I finished reading What Great Teachers Do Differently today. I’ve been reading this book for a book study through my PLN (Personal Learning Network) Plurk. I’ve had some difficulty staying focused and getting myself to read it, but I’m glad I did.
I also just took a new teaching position as an 8th Grade Science teacher. I am very excited about my new job. I also received my new school issued laptop yesterday. That is the reason for the post.
In What Great Teachers Do Differently, the author Todd Whitaker shares his experiences as a teacher and principal. Chapter 3 is titled The Power of Expectations. In the chapter he discusses the difference between giving rules and giving expectations for students.
I sat in a training for the computer and was told everything that I can’t do with the laptop. As an educator, I felt misunderstood. Yes, I know that some teachers will probably try to misbehave, but it is discouraging to take a new position and told everything you cannot do. I understand that the computer is there for educational purposes and I am excited to have the resource. I’m also excited about the changes that I will encountering over the next year.
I just feel that things could have been stated very differently in the meeting to help the new teachers (which we all were new to the district) feel welcome and not warned about what we can do wrong.
This book has some great points that all teachers should look at. It can really help you focus on how you teach and what you said, and how to change that to help students learn. Being told not to do this, and not that, puts a damper on the excitement of learning. Working with students and encouraging them is a great way to get great results.