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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Novice to expert teachers

65 Replies 603 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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Jennifer Cameron's picture

I am only in my fifth year teaching and I know I am certainly no expert. Classroom management and organization that works for the teacher is important for a teacher to journey to expert. I think expert teachers know there curriculum inside and out and are able to teach it in a variety of ways. Expert teachers are flexible in the classroom and look at change and different techniques with a positive attitude. An expert teacher may not know they are expert teacher because they still feel that there is so much more for them to learn in the world.

Heather Preciado's picture

You didn't mention subject matter knowledge which I consider being just as important as everything else you mentioned. In the district that I work, they hire teachers with multiple subject credentials to teach in middle school (7th and 8th grade). I don't consider them as able to demonstrate what expert teachers should for a particular subject. Therefore, I would add subject matter knowledge to the list of what teachers need for becoming expert teachers.

Dave Fry's picture

Marc - in reading your comments, I'm not sure that those of us in education ever reach the level of expert. There are two areas that I consider never ending and always changing - a new clientele of learners each year AND new and better ways of teaching our specific disciplines. Please don't think that I'm a monger, but each year we grow better at what we do, but the intangible of having the same level or groupings of learners remains the mystery of reading our roll sheets on the first day of school! I (after 16+ years) still look forward to that day each year when I see the names of my learners, since they change. I often refer to Day #1 as Learner Roulette - and I'm the dealer of the game!

Joy Elliott's picture
Joy Elliott
Middle School Special Ed. Teacher Creedmoor, NC

I feel one of the most important aspects a teacher can do after learning to create effective lessons and manage the classroom, is to continually strive to improve. To me, the mark of an expert teacher is someone who continually learns and improves. When things are going wrong, they look for a way to make it right. They don't make excuses about external factors influencing them, they just keep their focus on student learning! I don't think many of us would be here taking time to discuss this on the blog if we weren't headed in the direction of expert on the continuum!

Ashley Zimmerman's picture

I agree with you Dave on the part about not ever reaching the "expert teacher" area. I feel that we are always striving to be the best but the changing environments and outside factors limit the possibility. There are always new ways of teaching and I think that if you adapt each year to your students, you are moving closer to being an expert. Like Dave said, you never know your classroom makeup from year to year and that makes a huge difference.

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