Wednesday, May 19, 2010

If you say you understand something, then you can explain what you understand to others. Anything short of that is deception, not understanding.

A most interesting article. Go read, go read:

...the most stunning finding to come out of education research in the past decade: more than any other variable in education—more than schools or curriculum—teachers matter.

Parents have always worried about where to send their children to school; but the school, statistically speaking, does not matter as much as which adult stands in front of their children. Teacher quality tends to vary more within schools—even supposedly good schools—than among schools

Interesting because Kenz and I have been discussing lately this very subject. It’s inevitable if you have kids and realize you are responsible for educating them the topic is going to come up.

Teachers matter. And we are reminded of this when we run across a really good one.

The RS lesson Sunday in our BYU ward was taught by a lovely girl, a recently returned missionary of 4 months. She’s sweet and quietly confident and has excellent teaching skills. In fact, I have seldom seen better.
Reflecting on her lesson has me thinking again about what makes a great teacher and why some have it and some don’t. To be sure gospel teaching is different in many ways from secular teaching. There is the Spirit factor.

Still methods and ability to connect to others is essential to both, I think. The reason for this is that great teaching is only great if great learning takes place. So a great teacher must have a method that actually gets through to the learner at an unexpected level.

Mastery of subject, discipline in preparation, presentation and conclusion, doctrinally correct and filled with the spirit. Check.
Continually evaluating one’s own teaching methods and technique. Check.
Able to connect, makes the subject matter relevant. Check.
Causes you to think. Check.

I still think my own mother, a teacher extraordinaire in her own right, said it best:

You teach what you are.

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