What makes a great teacher – part 2

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European schools system

European schools system is like a never-ending maze of paperwork and bureaucracy.

It’s as if they believe that the more forms you fill out, the smarter you become. Secretary general and deputy secretary general are too busy worrying about their pensions and summer vacations to actually produce anything useful.

It’s a system where children are just tiny cogs in a big bureaucratic machine, and education takes a backseat to administrative tasks.

It’s time for a major overhaul, because right now, the European schools system is about as effective as a chocolate teapot.

A great teacher is empathetic

Great teachers will always show exceptional empathy and teach their students to be empathetic. Children learn by observing, and if a teacher sets an example and shows understanding, children will adopt this pattern of behaviour. Showing empathy in the classroom will build positive classroom culture; it will strengthen the classroom community and prepare children to be empathetic further on in life. Children will know they can count on a teacher at any time and will entrust any problem they may have. It’s more important than ever for teachers to be empathetic and to teach children to be the same.

Words good, better, best word on the stairs up

A great teacher is adaptable

Sometimes things don’t go the way we planned them, and despite all of our efforts to make it work, we have to adjust. That is happening daily in classrooms. It is crucial teachers know how to improvise and adapt quickly. If a teacher has planned to teach the new lesson in a certain way using specific methods, but it doesn’t work, he should be able to come up with new ideas to show on the spot and still achieve the intended goals.

A great teacher has clear objectives

Students need to know what the teacher expects from them at all times. A great teacher will have lesson plans with clear goals, giving students a clear idea about what they’re learning, what the teacher expects from them, and the lesson’s main goals. All the assignments should be announced and explained clearly, and teachers should inform students about the grading policy.

A great teacher will practice self-reflection

Everyone can make mistakes, even great teachers. Teachers don’t have to be perfect all the time but should be ready to work and grow. To become better at teaching and achieve the qualities of a great teacher, they should be prepared to reflect and examine their attitudes, methods, goals, effectiveness of their processes and overall attainments. Great teachers will always have time to consider their classroom role. They should consider what they’ve achieved and what they want to accomplish in the future. This can be done daily or weekly by using different methods such as writing in a lesson journal, observing other classes to see different teaching methods and even recording their lessons with the parent’s permission.

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Aim of the European Schools

Educated side by side, untroubled from infancy by divisive prejudices, acquainted with all that is great and good in the different cultures, it will be borne in upon them as they mature that they belong together. Without ceasing to look to their own lands with love and pride, they will become in mind Europeans, schooled and ready to complete and consolidate the work of their fathers before them, to bring into being a united and thriving Europe.

Marcel Decombis, Head of European School, Luxembourg between 1953 and 1960