Educators educating Educators

Sep 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



Welcome back to another school year. I hope your summer was relaxing and invigorating and you are looking forward to the approaching school year and the opportunity to stimulate and challenge your students’ minds.

This summer I was able to study Sir Ken Robinson, a British author, speaker and international advisor on education to governments, non-profits, and education organizations

I, like many people, find his writings and Ted Talks not only witty and inspiring but also thought-provoking and challenging. Much of his work deals with the diversity of intelligence, the power of imagination and creativity, and the importance of commitment to our own capabilities. He posits that the noticeable lack of them in our schools negatively affect students’ learning and teachers’ productivity and the absence of them is triggered by the demands of standardized testing.

I hope you find Sir Ken Robinson’s words inspiriting and challenging as I do and be mindful of them as you plan for the new year. Here is to a great 2017-2018 school year!