Robyn Jackson, in the introduction to her book Never Underestimate the Power of Your Teachers, talked about the idea of ‘helping [teachers] pursue limitless excellence’. Many of us never feel like the best, but when someone else sees our potential I believe we gain confidence – and become even better. It takes a whole community to create these BEST teachers. Seeing the best each teacher brings, is the beginning of helping each to pursue that limitless excellence that is hidden in each of us.
Every one of the teachers I work with today brings their own gifts to our World of Learning Institute Community. They support each other, they ask for help, they love and see value in what they teach. They know we have high expectations. They know that we will never allow what we have done today to be good enough for tomorrow. So, without the giant hearts that they bring to virtual instruction, I do not believe they or we could accomplish so much in a virtual classroom.
What sets our teachers, the Best Teachers, apart are the following:
★ Getting to know the learners!
- In a virtual environment getting to know learners happens in a variety of ways. Our teachers use may ways – some include; creating activities and lessons that highlight student interest, starting with surveys, opening additional office hours or support time. They also share a bit about themselves and their own interest to break the ice and allow learners to see who they are and what interests them. Building relationships allow learners to trust that the teacher wants them to learn and succeed.
★ Maintaining high expectations!
- Believing that all of the learners’ are capable of learning is just the start. High expectations mean many things. We start with holding the learners accountable – to be at our LIVE sessions and to participate in the class. Our TEACHERS support the learning by providing a variety of ways to demonstrate competence by altering not only assignments but also the time it takes for each learner to get there.
★ Match learner experience to the students’ needs and interest – while addressing the curricular goals!
- As we build relationships with the learners’ the BEST teachers provide opportunities to use learner interest in assignments and discussions. Whether learners are into the arts or athletics, the best teachers weave what they know about their learners into the virtual classroom.
★ Being passionate about teaching!
- The best virtual teachers want the learners to share their love for the Language (subject) that they are learning. They offer insight into living in the culture, how learning broadens the horizon of the learner. They offer stories of growing up or spending time in the communities where the language is used and how it can support other learning!
★ Helping learners’ take ownership of their learning.
- As we learn in a virtual environment our teachers are the BEST at being the guide on the side. In the virtual environment, they meet to work on the listening and speaking – and they also provide multiple opportunities for learners to delve deeper into the culture they are learning about. Students have opportunities to expand their own learning and add to conversations about what they learn with each other, enriching the experience of each learner.
★ Caring about their learners’ succeeding in speaking, listening, and knowing the culture of the language they are learning!
- Each of our BEST teachers ensures that there is time to engage in authentic activities. World Languages are best learned in context, they call it comprehensive input, I call it amazing interactions. In every class I hear the learners listening and replying, conversations in the target language, and experiencing the culture of the target language.
How do you support your BEST teachers?
Robyn Jackson and Roland Barth would remind us that we have to create the fertile soil so our teachers can grow and offering the best opportunities for our children to learn. Check out more about our awesome Teacher’s HERE. (this will link to our web page – About our Teachers)