Educators educating Educators

Jul 23

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



In case you get bored with the lazy days of summer and want to get a jump preparing for the coming school year, I added to Stuff4Educators a section called How to Study Better based on research from Harvard Medical School that highlights four science-backed ways towards better learning (Hint: drop the highlighter). Additionally, I posted a YouTube video under exercise from the Dana Foundation that won the Northwest Emmy award called Exercise and the Brain that explores the benefits of exercise on the brain and learning. Finally, some books that I have read this past year and found to be stimulating are listed.