The Teacher as a Person
Esperanza teaches a diverse group of students. English language learners, at-
risk students, honors students, and everyone else find their seats in her class-
room for 90 minutes of science instruction. Spend just two minutes listening
to students coming into the class and you will hear her ask a student about a
sibling or compliment another student's performance in a sporting event. You
can see Esperanza circulating around the room smiling, leaning over to check
work, and nodding an acknowledgment to a student arriving late. As stu-
dents finish their warm-up activity, the instruction begins and the interplay
between students and their teacher continues. She knows her students and
freely admits that they can be a tough bunch, but she loves each and every
one of them. Esperanza is aptly named, for she offers hope to students every
day as she lives out her ethic of caring.
Much of the recent research on teacher effectiveness focuses on relating teacher behaviors to student achievement. Quite a bit of the research, however, has delved into stakeholders' perceptions of good teaching—what students, administrators, and teachers themselves think makes an effective teacher. Studies suggest that instructional and management processes are keys to effectiveness, but many interview and survey responses about effective teaching emphasize the teacher's affective characteristics, or social and emotional behaviors, more than pedagogical practice. These affective characteristics are difficult to quantify; however, characteristics such as a love of children, a love of work, and positive relationships with colleagues and with children contribute to a teacher's feeling of happiness. Noddings (2005) explained that a teacher's happiness can affect the classroom climate and therefore affect students. Moreover, the teacher's psychological influence on students has been linked to student
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Publication information: Book title: Qualities of Effective Teachers. Edition: 2nd. Contributors: James H. Stronge - Author. Publisher: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Place of publication: Alexandria, VA. Publication year: 2007. Page number: 22.
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