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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Novice to expert teachers

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Hello everyone, My name is Marc and I am a second year Math teacher. I teach Math 8, Integrated Algebra, and Geometry. I want to be the best teacher possible for my students which is why I was wondering what some of you think about the skills and knowledge needed to become an expert teacher. I believe some of the skills needed for teachers to move from novice to expert are classroom routines, the ability to know their students, monitor their progress, understand how students learn, and effectively reflect on their own teaching.

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Comments (65)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

wendee casto's picture

I am so happy to read the responses of such deticated teachers who want to learn more and be great teachers. I taught for 6 years and am now a stay at home mom. My oldest child in in K this year and I am seeing a lot of teachers who are happy where they are and with the knowledge they have. I think to get past the novice stage you have to want to learn more, teachers are life long learners. You have to take it upon your self to learn the newest stradgies even if your school isn't "making you". I think learning and putting your knowlege into action gets you to the next step of teaching. I also you beleive that you will keep taking these steps the more you learn. You may never be an expert because of all the changes in education but you will be a master teacher.

Karen's picture

There are developmental stages from novice to expert. It takes the dedication to students as well as a commitment to continue developing professionally. Without the dedication and commitment, teachers move from novice to competent. Being an expert teacher is much more than knowing your content area. Expert teachers have a wealth of content knowledge as well as the strategies to teach. They know their students and how they learn. Expert teachers are conscious about their educational values and morals.

Toni Mahoney's picture

I do not think that a teacher ever reaches the stage of expert. It is a continuous journey. Teachers who believe they are experts at anything should probably reevaluate their effectiveness. Education is always changing, therefore we should be changing with it. It is deffinatly important to know your content knowledge, to understand how your students learn, and to reflect on your teaching and students daily. I think when most people refer to an "expert" teacher, they are refering to someone who is experienced and very knowledgeable.

Kathy F's picture
Kathy F
6th grade writing teacher

I am also a student at Walden and agree that I am not sure if I want to become an "expert teacher". When you're already at the top, where do you go from there?? However, one does need to continue their efforts and studies in order to remain at that status. I get annoyed when I see colleagues become complacent in their position. I think all educators should try different things and keep abreast of new ideologies within the field.

JW's picture

Do we dare ever to declare ourselves an expert teacher?

To me an expert teacher is one who has a mastery of their content area, are effective communicators in the classroom, are willing to collaborate with their colleagues, use best practices in their instruction, and above all do not consider themselves an expert who no longer needs to grow professionally.

As we strive to be the best that we can be, we can never be content with where we are. I agree with Janet that I would not want to think of myself as an expert as I would no longer have greater heights to aspire to.


Rebecca's picture

I agree with Kathy and JW. If you are an expert what else is there to achieve. I totally agree with JW's definition of an expert teacher. I believe there is always room for growth and improvement. Teaching is a career that is always changing: curriculum, best practices, and students' needs. We as educators have to put aside what we know and continue to learn and change as does the profession.

Gin Amodio's picture

Hi Mark D,
You sound like you are on the right track. Expert teachers have a strong knowledge of their material. They know how to motivate their students to learn. They have excellent classroom management skills. They also understand about cultural differences. Expert teachers have goals for themselves and their students. They strive to help every child learn. An expert teacher also solves problems to student's performance. They know how to monitor learning and provide feedback. They are also flexible in teaching.
I hope this helps!

amanda's picture

Dr. Sonia Nieto aothor of What Keeps Teachers Going, gives some great ideas on how to go from novice to expert teachers. I am currently working on my Masters and have really enjoyed her readings. I think one of the most important aspects of becoming an expert teacher is staying up to date on subject matter and all of the new technology.

Nancee Gormley's picture
Nancee Gormley
8&9th grade Family Consumer Sciences teacher from Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

I am even more committed to the necessity of keeping current and exciting in my teaching through ongoing exposure to The George Lucas Educational Foundation and others like it. I've gleaned a wealth of ideas in my first few nights experiences on-line.

Nancy Wirick's picture

The word expert to me means that you know everything about your profession. I don't believe that any teacher can truly be an expert because education is always changing. Every day there are new techniques and strategies that have been proven to help students and as teachers it is our job to learn them. We as teachers need to continue learning ourselves so we can improve and become a better teacher. As well as learning new strategies, we must reflect on them to decide if they are effective.

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