Viewing Teaching As Magical by Gini Cunningham

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Oct 21st, 2013
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MagicTeaching is a magically powerful career. In what other profession can you wake up every day with a definite plan to help students succeed?  Where else can you go to bed each night with the sense of well-being for a job well done (and a smidgen of stress for the tasks ahead tomorrow)?  Keep the following productivity tips in mind:

  1. Always plan for excellence – in yourself and of your students. You are the magic that can ignite the excitement of learning in young minds. Teachers make a difference.
  2. Believe in yourself as a teacher; believe in your students as proficient learners.
  3. Set goals for teaching excellence; set goals for attainable and challenging learning.
  4. Honor achievement with direct feedback and encouragement that rallies students to even greater heights.
  5. Accept and promote responsibility. You are the greatest factor in the successful learning of your students. Guide your students to share responsibility for – and a love of – learning so that they can move to independence, needing you as a facilitator but not depending on you for the answer to every problem.
  6. Love teaching every day. It is a wonderful adventure that opens your eyes to children as they travel the knowledge pathway to adulthood.
  7. Design lessons that make learning a wonderful adventure for your students so that they can open their eyes to the boundless possibilities of the world.
  8. Take care of your PIESS: physical, intellectual, emotional, social, and spiritual health so that you can operate at 100% each day.
  9. Enjoy the magic of Ah! Ha! Moments, individual success, and the thrill of interacting with and developing young lives. Your impact as a teacher, as a dedicated professional who truly cares, lasts forever.
  10. Create a vision of teaching:
    • What must your students know and be able to do to succeed?
    • What must you do to get them there?
    • How will you challenge the brightest?
    • How will you re-teach and fill in the blanks for students who struggle?
    • What will the last day of the school year look like? Feel like? Be like?
    • What will be the greatest accomplishments?

© Gini Cunningham (adapted from her book, The New Teacher’s Companion: Practical Wisdom for Succeeding in the Classroom (ASCD). In addition to her writing, Gini is an author, workshop leader, and consultant who provides education for educators.

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