The goal of every task is to be successful and good at that task. So logically, every teacher wants to be successful and good at teaching. But how do you know if you are a good teacher? How do you know if you are an exemplary teacher? What does it even mean to be an exemplary teacher? And how do we become exemplary science teachers?
In this blog we will answers these questions and provide suggestions for becoming an exemplary science teacher. Hopefully you will be able to incorporate these ideas into your classroom and see the positive results for yourself!
How Do You Know if You are An Exemplary Teacher?
The best way to asses your skill as a teacher is to take a look at your students. A great teacher will show through the attitudes, actions and accomplishments of their students
- Your students will be Curious
A curious student is the result of an interesting teacher! A curious student will ask questions, seek out new understandings and expand on what they have already learned. Curiosity leads to critical thinking and questioning, both essential life skills.
2. Your students will be Confident
A confident student is the result of an encouraging teacher! A confident student will participate in class discussions, they will not be afraid to ask questions. They will offer to help others who do not understand, and most importantly, they will believe in themselves. As the saying goes “CONFIDENCE IS KEY”, and this remains true in the success of a student.
3. Your students will be Content
A content student is the result of a successful teacher. A content student will not fear that they are not learning enough, they will not resent their teacher for unfair expectations and they will not be disappointed by yet another boring, uneventful class they are forced to sit through.
What Does it Mean to be a Exemplary Teacher?
An exemplary teacher is one that can adapt to the needs of every student, while keeping them engaged, excited and learning. An exemplary teacher goes above and beyond what is expected of them. They look past just the simple requirements of common core and standardized testing, rather focusing on their students progress and the goal of creating a life long learner.
How do You Become an Exemplary Science Teacher?
- Stray away from a lecture based classroom
Lectures do not allow students to exercise their knowledge, explore their own ideas, or use their creativity. Instead, they are forced to sit quietly and listen to a concept be explained. While this is sometimes necessary and can be useful, lectures should not be used as a sole teaching method.
2. Do hands on activities!
Hands on activities, such as labs and demonstrations can allow students to experience a concept in a new way. Hands on activities
- Give the students personal experiences with a concept
- Allow students to demonstrate their knowledge
- Provide an opportunity for questioning and growth
- Are exciting and give students an enjoyable experience to remember
- Force students to use their critical thinking and problem solving skills
- Can be used to emphasize team work
3. Make science interesting
We all think science is cool (or we would not be science educators!). However, not all students feel this way. Likely, simply reading a book or listening to a lecture would bore these students. They will quickly lose interest and therefore lose an opportunity to learn! Instead, try teaching using
- Illustrations or videos
- Student-driven projects
- Class Discussions and Debates
- Story telling
- Incorporation of student hobbies
Here, Science Teacher Tyler DeWitt explains the importance of making science interesting in his classroom.
I had great science teachers as a student, which have inspired me to pursue a degree in science. Had I not been so fortunate, it is likely I would not have found my passion for science or had become a science teacher. With this in mind, it is my goal to do the same for my students by using these techniques and ideas.