Monday, August 15, 2005

What it takes to be a great teacher

Strong knees. We bend down a lot because we need to see things from a child's point of view.
A healthy sense of humor. Sometimes we have to laugh at jokes that really aren't that funny. Rhythm. Speak directions in easily repeatable rhymes, and before long, a child can repeat them back to you, and eventually teach them to others.
Literally, a hard head. Some little ones are still learning the difference between a throw and toss, and sometimes that means getting bonked on the head. Laugh that one off, too.
The ability to listen. A child doesn't know how to be a good listener if someone doesn't listen to him.
The ability to provide running commentary. Especially with young children who are still learning to talk, the ability to improvise and narrate the story as they go about the house is a clever way to teach language and storytelling to children.
Curiosity. In art, phrases like "good job" make the product seem more important than the process. Ask questions instead, "I like the red you used there, why did you decide to do that?"