What makes a highly qualified teacher?

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K-12 Special Education teacher

CRCT Test results are one of

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CRCT Test results are one of the measures that parents, teachers and Administrators use to identify the effectiveness of teachers. However, I feel that a teacher's effectiveness goes beyond test scores. Effective teachers are the ones that make a difference in the lives of the children they teach on a daily basis, not only academically, but also socially. They are caring,passoniate,patience, and reflective. They relate to their students in meaniful and authentic ways by being there for them, and helping them overcome mistakes and misunderstandings.

Grades 9-12/ Teacher Mentor/Coach

Highly Qualified Teachers

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The most effective teachers are not only certified and meet all professional standards, but they are lifelong learners, caring, creative,reflective, and passionate about the field. Implementing research-based instructional best practices is a given in their classrooms and all student needs are recognized, valued and addressed effectively. When evaluated by their students and their parents, they receive high marks because they are the teachers who make the difference and most often summative and formative data will support this.
It is important to remember that teaching is a science and an art. It is also relational and that's why it is not enough for a teacher to complete the professional requirements to teach. As a coach I have encountered teachers who were intelligent and possesed strong knowledge of content but could not relate to their students in meaningful and authentic ways which resulted in a teacher-student disconnect which made the school year uncomfortable and challenging for all. Effective teachers are often extraordinary people who posess qualities that inspire others around them including their students. The state of education in our nation is a priority at this time, however, as we take a second look at educational legislation at the local and national levels, we must not fail to recognize and take seriously the character and motivation of those we select to work in America's classrooms.

Sandra Jewett
New Teacher Coach
High School Region
Office of Professional Development
School District of Philadelphia

Anonymous (not verified)

Teaching is an art. It

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Teaching is an art. It requires creativity, sensitivity, and, yes, academic credentials. It is a real problem when people try to identify "highly qualified" teachers. This often becomes a popularity contest based on factors that have nothing to do with teaching ability, such as good legs, big boobs (winks), or an easy grading policy.

sylvia (not verified)

great teachers

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I agree with you..I am that teacher but I am not yet qulified I am currently teaching and finishing my credential..My fear is that I might lose my job because I am having a hard time passing the CSET..I have done a wonderful job in the past,now and will co ntinue in the future. So sad becuse of this NCLB I have to take a test that is just very stressful...

sylvia Arias (not verified)

Highly Qulified Teachers

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Tests!!! Do not prove if someone is highly qulified..I know a few people who are in a credential program or who have finished one in the past year. They passed the CSET and RICA in the first try and I wouln't not hire them if I was the Principal.. I feel that all those test companies are just trying to make more money..What does the CSET prove!! Why don't they make every teacher take that test not just the new ones.

Anonymous (not verified)

Highly Qualified Teacher

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A highly qualified teacher is one that has a subject area degree and has been certified by the state where they teach. Additionally they should be periodically evaluated to insure they implement the recommended local curriculum. They should also be required to pursue relevant professional development annually.

Sherry H. (not verified)

It's not just teaching!!!

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How can one define a highly qualified teacher when a great teacher doesn't teach!!! She(he) leads the students through the process of learning the skills and knowledge they will need in their lives. She also counsels those students who may be struggling with personal issues affecting her desire or ability to process information. She coaches students who feel ignorant or undeserving of an education. She nurses the hypochondriacs in such a way that their illnesses disappear by Thanksgiving. She ensures the feeling of security within her students when they answer incorrectly, or perform poorly on a particular assignment. She clearly sets boundaries in the classroom where students understand what is expected of them each and every day. She is always honest with her students, and she praises them for their successes. She looks for the positive--the good in every situation. However, her students understand when they have disappointed her in behavior or academics. She guides the students in learning. She DOES NOT teach to the test!!!!!! She DOES NOT "stop teaching" one month before the test to "review." She sets expectations for her students and herself, and she expects everyone to meet them! This is a highly qualified teacher!

Cathy (not verified)

Highly Qualified

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I think highly qualified should be based on the performance successes of the teacher. (I.e., Can the teacher facilitate a deep discussion with students that has the potential to internalize learning? Can he or she challenge a student to take risks and do things out of their comfort zone? Does the teacher partner with local community members to expose students to how and what they are teaching as it relates to their life both now and in their future career choices? Do they bring real world problems to solve within their classroom? Does the teacher recognize and validate the different ways students are smart? Does the teacher use technological tools to reach the students where they are rather than where the comfort zone of the teacher is? Can the teacher be the learner in their classroom, as well as the facilitator? (and not a sage on the stage). Teachers like this focus on learning rather than teaching and are in my mind highly qualified whatever degree they might hold because they create an environment that engages students to learn.

Anonymous (not verified)

I must take exception to

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I must take exception to your thought about a masters giving instant certification. I teach people who want to become teachers, as part of NCSU's NCTeach program. We have folks with anything from a bachelors to a doctorate, and all profit from learning how to be a teacher: classroom management, how to write/develop/use lesson plans and unit studies, how to handle learning disabilities and differentiate, graphic organizers...I could go on for a while. My point is that knowing the content material is not sufficient, one needs to learn how to help the students learn, how to think and reflect upon their thinking...so that they can learn for themselves later. An advanced degree by itself does not do this.

Frank Withrow (not verified)

www.FrankWithrow.com

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For years I hired and supervised teachers. The final determining point became would I like to invite this person to my home for dinner? Would they relate to my wife and children and would we have an interesting conversation at the dinner table. Their certification, subject matter competence can all be measured, but the final question is will they engage and inspire students. That takes a person that is comfortable and exciting to be around. I have visited many schools across the country. I believe that if you ask teachers and students who are the best teachers in their school they know and will tell you. They may not know why but they know that Ms. Snodgrass is the best or Mr. Thigpen has their interest at heart. The learners will often say Mr. Bien is hard but I like his class because I learn so much and he is interested in me.

Highly qualified teachers are those who can engage and inspire learners to be their very best.

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