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How can teachers create more success in the classroom? Teachers everywhere clamor for the answer to this question in the face of increasingly higher demands on state assessments. In interviews with various teachers, Nieto (2003) revealed that caring will change the behavior of students. Further, Kottler, Kottler, and Zehm (2005) note that the teachers who do the best are the ones who not only demonstrate but feel dedicated and show concern for those around them. Given the great amount of evidence showing the need for positive relationships with students, I created my mission statement around the idea that with great concern comes great learning. Thus, my mission is to inspire the next generation of world leaders to become dynamic, compassionate members of society by creating a positive classroom environment that fosters meaningful, encouraging communication. In order to successfully complete my mission, I plan to exhibit accountability, honesty, and caring in my classroom. There are many reasons why these attributes will contribute to inspiring students to become dynamic, compassionate members of society.
[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent="yes" overflow="visible"][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type="1_1" background_position="left top" background_color="" border_size="" border_color="" border_style="solid" spacing="yes" background_image="" background_repeat="no-repeat" padding="" margin_top="0px" margin_bottom="0px" class="" id="" animation_type="" animation_speed="0.3" animation_direction="left" hide_on_mobile="no" center_content="no" min_height="none"]How can teachers create more success in the classroom? Read for more for answers! Click To Tweet
First, consider the value of accountability in not only making successful members of society, but in creating a positive classroom environment. Stipek (2006) asserts that in order to nurture our students, accountability and support go hand-in-hand. In fact, Stipek claims that research proves adolescents feel more cared about when teachers push them to learn, pay attention to what they turn in by constructive feedback, reject half-hearted attempts at work, help them as needed, and refuse to give up on them. In other words, accountability helps students see not only teacher’s expectations, but how much they care about their learning. Further, Grimes (2006) supports the idea that in order for teachers to give students what they desire and need from school, teachers must empower, inspire, and support them every single day. Accordingly, teachers must hold students highly accountable for their own learning while providing them with the necessary supports in order to show students that they care about them. Yet, accountability is only one piece of the puzzle.
For many reasons, honesty is an important attribute for creating a positive, supportive, productive classroom environment. In order to establish trust in the classroom, teachers must not be afraid to tell the truth to their students. In fact, Kottler, Kottler, and Zehm (2005) state that honesty is one of the most desired qualities in a teacher because it allows teachers to model the same “openness, transparency, and authenticity” (p. 20) that students need to demonstrate. Owning up to mistakes or openly stating that you do not know the answer to a question not only tells students that mistakes are okay, but shows a more human dimension in teachers. Kottler et al. (2005) speak to the importance of humor in the classroom and how humor can encourage teachers to use “teachable moments” (p. 19) to their advantage. While making mistakes, therefore, teachers can use honesty and humor together in order to create a more engaging classroom environment. When the students realize that the teacher is authentic and playful, they are more likely to sit up and learn because they will feel more connected to and regaled by their teacher. The advantageousness of such a connection goes beyond a forming a relationship and into a successful outcome for students. But there is one other characteristic that teachers must display in order to realize success.
Becoming a successful teacher requires more than just demonstrating content knowledge in the classroom. Successful teachers, according to Stipek (2006), form close, caring relationships in the classroom. In fact, Stipek (2006) interviewed several adolescents and found that they work much harder for teachers they feel care about them individually and who show an interest in what they do when they are not in school. Indeed, making students feel important enough to help and listen to will foster a relationship in which students feel valued enough to heed to teachers. Nieto (2003) speaks of research that provides evidence that African-American students are more academically successful when they feel the teachers care about them and less so when they feel the opposite is true. Showing students that hard work and support will help them reach greatness will help them realize that achievement is not so much related to inborn talent, but to hard work (Neito, 2003). This demonstration of caring is more helpful, Nieto states, than a simple pat on the back or a hug. However, as Grimes (2006) points out, even a compassionate voice during a school day can mean a lot to students and even make their day turn from a disaster to a success story. Based on this information, caring is one of the most important attributes a teacher can own when desiring achievement.
In order to create dynamic, compassionate members of society, teachers must create a positive environment in which students can collaborate and learn. As established by the evidence within this article, the best way to ensure the success of students is to hold them accountable, be honest, and make them feel cared about. As I continue to strive toward my mission of inspiring the next generation of world leaders to become dynamic, compassionate members of society by creating a positive classroom environment that fosters meaningful, encouraging communication, I will remember Yearwood’s metaphorical relationship between teaching and gardening (as cited in Nieto, 2003) and love my students enough to hold them accountable, to be honest with them, and to show them that I care beyond anything they could ever imagine.
Canter, Lee. (Producer). (1993). The high-performing teacher: The power of mission [Video file]. Retrieved from
Canter, Lee. (Producer). (1993). The high-performing teacher: The power of belief [Video file]. Retrieved from
Grimes, R. (2006). Creating CHAOS for Smart, Troubled High-Riskers. Education Digest, 72(1), 21-24.
Kottler, E., Kottler, J. A., & Zehm, S. J. (2005). On Being a Teacher (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
Nieto, S. (2003). What Keeps Teachers Going? New York, NY: Teacher’s College Press.
Stipek, D. (2006). Relationships Matter. Educational Leadership, 64(1), 46-49.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]