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Ten Things Master Teachers Do

by Annette Breaux

Master teachers—those who have figured out how to get students to do and be their best, how to simplify the complex, how to look forward to their jobs each day, and how to create lasting memories in the hearts and minds of students—once struggled as new teachers, too. The following 10 practices not only helped master teachers over the initial hump of inexperience but also sustained their ongoing success. (Click the link above to access the whole article)

  1. Ask for help
  2. Avoid negative people at all costs
  3. Have a classroom management plan and stick to it
  4. Be the happiest-looking teacher in the school
  5. Convince students you care
  6. Make lessons fun, meaningful, and doable
  7. Avoid power struggles with students
  8. Use social media appropriately
  9. Act like a professional
  10. Communicate with parents

From: ASCD Express "New Teacher Needs" August 13, 2015 | Volume 10 | Issue 23

Why the Label "Exceeds Standard" Doesn't Work

 by Thomas Guskey

Educators implementing standards-based approaches to grading and reporting often struggle with how to label different levels of students' performance.  Four levels of performance is the most common number identified.  Most educators in the U.S. and Canada consider three levels to be insufficient in discriminating important differences in students' performance.  When the number of levels climbs to five or six, however, the consistency of teachers' rating diminishes rapidly.

In choosing labels for these levels, many begin by describing level 3 as "Proficient."  This level of performance means the student has achieved the learning target and mastered the standard.  Level 2 is typically considered "Progressing" or "Approaching" mastery of the standard, and level 1 is deemed "Struggling" or "Needs Improvement."  The challenge comes in labeling the highest, level 4.

Some educators believe that level 4 should designate a truly exceptional level of achievement - the student whose performance "knocks your socks off."  They use this level to recognize students who do something special related to the standard or demonstrate genuinely outstanding performance regarding the standard.

Others believe level 4 should describe performance at a more complex or more advanced level with regard to the standard.  They use the label "Exceeds Standard" to indicate the student has gone beyond or above what was expected.  In other words, these students have achieved at a higher and more sophisticated level.  But while seeming reasonable, serious communication problems often arise when educators try to clarify the meaning of "Exceeds Standard" to students, parents, and fellow educators.... (Click the link above to read the whole article)

From: Guskey, Thomas. "Why the Label 'Exceeds Standard' Doesn't Work." Education Week. 17 Oct. 2014. Web. 23 Dec. 2015.