What Will It Take?

What will it take for you to be a student of the best teaching possible this semester? What are you prepared to do? Or not do? And, what is “best” teaching anyway? Share a story (post) that answers these questions … don’t forget to check out what your classmates are posting, too!

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About students of teaching

We are Penn State students of teaching in conversation.
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31 Responses to What Will It Take?

  1. Stephanie Zisa says:

    To be the best student of teaching, I will need to have dedication and focus on the task before it comes up. I believe that to be the best student of teaching I will need great preparation, along with being open to opportunities and advice that come my way. I will be prepared to do almost anything including early to bed, taking others critiques even when I may not want to hear them, as well as really working on myself as a teacher and constantly evolving to become the best teacher I can be. I believe the best teaching is when both the student and teacher alike reach a common goal and both are working together to make a functioning classroom and really are able to work through material while learning and having fun. The best teacher is one that not only focuses on the students actions and achievements but also on their own work as a teacher and constantly evaluate ways to improve themselves.

  2. Brittany Cassarella says:

    To be a student of the best teaching possible this semester it will mean giving it my all. I am prepared to put in a lot of time and energy to be successful this semester. I am prepared to take risks and think outside of the box. I am not prepared to let anyone down. “Best” teaching means opening minds to new things, or old things in a new light.

  3. Katie Thorn says:

    The simple fact of the matter is that it is impossible to define what sort of teaching is best. All learners will respond differently to different approaches of teaching and, in all honesty, different teachers. There have been times that a teacher I have loved has been a teacher that my best friend hates and vice versa. The way to be the best teacher that one can be is to be comfortable with oneself, to establish practices that are shown through personal experience to be effective and easy to employ for one’s own purposes, to have a mastery of the material and the ability to pass it on, to instill enthusiasm and a drive for learning in one’s learners, and to create an experience that will be memorable for learners. Students should not dread learning, nor should teachers, though it is perfectly possible that both can occur. The ultimate goal, aside from learning of course, should be enjoyment. With this accomplished, a “good” teacher should be able to bring about learning with ease.

  4. Ashley Hinkle says:

    Being the best teacher I possibly can means being in tune with students needs, putting in as much time as necessary, and being my most creative. It means thinking in the ways I want my students to think, and seeing my lessons through their eyes instead of just my own. It means discovering who my students are as individuals, and helping them aspire to and meet life goals.

    For me, best teaching literally means doing my absolute best. I know that I will make mistakes and get things wrong, but at the end of the day, I have to be able to say to myself that I’ve done the best I possibly could with the tools and resources I had.

  5. Colin Hill says:

    I feel that the best teaching is the kind of teaching that gets a student enthused in the material. As teachers, we can’t always worry about having a class of all 100% students, but if we can inspire students to pick up Hemingway, or write with passion, we’ve achieved a lot.

    For ME to be the best teacher? I think what I would need would be confidence. In a world where so much is changing (and so much is wrong) with our education system, it is difficult to take on the responsibilities of teaching with full confidence. One cannot be expected to teach with passion, enthusiasm, and skill if he or she doesn’t have that self-esteem in their practice. I hope to get that confidence from this class so that I can get the most out of my student teaching, and someday, my own classroom.

  6. Kailin Armeny says:

    This semester I hope to gather as much information, techniques, guidance, and advice from the teachers and other students of teaching I meet and work with. Hopefully, with all of this new knowledge I will be able to create my own classroom and teaching techniques. By observing my mentor teacher and the students in my classroom, I will be able to observe what works and what doesn’t work in inspiring students and gaining their interest and desire to learn. Then, by experimenting with my own techniques in front of a classroom, I will be able to see what fits me best as an individual and a teacher. Overall, I hope to find myself as a teacher through observation and experimentation. The best teachers are guides who let students find their interests instead of forcing interests onto their students. I hope to find a way to be a guide for my students.

  7. Christian Klepeiss says:

    I aim to be a student of the “best teaching” by being attentive and soaking in as much of the experiences of others around me. Listening to others’ views on my subject matter, what they understand and just as importantly how they pre-conceive my subject matter will ultimately guide how I can do the best instruction. I am not a fan of lecture and memorize teaching: I want students to be engaged in thinking about a problem. For me to be a student of learning the best style of teaching, I intend to listen closely to the others in this class regarding their thoughts and conceptions, and attempt to incorporate their ideas of subject matter into my lessons.

  8. Wayne Miller says:

    I though the questions you asked on your survey were interesting and relative to questions that I will be asking myself within the coming months as I finish my preparation to become an educator. I feel as a teacher it is important to question your believes and ideals on learning, grades, and intelligence.

  9. Brittany Richards says:

    For me to be a student of the best teaching possible, I need to recognize the skills and experiences that my instructors and peers have and be able to tap into their expertise and knowledge. I’m fully prepared to ask questions, seek help or advice, provide my advice to others (if asked), and to make the most of the information I’m given. I think the best teaching occurs when teachers are able to connect with their students and project a true love and fascination for their particular subject area. I’ve had experiences with teachers who truly were interested in learning more about their area of expertise and it showed through in their classrooms, from the activities we did to the injection of new and upcoming research into lectures and class discussions. These teachers had the most impact on me as a student, and that’s what I hope to do for my future students.

  10. Bryn Harding says:

    I believe that in order to be a student of the best teaching this semester, I need to plan, reflect, and improve. I think that by analyzing myself and looking at the positives and negatives in my teaching, I will be able to improve my teaching each and every lesson. To me, the “best” teaching is when a teacher gives everything she has to help her students understand the information. I also hope to gain useful insight on planning, assessing, error correction, and much more. This information will definitely help me when I am in control of my own classroom next semester.

  11. Laura Young says:

    The “best” teaching, is teaching that promotes learner growth; that expands learners previous viewpoints or ideas; that inspires and excites. This semester, I am prepared to grow, to expand, to be inspired and to become excited about teaching. I am prepared to keep my mind and my eyes open, and to learn. I am prepared to feel overwhelmed at points, along with anxiety and frustration. However, I am also prepared to work through those feelings and continue to expand and learn, and to be excited about doing so.

  12. Michael McGlynn says:

    For me to be a student of the best teaching possible this semester, I believe that it will take a lot of patience to be able to learn new things and incorporate those things into my learning. I am prepared to learn to the best of my abilities and be open to new ideas not just in the discipline of social studies, but ideas about experiences in all disciplines.

  13. Scott Flaherty says:

    I am excited to be a student of the best teaching possible so that I may evolve myself as a teacher. I am willing to adapt to teaching methods, take criticism, and to bite my tongue. When I first started coaching baseball, I was still in the transition of going from a player to a coach. I was the youngest coach in the league by more than twenty years and, though I received much support, it felt like I was always receiving criticism. Once I learned how to take any comments and criticism I received, I began to excel as a coach and saw the improvement in my players. Learning this lesson in baseball will allow me to do the same in teaching, taking the advice and knowledge of those around me to form into a better educator myself.

  14. Benjamin Roy says:

    In order to consider this semester, a successful semester, I need to take risks. I need to accept that when taking risks their are two possibilities: Success and Failure. If I can successfully understand that success and failure are necessary for growth this semester will be successful. I am prepared to do anything necessary to make myself a better teacher. I promise to give 150% of hard and smart effort. I am looking forward to the next couple months!

  15. Marisa says:

    I think that to be the “best” teaching you have to be willing to take risks and use your creativity. You are in the classroom to be observing another teacher, so in that case you are the “student”. You can see how the other teacher teaches and maybe use their style or interpret it into your own. Once you take over the classroom you are in charge and you are the teacher and your students are looking to you to not only learn, but to be able to grow with their knowledge. I taught 4th graders last Fall and I had no idea how quickly they could learn Spanish. We taught about 40 different vocabulary terms a day and they remembered almost all of them. We were able to use different techniques and styles and took risks too. Sometimes they worked, sometimes they didn’t. In the end, they enjoyed it and learned another language along the way. It was rewarding because I was able to see what it takes in preparation, organization, and motivation to be a teacher even if it only was twice a week. I am not sure what I wouldn’t be willing to do, but I think I might find that out as I continue my teaching this year. There may not be a formula to have the “best” type of teaching, but I think it’s open for your own interpretation.

  16. Sara Stapleton says:

    In order for me to be a student of the best teaching possible this semester, there must be a balance between the dedication and commitment that both I and the professor put forth. We must both be committed to the learning process and to making the most out of this experience. I must be prepared to complete any and all tasks assigned to me and my professor must be responsible for support and guidance during these tasks.

    “Best” teaching is teaching that strengthens my knowledge and pushes my comfort zone to question things that I have never questioned and to seek for answers to these questions.

  17. Ally says:

    In order to be a student of the “best teaching” possible I will need to enter classes with an open mind. I believe that keeping an unbiased view on education will allow me to seek out the positive aspects of all varieties of teaching. I am willing to learn new ways of teaching and change my old habits in order to be a student of the “best teaching.” I think the “best teaching” is both honest and open. The “best teaching” should not hinder me from any views or ideas that I may not already know of.
    This can be seen in the example of taking a class out of the norm. I took an Art History course and analyzed the material from one perspective for many weeks. After listening to other views in the class, I learned about other ways to view art beyond my traditional behavior. I believe that the “best teaching” was seen here when I was exposed to other views from not just the professor but from fellow students. Perhaps “best teaching” is not just in the hands of the instructor but also seen in the seat of the learner.

  18. Carly Clover says:

    In order to be the best student of teaching possible this semester I will need motivation, patience, and a positive outlook. I feel like “best” teaching is striving to do your personal best with your abilities and always looking for ways to improve both on your instructional skills and your students ability to learn from you. In order to do this I am prepared to dedicate a lot of my time on planning for my teaching. I am also prepared to be observant and present in the classroom while I am in the schools. I realize that being a teacher means putting yourself in front of a class to be judged, therefore I am willing to allow this to happen even though I do not normally enjoy this feeling since I am not as outgoing as some. I am not prepared to sacrifice my performance in my other courses, therefore I understand not all of my hard-work and dedication can be directed just at student teaching.

  19. Brian Ford says:

    This semester, in order to do my best teaching possible, I will first need to be excited about going to the school each and every day. Excitement to be there will be key in order to give my all and get the most out of this experience. Also, to take to heart the constructive or not so constructive criticism from the mentor and supervisor, and to try to get better in all the things that they feel I need to work on. Both of these key things will promote my “best” teaching, which to me is nothing less than 100% of effort, time, and devotion.

  20. Katie Lieb says:

    In order to be the best student teacher I can possibly be this semester it is important for me to put effort into what I am doing. It’s about taking risks and putting myself out there; trying new things, even if they are unsuccessful. I am willing to put as much time and effort into student teaching as possible this semester, even though it may be difficult while having other classes and things going on. Because of this, I am not positive I will be able to center all of my concentration into this one area of my life, because I don’t want to falter in the rest of my classes. I am not going to shy away from trying to teach, even though I am currently nervous about doing so. I think the best teachers genuinely love learning and sharing the knowledge they have with others. It is important for teachers to be enthusiastic and caring. Good teachers offer different ways of learning the same material by teaching it in different ways so that all students can grasp the information.

  21. Leah Matusow says:

    It is going to take time and commitment to be a student of the best teaching possible this semester. It is going to take time management and balancing classwork, other classes, and other activities. I am prepared to learn a lot and become a more confident teacher. I am also prepared to learn from my mistakes and improve my teaching skills. I don’t know if I am prepared for the workload this semester will bring, but I know it is coming.

    College life is full of commitments and learning how to be independent. I think we learn everyday, not only in the classroom, but from extracurricular activities and just living on our own. The “best” teaching can come from observing others, but also from learning from your mistakes and your achievements. Throughout my four years here I have been surrounded by moments of “best” teaching and I know that there are more to come.

  22. Alicia Differ says:

    This semester, in order to be at my best, I am going to have to not be a typical college student and be wiser with my time. I am prepared to go to bed early, not go out as much or stay out as late, and get ahead in my work. “Best” teaching is knowing that I gave my students every opportunity possible and that I did not fall short due to my own issues. It is putting them first.

  23. Tracy Anderson says:

    To be a student of the best teaching I plan to question with boldness. To be a good student starts with questions. Why. Why does something work, why does something fail? What makes something the way it is and what makes the students tick. Being a student of teaching begins with questioning and then being quiet and observing the answers around me. There is no “best” teaching, only what is best for me.

  24. Jared B says:

    It will take the courage for me to experiment and possibly fail in my pursuits. I hope to design lessons that are outside the conventional transmission of rote knowledge and instead challenge students to think about and question their long-held beliefs, knowledge, and prejudices. Doing this in some schools may be frowned upon, so I have to be aware of the school culture and community and act accordingly.

    I believe that all teachers educate in a manner that resonates with their belief system, whether or not they admit it; even the teacher who teaches directly from the textbook, whether or not he/she admits his/her bias, is enculturating students to a certain belief system. It is for this reason that I will choose resources and design lessons that promote justice, peace, and harmony with nature.

  25. Angie McNie says:

    These are questions that I have yet to answer and that is what I’m hoping to get out of this class this semester. I really don’t know what is considered “best” in education, however a word I often find associated with successful teaching is “passion.” Every teacher that has ever made a difference in my life has been passionate and interactive above all else. So I hope that this course will help me to figure out the best way to do and be just that. I am prepared to do whatever it takes in order to learn to be the “best” teacher I can.

  26. Nicole Dado says:

    I think that in order for me to be an effective student of teaching this semester, I will need to listen and learn from my fellow peers in the pre-service student teaching practicum. I am prepared to enter my first classroom with an open mind to not only my mentor’s teaching practices and values, but also to the needs and wants of my students. The “best” teaching can evoke inspiration in students and create new and interesting discussions in class. I hope that I can use this experience to explore the many possibilities of English education in the classroom and to learn from my mentor, students, and peers.

  27. John Derrick says:

    Being a student of the best teaching possible this semester will mean paying close attention to my teachers and putting forth a huge effort. This semester will take a lot of my time. I am prepared to put in the time and effort that this semester requires. Best teaching refers to anything that advances me as a learner.

  28. Sierra R. Leitch says:

    This semester by far will be the most challenging and enriching semester for me. I view this semester as an opportunity to really learn and grow as an individual… working to become the best new teacher I can be. What is the best teaching? I don’t know if I’m really prepared to answer this question. I believe being a good teacher requires me to be empathetic to my students needs and situations, but at the same time, be the voice of authority that commands my students’ attention and motivates them to learn and absorb all the materials I present to them. I think this semester is going to be key in helping me to develop the type of teacher I will become. I have high aspirations to become strong teacher figure, and I will do anything to accomplish this goal.

  29. Mike B. says:

    It will take hard work and dedication as well as patience to be the student of the best teaching. The “best” teaching involves flexability. As a teacher it is important to change based on the needs and feedback you get from your students. There is no set way to teach anything it is always changing. It is the job of the “best” teaching to discover what will engage students and how the best learn. It is also important to transfer what others discover in their classrooms as well. I guess what I am saying is that teaching is always changing and somethings may work for other teachers and not for you, so it is important to discover what make you a good teacher.

  30. Carrianne Brown says:

    I think for me to be a student of the best teaching possible it will entail great communication from student and teacher as well as time and effort on both parts as well. I am will to give this class the necessary time and dedication on my part to make this happen. I think the best type of teaching includes multiple types of strategies and student involvement.

  31. Chelsea Cameron says:

    I think it is really hard to define what “best” teaching really is. In my schooling experience I have had a lot of great teachers that were all very different. They all had unique personalities. I had fun teachers that made you laugh and that inspired students to learn, but I also had a few very strict teachers that made you want to try your best even when they pushed you to your limits. I am prepared to take in all of these new ideas, personalities, and teaching styles I will see on my path this year.

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