This article is one of the best summaries of great teaching I've seen in a long time.  Although written by a university professor, many of her points ring true.  It's from the NEA's higher education journal:  Thought and Action.

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Lisa,
Interesting article. --
" (Students)know the difference between “live” teaching and teaching that feels distinctly like it was “recorded
at an earlier time.” Students know when you are present and engaged, willing to take on the unexpected;"
I continue to believe that teachers teach best the topics they have developed and enjoy. Those units often take 2-3 years to develop; of course, fine tuning every time. (sorry, but tweaked is so overused).
It's tough to quantify the value of spontaneity but we know it sparks our interest. Should our students "expect the unexpected?"
Lisa - thank you for sharing this article - I found it very motivating. I have always believed teaching is a unique profession because we don't always get to see the rewards. Most recently I did - When I went to physically theropy for my knee my Dr. was in the very first 1st grade class I taught in Ventor and he remembered me and thanked me! It was the best feeling! It made me reach out to teacher that I had in the past to thank them. Doreen Lee
I liked what she said about how all her favorite teachers had only one thing in common -- her. That conveys what I've always thought, having worked in a variety of classrooms with teachers showing very different teaching and personal styles, but all being the kind of teacher I'd want my son to have. Thinking back on my own career as a student, I likewise cannot think of what methods my favorite teachers used. Some were funny and easy-going; some were nearing retirement and traditional; some were young and tough graders. There are several ways to be an effective educator. A former student having good memories of a teacher is the highest compliment.

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