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Highly Effective Teachers

On asking the question "why do some students achieve poor results and others achieve great results?" - what exactly is the ingredient that makes highly effective teachers? If we can be sincere in answering this question, we will admit that there is a particularly important difference between two kind of teachers:

A) On one side, we have all met those teachers who think that if the student just doesn't want to learn there is nothing the teacher can do - "you're not to force the kid to study, are you?"

B) A second category of teachers that you can count yourself lucky if you ever had in your life is made up of those teachers who believe that everything is possible and they try to find the solution in each given situation.

Bill Owens, the baseball player once said "True leadership lies in guiding others to success. In ensuring that everyone is performing at their best, doing the work they are pledged to do and doing it well."  and this is exactly what great teachers are doing.

The four principles that highly effective teachers apply

This lesson is not easy to learn in order to become a great teacher, and it is equally as hard work to maintain in your professional life. However, if you can assimilate these principles in guiding your students, you can rest assured that you will always be offered jobs wherever you wish to live and you will always be remembered by your students as a valuable leader at crucial points in their lives.

1. First of all you have to believe in your students, in the sense that every single one can achieve great results. But this is not enough, you must make sure that they also know that you believe in them, so they can start to believe in themselves as well;

2. Once this is achieved, you must set a goal which is measurable and achievable, but also meaningful for your students;

3. Once you set the goal, you must ensure that this goal becomes the student's priority - you need to invest time in your student's life and communicate effectively with them and their families until regular practice becomes the norm;

4. The last and most difficult principle is to plan carefully and purposefully. From the objective you have defined for your students, you must plan backwards, to create an efficient path to success. Guiding them step by step in the process is not sufficient either, but must also assess them and raise their awareness of their progress at regular intervals, in a constructive non-threatening manner.

Those of you (or us, to include myself in this category) who are already applying these principles, we all know that this is not easy - we have to work hard - both teachers, and students alike, if great results are to be enjoyed forever. 

Nelson Mandela, the late anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and president of South Africa was of the opinion that "education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." If only for the idea that you have been a tiny part of this change and it is very much worthwhile being a hard-working effective teacher, and not one of the other kind. 

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