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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Novice to expert teachers

65 Replies 566 Views

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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Sally Towne's picture
Sally Towne
Second Grade Teacher

I believe the path to becoming an expert teacher changes as our classroom make-up changes and as our knowledge in areas of teaching improve. We become more comfortable in the role of teacher, but are never experts. I have taught 28 years and continue to learn and apply new strategies to my classroom. As I reflect on my teaching I can see how much I have grown as a teacher, but also know there is so much more to learn to prepare our students for the 21st century.

Janice Martin's picture

I think the fact that you posted this question, and that you want to be the best, is a great indicator that you are headed to expert. I am a student at Walden University, and just wrote a paper about novice to expert. My personal feeling is I hope I never become an expert, because then I will have nothing to aspire to.
Janice

Georgia's picture

This is my first year teaching, so I am no were near being a expert teacher. I don't really think that is one that can say they are an expert teacher, but I think teachers can always strive to be one. I think that expert teachers need to know the subject matter like the back of their hand, but also know how to teach the subject matter. I don't know how any teachers in college that I had new the subject matter, but didn't know how to teach the subject matter. I think teacher need to use different things to make the subject matter meaningful, and one way is to connect to it their everyday life. Also, a expert teacher should have classroom management and organizational skill. Also, I think that an expert teacher has learn to reflect on the day. I think that reflecting on what went will and what didn't is a big step in become a expert teacher because you learn from what you have done wrong. I no that I don't have a lot of insight in being a expert teacher, but I do apply what I have said above to my classroom. I am hopeing to come close to being an expert teach one day.

Andrea R.'s picture
Andrea R.
Teacher

Janice, I loved your response. I pondered for a while on the point of not having anything to aspire to and my mind went to an individual who kept pursuing degree after degree because they wanted to be known as an expert in their field. There are only so many degrees you can get in your area of interest and when we become obsessed with becoming experts, our students are so far away from us because our focus changes. That is some good fodder!

jamie mesman-davis's picture

In addition to classroom management,organization and deep content knowledge, I feel a teacher moving from novice to expert also has to have a strong passion simply for teaching and loving the students. To really make that connection with the students they need to know that your not just talking but that you really believe in what you are saying. I have been in classes where the teachers have tons of knowledge but lack passion and because of that their students didn't care about the content either. But to draw the students in and keep them on the seat of their pants is what opens the door to their imaginations and triggers their brains from listening to actually learning.

jamie mesman-davis's picture

Sally- I agree with you. I am so thankful that I am not the same teacher I was my first year of teaching. I love the fact that our jobs are always changing- daily, we have to adjust to our students, the curriculum, new trends or research. I think that is what makes our jobs so exciting-- we need to keep up with the changes which doesn't allow us to get bored with what we are teaching. If we are not bored then how can our students be. I love telling my student- I am excited to share this with you becasue I just learned it. My students know that I am always on the look out for something beyond the ordinary to teach them. I hope that is what will keep me coming back in 2o years!!!!!

jamie mesman-davis's picture

Sally- I agree with you. I am so thankful that I am not the same teacher I was my first year of teaching. I love the fact that our jobs are always changing- daily, we have to adjust to our students, the curriculum, new trends or research. I think that is what makes our jobs so exciting-- we need to keep up with the changes which doesn't allow us to get bored with what we are teaching. If we are not bored then how can our students be. I love telling my student- I am excited to share this with you becasue I just learned it. My students know that I am always on the look out for something beyond the ordinary to teach them. I hope that is what will keep me coming back in 2o years!!!!!

Michelle H.'s picture

Classroom management is a huge part of becoming an expert teacher. Each year I strive to do better with my management system. I have a fond memory from student teaching when I was introduced to a teacher and along with her name went the title "master management". Of course this title was not from administration but even from a colleague this is a high honor. I think all teachers will always be working towards having a better management system.

lAngy Ejike's picture

I agree with Dave and Ashley that the road to becoming an expert teacher is a continuous process. This is influenced by the demands of the constant changes in the learning environment which is caused by the changes in our society. Teachers are constantly striving to meet the needs and demands of the changes in our society. The standards and goals of teachers are constantly influenced by the changes in our educational system, the learners, the learning environment and the society in general. Teachers find themselves always striving to meet these demands by attending professional development to maintain and update with the most recent changes in teaching.
To become an expert teacher, one needs to constantly strive towards self improvement to maintain an update of all the new development in education. This makes the road to becoming an expert teacher more challenging.

Yer's picture

I agree with what I've read about becoming an expert teacher. I also want to say that the ability to change and adapt to change plays a big role in becoming an expert teacher. Teachers are not always guarantee they will be teaching the same grade every year, especially beginning teachers, so it is important to learn and become aware of what other teachers are teaching.

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