Friday, August 7, 2015

New Beginnings



I can't believe it is already August. What happened to all the time I was going to have in the summer to read, relax, refresh, rejuvenate? I wish I could get some of that time back. I am thinking I really didn't get a lot accomplished over the summer--it was just too busy. Do you feel the same way? Do you go back to school with less energy and enthusiasm than you left with at the end of the school year?

What are your plans to make learning more fun, more useful to students, to show more passion about learning? Our students look to the teacher to find enthusiasm, passion, and energy for learning. Teachers are their models. What characteristics does a "passionate" teacher possess? Who is/were your favorite teacher(s)?  What did they do that makes him/her, still to this day, stand out as a favorite for you?

Did you use any of these words to describe that teacher: excitement, energy, delight, zeal, vigor, devotion, enjoyment (just to name a few). Did you also use the word "fun"?

If the teacher is having fun, chances are, the students are too. By fun, I don't mean all fun and games with no learning happening, but rather, the teacher enjoys what he/she is doing and that becomes an important part of the classroom culture. Hard work and fun go together. An article, by Hal Urban, talks about the teacher's enthusiasm. He played around with the letters of the word and used each to find other words that "paint a picture of what successful teachers do."

Not Boring
High Standards
Sense of humor
Always personal

To see more specifics about each of these words, read Urban's article, Lesson #1: Good teachers share one special quality .

Although you may not ever “see” the online teacher, students do get a sense for what their instructor is like. Online teachers convey enthusiasm, understanding, a sense of humor, are motivated and prepared, etc. The online instructor participates frequently, interacts with individuals throughout the course, and provides feedback, encouragement, and support for all online students.

If you are new to online teaching here are some hints for preparing your online course:

  • Be clear, concise, and comprehensive
  • Provide a manageable amount of content
  • Provide a variety of learning activities 
  • Avoid making last-minute changes 
  • Provide resources to help students succeed in the online classroom. 
  • Test the course in different browsers and on different computers.
From: Six Tips for Preparing Your Online Course, R. Kelly. January 16, 2015

What do you do to get ready for your online students? Go!


Welcome to the new school year!
Let's get ready!

Among teacher variables, enthusiasm has the most powerful and positive impact on student learning.
                                                                 – Toni Kempler

Peggy Steinbronn, Ed.D.

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