Extraordinary Teachers — Differences That Make a Difference
Much has been written in the literature about effective teachers and the characteristics that make them effective, but very little has been about what separates extraordinary teachers from the majority of effective teachers.
This resource kit describes and illustrates the characteristics, both professional and personal, of the extraordinary teacher. The findings are intended to help individual teachers reflect on their own practices, assist peer- and buddy-mentoring of new teachers, help organize in-service and pre-service programs, and sharpen hiring practices to help spot a potential extraordinary teacher among all the applicants.
This study grew out of the research and results of other studies concerning the factors influencing instruction and school organization that create high rates of student academic achievement. It primarily addresses two questions:
The kit contains videos of several extraordinary teachers at work in their classrooms, along with interviews with them, their students, and their principal. Staff development activities are included to assist teachers in using the materials.
Chapter 1 provides background information illustrating how the idea for a study to describe the characteristics of extraordinary teachers came about.
Chapter 2 describes and discussed the 10 characteristics that were found to be essential factors influencing the work of all of the extraordinary teachers visited.
Chapter 3 presents what students have to say about being in a classroom with an extraordinary teacher.
Chapter 4 describes the content of the videos and suggests ways in which the material might be used with teachers for self-reflection and improvement through both individually and in professional development programs.
Chapter 5 offers practical ways for teachers to work on the 10 characteristics in their own practice.
Chapter 6 contains suggestions for school leaders on hiring and retaining extraordinary teachers, based on feedback from the teachers in the studies.
Chapter 7 deals with the question of what makes effective pre- and in-service programs.
Includes 3 DVDs
DVD 1 Elementary Education
Grade 2 spelling lesson shows a highly kinetic exercise and several learning stations . Grade 4 literacy strategy of “making connections” is the major focus of instruction.
DVD 2 Secondary Education
Music Ensemble – Students rehearse a piece that emphasizes concepts of tone, color, and character. Forensic Science – Students work with partners in a lab setting to take their fingerprints and analyze them. Earth Science – Ninth graders identify rock samples in a laboratory setting. History – Students develop “grabbers” as ways to introduce an essay. Calculus – The class sings math jingles they created to help remember steps in solving equations.
DVD 3 Administrator Segments and 10 Short Teacher Clips
Administrator Segments – Two principals discuss in-service and hiring, retaining, and supporting staff. 10 Short Teacher Clips to use as overview or summary exercises.
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