Excellence in Teaching 2022

It has been a few years since I actively supervised classroom teachers. At the time, I was well versed in the teacher evaluation models that were in wide use. Of course, I carefully followed the contractually defined procedures agreed to in my school district.

My interest in educational research has not waned over the years and it got me wondering, “What are the skills that qualify a teacher to be rated as “excellent” in 2022?” To find the answer, I read books and articles by some of the most respected educators currently in print. My reading list included works by Robert Marzano, Linda Darling-Hammond, Carol Ann Tomlinson, Lisa Delpit, Charlotte Danielson, Grant Wiggins, John Hattie, and many other notable authors. From 34 of these resources, I compiled a list of the most crucial skills identified by each author. These numbered more than 120 individual skills. Analyzing the data resulting in my categorizing the results into ten skill areas. Each of the skill areas is supported by many of the experts as being of critical Importance as part of the repertoire of a highly effective teacher. However, five skill areas had the most consistent and enthusiastic support. So, here are the answers to my question.

What are the skills that qualify a teacher to be rated as “excellent” in 2022?

1. Establishes Strong Teacher-Student Relationships

2. Knows and Uses a Variety of Effective Instructional Strategies

3. Is Highly Knowledgeable about their Subject Area Content

4. Is Skilled in Classroom Management

5. Provides Culturally Responsive Instruction

Here is some additional detail regarding each of the top five skill areas.

Establishes Strong Teacher-Student Relationships

“The single variable that best predicts students’ sense of belonging is their relationship with teachers. Strong teacher-​student relationships can mitigate the cumulative effects of misbehavior, apathy, and failure due to poor teacher-​student relationships.”

Source: Equity in Schools Begins with Changing Mindsets. Manya Whitaker, April 12, 2022

Knows and Uses a Variety of Effective Instructional Strategies

Educators need support so that they can improve opportunities for low-income students including through Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL).

Source: Students from Low-Income Families and Special Education, January 17, 2019 — Laura A. Schifter, Todd Grindal, Gabriel Schwartz and Thomas Hehir

Effective teaching requires active skilled use of the following strategies:

• Setting objectives and providing feedback

• Reinforcing effort and providing recognition

• Cooperative learning

• Cues, questions, and advance organizers

• Non-linguistic representations

• Summarizing and note taking

• Assigning homework and providing practice

• Identifying similarities and differences

• Generating and testing hypotheses

Source: Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement/Edition 2 (Robert Marzano 2012)

Is Highly Knowledgeable about their Subject Area Content

The more you know, the easier it will be to teach your students and to offer them prompt answers to their questions. Students always prefer consulting teachers who are known to possess in-depth knowledge about a specific field.

Source: 12 Things Successful Teachers Do

https://www.futureeducators.org/12-things-successful-teachers-do/Monday, June 27, 2022

Highly Effective Teachers have command of the subjects they teach. They must know which concepts and skills are central to a discipline and which are peripheral. They are also aware of typical student misconceptions in the discipline and work to dispel them.

Source: THE FRAMEWORK FOR TEACHING — EVALUATION INSTRUMENT, Charlotte Danielson, 2013 Edition

Is Skilled in Classroom Management

Every teacher should know that Classroom Management Is Key!

Source: 10 Things Every New Teacher Should Know by Nancy Barile, M.A. Ed.

Effective teachers are skilled in the use of effective classroom management strategies.

Source: What Works in Schools (Marzano, 2003b)

Provides Culturally Responsive Instruction

Culturally relevant educators: use constructivist methods to develop bridges connecting students’ cultural references to academic skills and concepts; engage students in critical reflection about their own lives and societies; facilitate students’ cultural competence; explicitly unmask and unmake oppressive systems through the critique of discourses of power; and work not only in the classroom but also in the active pursuit of social justice for all members of society.

Source: The Theory and Practice of Culturally Relevant Education: A Synthesis of Research Across Content Areas by Brittany Aronson, Judson Laughter, Review of Educational Research, March 2016, Vol. 86, №1, pp. 163–206

Culturally Responsive Teachers should:

Understand different racial and ethnic groups’ cultural values, traditions, and contributions to society, and incorporate that knowledge into their instruction.

Include multiple perspectives in their instruction and make sure the images displayed in classrooms

Help students achieve academic success while still validating their cultural identities.

Understand different communication styles and modify classroom interactions accordingly.

Connect students’ prior knowledge and cultural experiences with new knowledge.

Source: What Is Culturally Responsive Teaching? Education Week by Madeline Will and Ileana Najarro, April 18, 2022

Rather than leave you wondering, here are the remaining five skills that experts believe are necessary to qualify a teacher to be rated as “excellent” in 2022?

6. Exhibits Commitment to the Teaching Profession

7. Connects with Families and the Community

8. Demonstrates Flexibility

9. Continually Participates in Professional Development

10. Routinely Collaborates with Colleagues

I would ask you to consider all the above and then place yourself in the shoes of a teacher whose life has been drastically disrupted for the past two and a half years. Teaching online much of the time, often for the first time in their career; working with students whose lives have also been disrupted; reeling from the news of the day, in all its confrontational glory; and, simultaneously trying to have a life of their own outside of school. Not a pretty picture. But, surprisingly, not the source of very much complaining. Teachers are a hardy bunch! Anyone looking for a teaching position?

References

7 Guiding Values and Principles of Ethnic Studies from the scholarship of Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales and Edward Curammeng

10 Things Every New Teacher Should Know by Nancy Barile

11 Habits of an Effective Teacher by Carrie Lam, July 5, 2014

https://www.edutopia.org/discussion/11-habits-effective-teacher

12 Things Successful Teachers Do

https://www.futureeducators.org/12-things-successful-teachers-do/ Monday, June 27, 2022

20 principles of learning every teacher should know, https://www.teachthought.com/

Annihilate Racial Injustice in our Schools, Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D.

Classroom Instruction that Works: Research-Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement/Edition 2 (Robert Marzano 2012)

Culturally Responsive Instruction Is ‘Not Just About Adding a Hip Hop Song to Your Lesson Hook’ Part 2 (of 4) by Larry Ferlazzo, March 03, 2020

Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy Honors the Humanity & Identity of Young People Part 3 (of 4) by Larry Ferlazzo, March 08, 2020

Educator Learning to Enact the Science of Learning and Development

Linda Darling-Hammond, Lisa Flook, Abby Schachner, Steve Wojcikiewicz, Pamela Cantor, David Osher, January 24, 2022

Equity in Schools Begins with Changing Mindsets. Manya Whitaker, April 12, 2022

Leadership for Differentiating Schools & Classrooms by Carol Ann Tomlinson and Susan Demirsky Allan, 2000

“Lies My Teacher [Educator] Still Tells”: Using Critical Race Counter-narratives to Disrupt Whiteness in Teacher Education by Brittany Aronson, Lateasha Meyers, Vanessa Winn 2020

Let’s Talk about Racism in Schools, Rick Wormeli, 2016

Multiplication is for White People: Raising Expectations for Other People’s Children by Lisa Delpit, 2012

Students from Low-Income Families and Special Education, January 17, 2019 Laura A. Schifter, Todd Grindal, Gabriel Schwartz and Thomas Hehir

Teaching through a Culturally Diverse Lens, Sheldon L. Eakins, Ph.D.

The Dreamkeepers. Successful Teachers of African American Children.

Gloria Ladson-Billings, 1994

The Framework for Teaching: Evaluation Instrument, Charlotte Danielson, 2013 Edition

The Theory and Practice of Culturally Relevant Education: A Synthesis of Research Across Content Areas by Brittany Aronson, Judson Laughter, Review of Educational Research, March 2016, Vol. 86, №1, pp. 163–206

Turning High Poverty Schools into High Performing Schools: Disrupting Poverty!

William Parrett, Kathleen Budge, 2016

Understanding by Design (UbD), Grant Wiggins/Jay McTighe 2005

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) 1984, Dr. David Rose and Dr. Ann Meyer

National Center on Universal Design for Learning (http://www.udlcenter.org)

Visible Learning, John Hattie, 2018

We Can’t Teach What We Don’t Know: White Teachers, Multiracial Schools

Gary R. Howard (2016)

What is Culturally Responsive Teaching? The Education Hub, 2019

What Is Culturally Responsive Teaching? Education Week by Madeline Will and Ileana Najarro, April 18, 2022

What Makes a Good School Culture? by Leah Shafer, July 23, 2018

What Works in Schools (Marzano, 2003b)

White Teacher. Paley, V. G. (2000). Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

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Mark Rosenbaum

Mark Rosenbaum is a retired teacher, teacher union president, principal, Assistant Superintendent, Superintendent, and University Instructor on Long Island, NY.