WHAT IS GOOD TEACHING?

THIS IS REPOSTED FROM (resource220.com)

Study of a girl with ringlets teaching her dog...
Image by State Library of New South Wales collection via Flickr
Yesterday afternoon I was watching the Twitter stream flow by and a link caught my eye, so I clicked it, I can’t remember who tweeted the link. It took me to theNotes from the School Psychologist blog and I started reading her blog post on Did You See the Memo about Interventions and I found myself just nodding my head as I read the post AND when I came to this nugget:
That’s right. There is no magical reading dust in special education, it is really just targeted intervention in the area of need with ongoing progress monitoring. A lot of the time, special education is basically just good teaching.
When I read this I highlighted it in Diigo’s pinkish red highlight color (I had used yellow). It just really struck me someone else was saying – “Special Education is basically just good teaching.”
As a Special Education teacher I tend to agree with that statement, not because I think that regular education teachers are not good teachers, but more that Special Education teachers are good teachers also. I wondered for a moment why she would say that, but I smiled, agreed with her statement retweeted the post and went about my day. I did copy the link as a draft as a possible post later.
Last night back on Twitter @dcallahan tweeted about the post.
A lot of the time, special education is basically just good teaching. “Did you see The Memo About…Interventions?
and I responded back with “I agree, but have a feeling that others may get a twist in their knickers”  I was thinking to myself about how some regular educators would feel about that statement – Hmmm Special Educators and “good teaching” in the same sentence?
@dcallahan responded back “
I’ve actually been saying that for years, so it’s nice to see somebody else agree with me.
I’d say that a large portion of #specialed interventions are just good teaching. Easier to implement with smaller groups”
I then said that “another factor is that most of time, time is not a big factor in our C/Rs (classrooms), we can go at our own pace not a guide.
and then @proe1ement added the comment
…& we can go at their pace, go deeper into content, access motivation, build relationships, dvlp skills, and on. We’re lucky.”
These tweets bring me to the main point of this post.
WHAT IS GOOD TEACHING?
As @proelement pointed out is good teaching (in or out of Special Education) being able to:
  • go at the students pace instead of some artificial pacing guide
  • go deeper into the content area we are teaching
  • find what motivates the student(s) and use that to achieve student buy-in
  • being able build proper student-teacher (mentor) relationships with the students
  • developing their basic skills

When I “googled” what is good teaching below the most interesting result was:

The responses that are in the above link, give several examples of good teaching and is a good opportunity to see some of the international views on “What is a Good teaching” as well as the “American” view, which sometimes has a slightly different slant. But the comment all have common threads and is worth taking the time to read.

What do I believe is good teaching:
Teaching your students with respect, humor, being able to help them grow as individuals, pushing them beyond what they “know” they can do, but at the same time being aware of the “stuff” beyond their control that affects a student’s ability to learn or focus on school and helping them learn to set “boundaries”.
When students fall and they will, be there with the hand offered out to help them up, you may be surprised when they choose to accept that hand. Continue to be a learner, from your students, other teachers and professional development, if you stop learning, you stop being a teacher. What and how you teach must be relevant for student you are teaching today, not yesterday.  Finally, teach your students to “do the right thing for the right reasons.”
Those are what I believe are elements of good teaching. I am sure that there is much more that could be said about what constitutes good teaching (books have been written on the subject), but I think if I can do what is in that one paragraph, I will be a good teacher.
Please do not think that I am being “snarky” when I say this next comment, but after many years of hearing all the derogatory comments about “how” Special Education teachers – teach.” It really felt pretty nice to hear a “non-educator” who is part of the educational system say.
That’s right. There is no magical reading dust in special education, it is really just targeted intervention in the area of need with ongoing progress monitoring. A lot of the time, special education is basically just good teaching.
Thank you to Dan Callahan and Matt Vannice for their conversation last night on Twitter. It did help me really think about what I wanted to include in this post.
What do you think constitute good teaching?
Please write in the comments and I will attempt to put a list of what you think is good teaching into a future blog post or Google Doc.