Educators educating Educators

May 26

Indicators of Best Practices

“I encourage my students to take chances in their learning. I let them know that even teachers make mistakes. I try to show the children it’s OK to be human, I learn from my pupils, and let’s them know it. I tell the kids, ‘You guys are teaching me, too.’”

Anne Marie Magaha

Rydal West Elementary School, Abington School District, PA

2009 Presidential Award for Excellence Recipient

Indicators of Best Classroom Practice

~ Physical Facilities

Rows of desks moving towards Clusters moving towards Centers (varied learning centers)


~ Classroom Climate/Management

Management by punishment & rewards moving towards Order maintained by engagement and community


~ Student Voice and Involvement

Balanced between teacher-directed and student-directed activities

Students often select inquiry topics, books, writing topics, audiences, etc.


~ Activities and Assignments

Balanced between traditional and more interactive activities

Teacher presentation and transmission of material moving towards Students actively experiencing the concepts


~ Language and Communication

Silence moving towards Noise & Conversation alternates with quiet time


~ Time allocations

Time allocations are balanced between

Teacher-directed and student-directed-work


~ Teacher Attitude and Initiative

Towards students

Negative, distant, fearful, punitive moving towards positive, warm, respectful, encouraging



Read April's Ed Tip to understand how using video game design principles will improve instruction.  Moreover, educators should not view video games as the enemy of education, but rather a model for best teaching practices. When educators design instructional strategies, they must keep in mind the principles of video games, namely achievable challenge, and the role of dopamine in education.