50 Questions for the Effective & Efficient Educator

1. Do you say “my” class orour” class?
2. Do you utter, “It is so very good to see you,” while your tone and body posture scream, “I can’t wait to go home”?
3. If students were to construct a statue in your honor, would it portray you seated at your desk, or would the artistic task be impossible to complete due to your lack of stillness that originates from an incessant energy and an undeniable passion for teaching?
4. If a movie were being made about your teaching practices and your classes, what actor/actress would play your role? What’s the title? Would any tickets be sold?
5. Do you remember to snack and hydrate throughout the day so your blood-sugar levels do not fluctuate and cause your students to wonder what alien stole your body?
6. Do you slow down, pause for reflection, and focus on the important details, or is the speed of your teaching practices creating a collision?
7. Do you multi-task while speaking with students, or do you pause your present activity, make eye contact, and engage in a meaningful conversation that leads to collective inspiration and understanding?
8. Could your “supplies needed” list easily be used for a 1960’s classroom, or does it appear you are preparing for students like Adora Svitak, Thomas Suarez, Jack Andraka, Richard Turere, or any other brilliant students? Click here (and here) to see examples of two 21st Century lists.
9. Is humor a mainstay in your classes?
10. Can your students access your class on-the-go and from anywhere?
11. Are you so out-of-balance with educational technology that you absolutely lock-up when tech plans go awry? If so, do you relate to these characters?
12. Do you greet your students as they walk in the door?
13. If your students weren’t required to attend your classes, would they?
14. Do you work smarter…or just harder?
15. Do you have a plan to capture all of your creative, “Aha!” moments…no matter where you are? If so, do you use tools like physical journal books, blog spots, Evernote, Google Drive, Dragon Dictation, Google forms, Padlet, or YouTube Capture to record those awesome moments of enlightenment?
16. Do your classes, or maybe even your career, have a soundtrack of thematic songs?
17. Do you embrace your uniqueness?
18. Is your teaching practice defined by a teach-to-the-test culture?
19. Do you ask a million questions during faculty meetings?
20. Are you aware of the power of the “palmtop?”
21. Somehow, someway, do you begin the first day of school by establishing a theme and by challenging the students to achieve greatness? Here is the song we began with in Studio 113. Want to see the lyrics? Click here.
22. If your classroom management plan were adopted by the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, would all of its employees immediately quit?
23. Do you balk at sharing your ideas out of fear that they are too common and nothing extraordinary? If so, watch this video to eradicate that mindset. And remember, “You are far, far greater than you know.” –Khalil Gibran
24. Do you use educational tools like Google forms with your colleagues or students to crowd-source valuable resources?
25. Do you only assess students’ work with a red pen? Or do you temporarily trade in your red pen for a microphone?
26. How do you manage the use of smartphones and other BYOD gadgets in your classroom?
27. Whether it’s WeVideo, Sheets, Docs, Presentations, or Forms, do you, your colleagues, and your students use the awesomeness of Google Drive to collaborate?
28. Are you a bit out-of-date with students’ out-of-class interests and activities?
29. Do research and learning activities in your classes sometimes look a little different?
30. Are your students and their creativity stifled by a fear of making mistakes?
31. Are Google Hangouts, Skype, or Microsoft Lync options if you can’t physically be in a meeting?
32. Can you engage students by “gamifying” learning with no technology at all?
33. What message does your classroom design convey to students when they first walk into your room?
34. If your class were a brand, what would the logo and product be?
35. Do you learn of new educational tools two years later, or are you a connected educator?
36. Are you a valuable component of a larger, educational vision?
37. Is your “Plan A” only the beginning?
38. Do you subscribe to this simple but powerful equation for educators?
39. Are you truly inspired to challenge and conquer all educational and professional obstacles?
40. Are your classes active?
41. In order to consistently provide your students with a forward-thinking, progressive learning environment, do you strive to be a relentless, educational visionary?
42. Do you give much thought to the future of learning?
43. Have you spent a considerable amount of time bookmarking all of your internet resources so the rest of your time may be used efficiently and not wasted on relocating valuable educational tools?
44. Are your students often frustrated when the dismissal bell rings?
45. Do your students often suggest classroom activities?
46. While walking down an aisle of back-to-school supplies, is your happiness equal to the level of endorphins released during a runner’s high?
47. Does your gradebook reflect a bunch of meaningless numbers, or does it provide examples of standards mastery?
48. Is communication between you and your students’ parents consistent, respectful, and productive?
49. Do you offer a one-stop shop for creative technology tools for your students?
50. Do…you…still…love…teaching?
Please join the discussion and add to the questions by submitting your comments below.

John Hardison

John Hardison is an interactive facilitator of learning and blended learning specialist at East Hall High School (Studio 113 & EPiCC).

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1 Comment

Teri Lance

Amen! Thought provoking and affirming!

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