Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Great Teacher Inspires

William Arthur Ward wrote, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” As an educator, you want to do your best. You want to inspire your students, not just get them through the class period and send them on their way. As a person, it is not always possible to be inspirational every single day. We need all the help we can get!

Joann’s weekly picks this week are resources she hopes will encourage you, the educator, to do something new in your classroom. Don’t just read the story of Lon Po Po to your elementary kids and tell them about Chinese culture. Put on some music. Let your students create traditional Chinese costumes. Retell the story from the wolf’s point of view. Compare this story to the classic story of Little Red Riding Hood. Really get into the story to inspire your students. It’s not always as easy as reading a book and passing out worksheets, but you will be having more fun and covering more standards at the same time.

As a middle school teacher, you see that your students are getting antsy in your biology class. They are tired of being stuck in their seats! Why don’t you let them get up and run around to learn about predator and prey relationships? Joann found a game created by PBS where students simulate wolves and moose in Denali National Park. With other extension activities on the site, this activity can really hook the kids into how predators and prey interact in nature.

I feel very fortunate to be an educator in a time where we can all be involved in such an extensive network of internet-based resource sharing. We can easily find quality activities like the ones Joann found this week. When I create a resource that is especially good, I can share it. When I use a resource I find, I can let other Gateway members know how it worked for me and give suggestions. If I make improvements or modifications to a resource to make it work for different types of learners, I can leave a comment about that, too! If we can work together, we can get closer to being a teacher that inspires our students every day.

What would you like to discuss about using resources from the Gateway to 21st Century Skills? This discussion is for YOU. We want to help you benefit from these resources and from this community of educator-to-educator sharing. Please let us know so we can guide the topics of future columns to help you bring the best you can bring to your classroom every day.

~Peggy's Corner~

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