The key to effective teaching is subject matter knowledge. But more important than that is your ability to convey your understanding, while at the same time being able to bridge the gap of teacher-student relationships. Teachers who do not foster relationships with their students in and out of the classroom forfeit their sincerity, authenticity, and transparency.

So… As a teacher, do your students see what they get from you?

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I believe in answering that statement; a teacher needs to have two characteristics.

One, be a servant-teacher…

How many teachers do you know that make the classroom all about them? I find these type of teachers having poor student interaction and have difficulty with their classroom management. The goal of a teacher should be to “get” their students to enjoy coming to your classroom for the right reasons. If that can be the case, then maybe, just maybe, they might give the subject matter a better chance, even if they dislike the class.

Being a servant-teacher requires intentionality with being who you say you are. It means having an understanding of the lives of your students. It means that you grow your students from the inside out. If you can change their heart, hopefully you can change their mind. Servant-teacher means you put them first. Empower them with ownership.

Two, be an example to follow…

The power of teaching has a direct proportion to the character of the teacher. The great concept about everyone we interact with is knowing if we like or dislike the example they portray. It does not take a student long to figure out what you see is what you get with teachers. Our students are much smarter then we give them credit for sometimes.

Christian author and speaker Josh McDowell said it like this, “You can con a con and kid a kid, but you cannot con a kid.”

Think on it like this… The example you provide might just be the only example a student sees as to how they should be. There are enough terrible examples in society for their picking. Give them an option for positive models for the betterment of themselves.

Teaching is a privilege, and not everyone can or wants to do it. Nothing we do as an educator gives more pleasure than to see a student succeed. Be the servant-teacher, and the example students need to see.


©2018 J Clay Norton

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