As a workshop leader and writer, best-selling author Julia Thompson has taught thousands of teachers how to create student-centered classrooms, thrive during that important first year of teaching, motivate reluctant learners, prevent discipline problems, and sustain high expectations for the success of their students as well as for themselves.
A practicing classroom teacher, Julia is the author of several resources for teachers. In each of her books, she presents classroom-tested ideas, activities, and strategies designed to make each school day a successful one. Because she is a full-time teacher herself, Julia focuses her advice on the practical aspects of a teacher's busy professional life. She understands firsthand the realities of today's classroom. This extensive experience and the insights she has gained as a teacher trainer have shaped her beliefs about the daily challenges that can confront even the most steadfast teachers.
Julia's dedication to promoting excellence among her colleagues and to helping new teachers translate their dreams into successful practice is the focus of her work as an author of professional development resources and as a teacher trainer.
"Teacher Worksheet 1.2: Characteristics of Successful Teachers
Pausing every now and then to look at how well you measure up against other successful teachers is also a useful way to reflect on your teaching practice. Place a checkmark in the blank beside each character trait you already possess. After you have made this quick self-assessment, look over the list again to determine how to develop other characteristics that will help you become a competent, successful teacher.
Successful teachers are
_____ Patient with their students, their colleagues, and themselves
_____ Able to let their students know they care about them
_____ Energetic and willing to work
_____ Able to engage children whose attentions span is brief
_____ Optimistic that what they do today affects the future
_____ Successful at listening to students both in groups and individually
_____ Able to make quick decisions on a variety of issues all day long
_____ Enthusiastic about their subject matter and about their students
_____ Efficient at planning, organizing, and managing time
_____ Not afraid to ask for help"
Core Values of Professional Educators
• "Your first priority should always be your students.
• All children can learn. Not all children learn at the same rate or in the same way, but all children can learn.
• Success breeds success in the classroom as well as in life.
• The best defense against misbehavior will always be relevant, interesting lessons delivered by an instructor who makes it clear that each child is vital to the success of the entire class.
• Teachers who lower their expectations kill all hope of success.
• Great teachers look beyond the behavior to understand the child.
• ALL teachers are role models ALL the time.
• The three 'P’s' of classroom success are planning + preparation + prevention.
• Teachers control what happens in a classroom, both the good and the bad.
• Every child should read every day.
• You don't teach a class; you teach individuals.
• The most important reason to strive to be the very best teacher you can? Every day you will make a significant difference in the life of a child."
6-10 Suggestions for Incorporating Intrinsic Motivation in Instruction
Intrinsic motivation differs from extrinsic motivation in that there are no tangible rewards for effort or achievement. The work itself is so inherently compelling that students are motivated to work.
• Have students take responsibility for part of the instruction. Have them write test questions, offer suggestions for review, or even teach part of the lesson.
• Challenge students to beat their personal best on an assignment.
• Create fast-paced assignments so that students will move quickly through the work.
• Provide frequent assessments so that students know exactly what they have to do to succeed. Frequent assessments also hold them accountable for their work.
• Show models of good work from other students so that students will know not only what to do, but what that classmate did to succeed.
• Hold periodic conferences with your students in to discuss problems, progress, and successes.
• Differentiate instruction so that students will feel comfortable and successful as they work.
• Provide opportunities for students to use their imaginations and creativity as often as possible. Design instruction that involves “and then what” or “so what” questions. If students are required to produce a final product as a result of their imaginative work, they will work even harder.
• Pace instruction so that the successful completion of one assignment is dependent on another. This practice will add instant credibility and importance to the first assignment.