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Volume 4 Number 6

Teachers.Net and I, by chance, became high-tech links in the chain of people and events that cracked the Chinese government's tight lid on its emerging SARS epidemic
Teachers.Net Chatroom Exchange Reveals SARS Outbreak...
Teachers.Net Chatroom Exchange Reveals SARS Outbreak by Catherine Strommen
Overcoming Barriers - Believe You Can Achieve by Don Quimby
How Do You Rate As A Proactive Teacher by Chuck Brickman
Calendar and Computations by Michael Moore
When Students Say, "I'm Bored!" from: the Teachers.Net G.A.T.E. Chatboard
Analysis of Whole Class Performance in Tests and Exams: Shall I Be a Bird? by P R Guruprasad
Ode to a Classroom by Joseph Mock
CPS and Learning by Remote by Dean K. Boyd
Editor's epicks for June by Kathleen Alape Carpenter
Final Update - Operation Deep Freeze by LT Marshall Branch
The Web in the classroom by Sarah Horton
Why Study the American Revolution During War in Iraq? from the Middle School Chatboard
June Columns
June Regular Features
June Informational Items
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About Chuck Brickman...
Mr. Brickman is a Special Education Math Resource Teacher at Driscoll Middle School in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mr. Brick man has 15 years of teaching experience in both the public and private sectors. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University and his graduate degree from California State University. He currently resides in Corpus Christi with his wife Pat.

Teacher Feature...

How Do You Rate As A Proactive Teacher?

by Chuck Brickman

As another school year is about to come to a close it's a good time to reflect on how things went this year - or more importantly, what we want to do differently next year. Are you content with the way things went this year or do you feel you need to be more proactive?

How would you rate yourself as a Proactive Teacher? A Proactive Teacher is one who:

  1. Develops effective rules, procedures, consequences and rewards.
  2. Builds effective relationships with students.
  3. Develops and fosters a climate of mutual respect and trust.
  4. Presents challenging and interactive lessons which focus on the upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy.
  5. Develops and maintains a challenging academic environment.

Let's take a closer look at the attributes of a Proactive Teacher and how you would rate yourself.

A Proactive Teacher

  • Is student-centered and places the primary emphasis on student learning as opposed to merely teaching.
  • Believes that in order to effect maximum learner readiness, the teacher must first come to know the individual learner. Only by knowing the learners, their learning styles, motivation, goals, interests, challenges and weaknesses can the teacher prepare and present lessons and activities which maximize student learning potential.
  • Is a believer and user of research-based teaching and learning applications and methodologies. This includes the use of active teaching strategies and the use of graphic organizers.
  • Realizes the importance of parental, community, and academic support to maximize learner readiness.

Now, let's take a look at how you rate yourself as a Proactive Teacher:

Develops effective rules, procedures, consequences and rewards.

1. Do you seek and include student input in the rule-making process?
2. Do you review each rule with students to include performing skits and acting out scenarios to enhance understanding?
3. Is your list of rules short, concise, and effective?
4. Are your consequences fair and applied uniformly?
5. Are your rewards appropriate for the age and functional level of your students?
6. Are your rules, consequences, procedures and rewards posted on bulletin boards or some other conspicuous place?
7. Do you have students practice procedures and review them on a frequent basis?
8. Do you provide your students' parents with a copy of the rules, procedures, consequences and rewards?
9. Are your rules, procedures, consequences, and rewards consistent with your team or grade level colleagues?
10. Do you review your rules, procedures, consequences, and rewards on a quarterly basis?

Builds effective relationships with students.

1. Do you know at least one hobby or personal interest of each of your students?
2. In the last 6 weeks, have you had an informal discussion with each of your students individually that dealt with non-academic issues such as what they did during the week-end or time off?
3. Do your students approach you with problems not directly related to the subject you teach?
4. Do your students come to your room before the official school day begins or after the school day to discuss school issues or just hang out?
5. Do your students ask you to attend athletic or school events in which they are participating even though the event is not associated with your class or subject?

Develops and fosters a climate of mutual respect and trust.

1. Do most of your students freely participate in class without fear of being ridiculed by other students for wrong or incorrect answers?
2. Do you set the standard and act as a role model for courtesy and mutual respect in your classroom?
3. Do your students argue with you or use sarcasm towards you during adversarial encounters?
4. Do your students do what you ask the first time so that you do not resort to threats of increased corrective behavior to get them to carry out your request?
5. Do your students enjoy being in your class and more importantly, enjoy having you as a teacher?
6. Do you find your students confiding in you?
7. Do you find that oftentimes your students will "stand-up" for you with other students?

Presents challenging and interactive lessons which focus on the upper end of Bloom's Taxonomy.

1. Do the independent practice portions of your lessons require critical thinking skills or rote memorization?
2. Have you modified your lessons to relate to "real life" conditions or situations?
3. Have your lessons been modified to relate to interests or issues related to your students' interests?
4. Do the majority of your lessons include cooperative learning and active teaching strategies?
5. Do the majority of your lessons include the use of graphic organizers?
6. Do the majority of your lessons' questions require the analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information and data as related to Bloom's Taxonomy?
7. Is your classroom "student centered" as opposed to "teacher-centered"?

Develops and maintains a challenging academic environment.

1. Is your classroom an environment where you continually stretch your students' knowledge and enhance their desire to learn?
2. Do you continually experiment with new ways to present materials or aid student learning?
3. Do you invite peers to "sit-in" and review your instructional methodology and elicit constructive criticism?
4. Do you continually update your teaching and resource materials to ensure that you're using material that is relative to today's students and their interests?
5. Do you continually build student-teacher relationships and incorporate knowledge gained from those relationships into your lessons and activities?
6. Do you have contact with your students' parents at least once every six-weeks to inform them of progress and to learn of student motivations and needs?
7. Do you bring in speakers from the community to share their experiences in the subject you're teaching and how it relates to their field and success?

Well, how did you do? Preparing to be a Proactive Teacher may take some additional planning and research time up front, but the dividends are immeasurable. A few changes and you may make next year the best ever!

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