with thanks to Doug Johnson for sharing his idea
1. Interpersonal skills trump professional skills.
Students like the teacher, like the class, and like school. This happens because they know the teacher values them and what matters to them. They can tell this because they are treated with kindness and respect.2. Give students a job and let them do it.
The teacher has faith in his students, respects their expertise, and lets them do their assignments without interference. Although he is there to help when they need it, students have the room to try new things, and can fail without being a failure. This makes the success students' success.3. Be open and collaborative, but step in when needed.
The teacher values opinions and ideas expressed by students. Discussion and disagreement are valued and used in the process of learning. However, a level of control is expected and maintained.4. Be visible.
The teacher talks to students, in the cafeteria, the hallway, on the way to the bus, between classes, and all of the non-class times.5. Keep a sense of perspective.
The teacher realizes school is about the students. Academics are important, but not the most important thing. The "test" is important, but not the most important thing.6. Finally, be a decent human being.
A single word to describe the teacher is "decent." The teacher doesn't lose his temper, put down a student, or treat anyone disrespectfully. His sense of humor is never far from the surface. He rarely accepts credit, but credits others for the school's wins. He is honestly humble and self-deprecating.
With this in mind, I thought about how this related to being a good classroom teacher. Now, I am not claiming to do these things--I am just thinking about goals for the new year (You don't suppose students will have to set goals, do you?) Wish me luck as I formulate my goals based on this list.