Good Teachers...


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by Cathy Abraham

  • Have a personal style that they bring to their classroom. Activities can be successfully implemented in a variety of ways, based on what 'works' for you.
  • Know how to adapt activities to their group of children. Choose the activities and ideas that you think will work for your class, and adapt or tweek them to meet the needs and interests of your children.
  • Can often expand upon and enhance the ideas for activities. Often teachers can come up with things that we never thought of! Please use a curriculum as a springboard, and incorporate any additional ideas you may have.
  • Know how to be resourceful and creative, and scrounge around and find materials for their classrooms. ome of the best classroom enrichments are not things that can be purchased from educational catalogs. Not everything needs to be handed to experienced teachers, and in fact, most teachers want to be creative pull things together for their classrooms. (And don't children prefer and appreciate real objects...sometimes just playing with the boxes things come in?)
  • Read the interest cues of the children, and expand upon these areas. Materials and activities do not necessarily need to be completely put away and finished at the end of the week if the children are still showing interest in them. Responsive curriculum is all about capitalizing and incorporating the interests and natural curiosity of children.
  • Know making activities and materials for the children to use is part of teaching. A fun part! If possible, rest time is sometimes a good time to work on curriculum materials for the next weeks' theme. Ideas are included for teacher-made materials.
  • Will ask someone at their center to assist them if something seems unclear. If there is something you don't understand, ask someone for clarification or to help you. We are all learners.
  • Know that offering children choices between a variety of diverse, challenging activities eliminates many classroom behavioral problems. Preparation of the classroom environment is one of the best and most effective tools a teacher has for guiding behavior.
  • Know that children learn through play, and learn best through hands-on activities.Continually look at your classroom schedule, environment, and activities, and evaluate if there are enough interactive experiences for your children in which they are active participants.
  • Children develop skills and self-confidence through doing things for themselves.Children should be allowed to do as much by and for themselves as they can. It is the process, not the end product that is important - and where most learning actually occurs.
  • Some themes lend themselves better than others to activities. There are weeks when general ideas and activities will be necessary to round out the curriculum.
  • Know the benefits of the local library. The library is an amazing teaching resource and can transform your classroom! Take advantage of it!
  • Take responsibility for learning and knowing specifics related to children's allergies, center policies, and state regulations. Safety is always first and foremost - as is adhering to applicable rules and regulations governing the center.