers think Win-Win-Win-Win because they recognise the importance of collaboration, mutual benefit, and shared purpose in education. By adopting a win-win-win-win approach, they can create a learning environment that is inclusive, collaborative, and supportive of all stakeholders, and can achieve positive outcomes for everyone involved.

6) Highly Effective Teachers Are Thorough and Think 2 Steps Ahead

Highly effective teachers are thorough and think two steps ahead because they understand that teaching requires careful planning and preparation. Effective teachers recognise that in order to create a successful learning experience for their students, they must be organised, detail-oriented, and proactive in their approach to teaching.

Being thorough means paying attention to the details and ensuring that everything is in order before the lesson or activity begins. This includes preparing materials, reviewing content, and anticipating potential challenges or questions that students may have. By being thorough, teachers can create a learning environment that is structured and predictable, which can help to reduce anxiety and improve student engagement and participation.

Thinking two steps ahead means anticipating what comes next and being prepared for any contingencies. Effective teachers are proactive in their approach to teaching, and plan for multiple scenarios in advance. For example, they may prepare alternate activities in case the lesson is completed more quickly than anticipated, or plan for individual or small-group work in case some students require additional support or challenge.

By thinking two steps ahead, teachers can also ensure that their lessons are cohesive and build upon one another. They can plan ahead to ensure that each lesson is connected to previous learning and prepares students for what is to come. This can help to reinforce learning and build a strong foundation for future learning experiences.

In summary, highly effective teachers are thorough and think two steps ahead because they recognise the importance of careful planning and preparation in creating successful learning experiences for their students. By being organised, detail-oriented, and proactive in their approach to teaching, they can create a structured and engaging learning environment that supports student learning and success.

7) Highly Effective Teachers Actively Care

Highly effective teachers actively care because they recognise that teaching is not just about imparting knowledge, but also about building relationships with their students. Effective teachers understand that students who feel cared for and supported are more likely to be engaged in learning, to persevere through challenges, and to achieve positive outcomes.

Actively caring means taking the time to get to know each student as an individual, and to show them that their teacher is invested in their success and well-being. This may involve taking an interest in their hobbies, passions, and personal goals, or checking in with them regularly to see how they are doing.

Effective teachers also actively care by creating a positive classroom environment that fosters a sense of belonging and connection. They may incorporate team-building activities, celebrate individual and group successes, and foster a culture of respect, kindness, and empathy.

Furthermore, effective teachers actively care by providing students with the support and resources they need to succeed. This may involve providing extra help or guidance to students who are struggling, or advocating for resources or accommodations to help students with learning challenges or disabilities.

By actively caring, teachers can create a safe and supportive learning environment that encourages students to take risks, to learn from their mistakes, and to develop a sense of confidence and self-efficacy. In doing so, they can help to create a positive learning experience that benefits not only their students, but also the wider community.

In summary, highly effective teachers actively care because they recognise that building relationships, fostering a positive classroom environment, and providing support and resources are essential to creating successful learning experiences for their students. By taking an interest in their students’ well-being and investing in their success, effective teachers can help to create a safe, supportive, and engaging learning environment that benefits everyone involved.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to highly effective teachers and what they do in the classroom, there are a number of points could be made – especially around the topic of pedagogy, engagement, structure, pace and knowledge. But in this post we’re focusing on what highly effective teachers do with technology. Note that it isn’t about the device, or the app, or the shiny toys. It’s about what they want to achieve – the technology is another tool in their arsenal to help their pupils understand. It is this point that I believe is at the very heart of the matter – how do highly effective teachers help their students learn? When you understand this question, and how to answer it, you will be one step closer to becoming a highly effective teacher in the classroom.

 

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