Hey guys, thanks for joining me today. Today we are going to be looking at the six characteristics that always create effective teachers. Now, before I dive into this, if you are struggling with your workload, if you, you know, and I think teachers everywhere around the world are working way too much.
So I actually have a book called Workless, teach more how to be an effective teacher, and live a life. You love the whole book is about. Reducing your workload, enabling you to still be effective in what you're doing at your school but also still have a life outside of school.
Now if that sounds like something you might be interested in, I will give you the copy for free. I just ask you to cover postage and handling. So if you go to teacherspd.net/freewltm for work less teach more, you can grab yourself a free copy of that book, just pay for postage and handling and it will come to you and you can get stuck into that.
I mean, right now we're about to get into the school holidays here in New South Wales. So maybe you get it ready for school holiday reading and be a fantastic time. Now This episode, when we're looking at effective teachers, I'm going to go through a lot of detail. These characteristics that produce effective teaching and I think this is super important for me personally because everything that I try and do at teachers PD and even I have another business PDHPE.net, everything I'm trying to do in there is about helping teachers to be effective teachers.
And so this is essentially episodes, it's going to kind of, kind of describe to you what I'm trying to help you to become. And hopefully you like hearing what I talk about and it's something that you might aspire to or something you think you are already. But that's what I do.
This have done a dive in deep and explain to you effective teachers, what it means to be one and the characteristics of them. So let's start number one. The first thing that I think is super important for you to be an effective. Teacher is effective, teachers, have passion right?
This teachers that They love their students, right. They're really enjoying watching their students grow up to watching their students overcome challenges to learn things and that can be you know right down from kindergarten. Seeing those little kids coming in and begin to read for the first time and that kind of stuff all the way through to the other end of school where you're seeing students graduate and everything in between that, right?
And we are passionate effective. Teachers are passionate about what they do. They're passionate about helping their students. They are invested in the relationship aspect of teaching and learning. So not just in the teaching but actually in getting to know the kids and enjoy that process. Actually you know, enjoy hanging out with kids and chatting to them about their lives and this passion feeds into the fact that we know that students are the future of, you know, your country that you're in because they're the ones who are going to come up to become the new leaders.
And so number one is passionate effective, teachers have this characteristic, they are passionate teachers. And the second thing that effective teachers have that this can the second characteristic is that they love learning effective teachers, they know that they can always improve. And so they're constantly working at learning things to improve what they're doing.
As a teacher, it could be even to improve what they're doing outside of teaching. But they have this love of learning themselves and so they're the ones that you they buy books, they read books. They love to learn in that sense and maybe they attend lots of PD. They yeah, I know teachers who are math more than 500 hours of PD across just a couple of years because they just love going and learning and applying that they're the teachers who love to network, right?
They go to the conferences and stuff not just for the professional learning that they're going to get, but also to hang out with the other teachers to get to know people and to learn from each other throughout that process. So the the teachers who show up to networking events, right?
They come, and they hang out with other teachers and they chat about life and how everything is happening in classrooms. But also about, you know, the teachers life outside of school as well because it's super important, right? These are the know they love learning and they collaborate in that sense as well.
They are learning from others and they're learning with other teachers and maybe they're the teachers that are, they're coming alongside other teachers, and creating units of work together, they're the ones who are volunteering to go and watch other teachers classrooms or to have their classroom watch because they know that they're gonna learn from that.
Even if the teacher is a brand new teacher, they come and watch me teach or someone else teach. I love that personally. I love that. I love when other people come watch me teach and they give me some feedback that I think you miss this. You could have done this better or something like that, because that's how I'm gonna get better.
And then I go into their classrooms, I see them doing it. That this is, this is a characteristic of effective learners of effective teachers, so because they love learning, right? And that is true. They are going to be effective learners, if they are effective teachers because they kind of go hand in hand.
The third characteristic is that these effective teachers, they are risk takers. They kind of goat hand in here with that learning. They learn new things, and then they, they try it, right? They they're gonna challenge, the status quo, whatever's happening, and considered normal, and the things that I just normal processes, that happen at school, think a challenge those things like, can we try and do it this way?
Maybe we could break up how we do our periods into smaller chunks or into bigger chunks or maybe we could try giving the kids more breaks where we're going to do some innovative work and have kids already physical activity in the morning, because there's research that shows that that can actually help them in the classroom for the rest of the day.
All that kind of stuff. They're happy to take risks to try something new and see if it works. And then pair up with this idea of taking risks, right? So yes, you can get major wins by taking risks and you can discover really great things but because this is part of the learning process, right?
We teach our students, the risk taking is actually part of the learning process because you can fail effective, teachers are actually happy to fail. They've tried something new and it fails. That's okay because they understand it is part of the learning process for themselves as they continue to improve what they are doing.
Now, the fourth characteristic I think goes with this idea of taking risks and being willing to fail, is this positive growth mindset. Now, I'm sure you've heard of cow dwick and her work in mindset and the idea of a growth mindset. If you haven't, I really encourage you go and get her book and read it, okay?
It's it's really good. You'll get great stuff out of that. But we know that if you have a growth mindset, it means that you know that if you work hard at stuff, you can improve but you're not limited. You're not born with that a limit on how good you can get it.
Things. The limit is always set by how much effort you put into it and how much time you want to devote to it and that kind of stuff. And so that's what we're talking about. So growth mindset, we don't put limits on ourselves. We have, we know that we can grow and get better by putting more work in.
And so, an effective teacher has this growth mindset. They know that they keep working hard, they can continue to improve their teaching and the learning for their students. We also know that students can all achieve achieve great things and this I think it came out to me quite a lot, but through conversations with teachers that when they start talking about their classes and you get old, what kind of results are you expecting?
From the students in your class as soon as they start to go? Oh, you know I've got this class they're not really. As soon as that not really kind of coming into it that the video, they're not really motivated. They're not really I make and that is the teacher actually setting limits on the students and there's plenty of research around that actually says different.
Teacher thinks the students can do. Well, the students will actually do better, They'll do much better than if the teacher thinks that they're limited And so effective teachers don't limit their students just like they're not limiting themselves. They also don't focus on others and start playing that victim card, right?
They don't then go, I can't do that because you know, my school won't let me or this process is in the way or my head teachers making my life so hard. Maybe the deputy the new deputy they really they suck the new policies and processes that put in they're just so difficult that taking up so much time.
We can't deal with that. And so constantly playing this victim card is the opposite of a growth mindset. A growth mindset focuses on your sphere of influence, and what you can do, not just saying, oh it's you know, it's outside of my control. The growth myself is like, well, those things are happening, but I still have control over lots of things and I can actually make it impact in this area.
And so they start to take ownership of what they are doing in any context that they're in, and I think that really can speak wonders for a teacher. So already, we've got this teacher out there, passionate right Teachers, who are effective teachers number one, they are passionate Number two, they love learning.
Number three, they're risk. Teachers, takers number four, they've got this positive growth mindset and number five. Number five is possibly the biggest one here and it is that they focus on the key actions. So they are not all about this idea of being busy, in the culture of busy, you know, the hashtag hustle that exists.
They're not into that because effective teachers know that if you focus on the right things, you don't have to be super busy. You can have a work life balance as a teacher and that is countercultural. And the culture of teaching is that you need to be busy, you need to be putting in as more effort than anyone else.
It's kind of this badge of honour or you think your subject's hard to teach. I have to make 600 programs and I'm riding more reports than you are. And that means my workloads harder and higher. And therefore you should, you know, kind of put me up on more rep pedestal because I work harder, but that's not the way it should be.
We should be focusing on the results on the actual, you know, the impact that we're having as teachers and there's this fantastic principles called the Pareto principle. It's the 80/20 rule, basically 20% of our actions actually called 80% of our impact. And so That kind of rule means that we don't have to buy into this busy culture of business, hustle stuff.
Instead we can actually focus on the key actions that are needed to produce the greatest impact and we can put more about time into those key actions and produce a much larger impact and that helps to produce that work-life balance that teachers are really after a lot of us Now.
My focusing on key actions, too. They know what the most impactful tasks are for them, right? They looked at this 80/20 rule and they're saying to work out what those 20% tasks are, what are the tasks of the most impactful on what I'm doing in terms of impacting my students and developing them as learners on the impact on me growing professionally and all that kind of stuff.
They also not afraid of hard work and I differentiate hard work from working hard and they're not into the busyness. I'm not just working hard. I'll just ticking boxes on my to-do list. No. But they do choose to do hard work because a lot of the 20% tasks that have that great impact are also tasks that involve hard work, they've all deep work by that whole life process of having to think deeply be focused.
And they're not afraid of that. They do the hard work. The next thing is that they are laser focused, right? So we're focusing on the key action areas and they are laser focus on that. They are focused on the things that have that high impact and they're not focused on productivity.
That the whole idea of just, you know, really rebuffing this culture of business, they're doing the right things and they're doing them well like they're doing them that the right time even after their constantly looking at being focused on doing the right things. Well, The other thing that goes into this, this focusing on the key actions is that they're not just focusing on particular things, but they also organise because organisation he actually makes sure your focusing on the really important things.
On those things that require your focus and depth of thinking at the right times. Because if you do trying to do that during lunch break while everyone else, is that in staff room chatting to you, you're not going to get that done. It's gonna take you twice as long.
And so, they're organised, they sorted out when they're going to do what tasks that actually schedule their time really well. And that leads to a much more effective system for their teaching that they're implementing. And so this whole process is idea of focusing on the key actions is really, I think, one of the big things that make someone an effective teacher and that is that is why The first book that I wrote, is this book that the Working Less and Teaching More.
So, if you, if you want to get more into that, if you didn't go to that link to start with the link is still here, it's teacherspd.net/freeWLTM. You can grab yourself a copy of the book to help start reducing your workload and helping you to identify those key actions that produce the largest impact start to work out what you can reduce your workload by throwing out or by finding other ways to do that work and start to be more impact and more effective at a teacher, whether that's through the scheduling your time or kinds of stuff.
It's all in the book that is free, right? It's free. You just paying postage and handling teacherspd.net/freeWLTM for worthless. Teach more. Now, the sixth characteristic of effective teachers or that always leads to effective teachers is that they are supportive of others, okay? They support their fellow teachers and their students around them, they kind of like with that positive growth mindset that they're applying that to others and they're helping to grow other.
They don't just see a teacher who's struggling at all, they're lazy. Or they can't do stuff that they, they start to pull them along. Hey, come and do this PD with me. Let's read this book together. You know, let me help collaborate on a unit of work that you're doing.
Let's watch each other teach and grow together, because together the whole togetherness for teaching, I think has a massive impact on the long-term effectiveness of what we're doing. So they have a positive mindset and a positive attitude towards school leaders towards other teachers and always giving them the benefit of the doubt and knowing that they are probably doing their best, right?
So even when it's your principal and you're like my goodness, things seem to be a mess at the school because we're not sure what he's doing. But an effective teacher would give that principle the benefit of the doubt and go, They're doing their best. They're trying to work stuff out and they might even volunteer to go and help with something or they might see something that's not working really well and come up with a new system that might help and propose it to the principal to the deputy Whoever it is that's you would normally see teachers, complain about, right?
I've seen so many staffers full of teachers gossiping and complaining about other teachers and all that kind of it. I used to listen and he, you know, my parents were teachers and I would hear them sometimes in the car talking about their teachers who went home early and were always going home early as lazy or teachers that time off to look after their pregnant wife who had, you know, morning sickness and so they took the day off just to stay home and look after them, they saw that as laziness and I think we just need, we need to really rebuff against that.
That's something that is not culturally good for us as teachers to say, well, if you take a day off then you must be lazy. Or if you're going home early that means that you're lazy. No it may well just being that they are. I need to be home in a particular time because they ought to pick their kids up from another school or because there's something else that goes on from at that time of they have to get to and then maybe they're working late at night other times or maybe maybe they're just effective with how they use their time.
And they're actually getting the key actions done and not spending so much time on a lot of the fluff and the other stuff that goes on in teaching that's actually drags and sucks. A lot of your time out and has little to no impact what you're doing. So these teachers, these effectively they are supportive of others, right?
They dragging other teachers along for the ride, right for as they go along, until learning new, things are trying new things out and they're closely encouraging other teachers to do that. And that that is what's leading to an effective teacher. And they are avoiding gossip. They're not sitting there complaining about other teachers, they're not engaging in that.
And I remember I had a fantastic teacher in my first and second years, this guy was given to me as, like, my mentor, my coach, and he was so good at avoiding gossip. I would see other teachers start to talk about another teacher and he would purposely if that would ask him.
And he would say something positive about that teacher, and then leave the conversation, because he didn't want to be involved in the gossip that was going on. And I I had so much respect for him because of the way that he'd dealt with that. Now, all these things, all these things are resulting ineffective teaching.
So, if we go right back to where we started, number one thing, for effective teachers, right? One of the first characteristic was being passionate, okay? That always passionate teachers, that they love learning. So, if you are a teacher, you're passionate, you love learning. You're also a risk taker or you've got this positive growth mindset.
These are things that are leading you towards being an effective teacher, you're standing focus on the key actions of teaching You're supporting other teachers and dragging them. Along that is what is going to result in effective? Teaching It results in great units of work, It results in engaging lessons, it results in contagious enthusiasm for you and towards the other teachers but also to the students in your classroom.
The developing students learning skills not just about getting them ready for an exam and off. Can they remember the content? So you're developing that ability to learn like learning dispositions. All those skills where they need are the 21st century skills. It's like there's so many different names of similar things, right?
But that's what we're developing. That's students, ability to learn where developing their own and other teachers skills as well. So, if you're effective teacher and you're passion, taking risks, you love learning that results in you, constantly developing your teaching skills and helping other teachers as well because you're dragging them along, right?
They focus on life. Long learning for both the teachers and the students by focusing on the skills by cosplay, being a lifelong learner and they're connecting with the students. So, if you doing these things, if you're passionate, if you're enthusiastic, if you're you're taking risks, you're continuing to learn, then you are connecting with your students as well because that's part of the passion, you're really getting connected, you know, your students well and by knowing your students, well it means that you then can teach them better than what you would have if you didn't know them very well.
And another thing that this effect is resulting in yet actually having an impact on the lives of those around it. I think that's the number one thing for teachers, I think. Yeah, I know, as a teacher, the thing that I always want to see happening is, I want to impact the lives of the students that I'm teaching or an impact.
The lives of the teachers. I'm working with and that's my goal. It's always been to impact them and to help them to grow. Help them become better to help them be more prepared for their future to give them this love of learning. And that for me, that that's effective teaching.
Right, this whole idea of being passion all these things and I would say there are plenty of examples around like that guy, that I said that he's a Maddie Palmer. So if you happen to be teaching with a guy called Maddie Palmer, It's good chance, it's him. He was the guy who was avoiding the gossip.
He was a passionate teacher, he loved learning. He was, cos they're going to know his students. He was fantastic Leslie Altman, right? Leslie Altman. I met her at the Google Innovator, 2019. When I was getting mine done, she was getting hers done at the same time and she's a super passionate educator.
She is a big risk stage, she loves taking risk, she loves supporting other teachers everywhere, right? During the peak of the Covid, pandemic that we technically probably still in but whatever currently where I am it's not really affecting much at the moment but during the peak of all that, during the 2019 through the 2021, she set up the global GG.
The Google Educator group to support teachers around the world, with teaching, online, teaching remotely teaching, you know, half that whole split stuff. We had kids in your classroom and some kids are home. She was just supporting teachers everywhere, she's infectious with her enthusiasm and her positivity. Even though she's, you know, forgive me lately, but towards the end of her teaching career, but she is supporting so many others at the moment, and just she's improving all the time.
I've if you to go and find her on Instagram on Twitter she'sn't, a fantastic educator. And a great example of an effective teacher. Another guy, Trevor, McKenzie. Trevor, McKenzie is a Canadian teacher. I met him quite a while ago. I think I was listening to his book. I dive into enquire.
I think, was the first one I listened to that. I really loved it, so I I interviewed him up now. Actually interviewed him a few times on this podcast. He's an amazing and amazing educator. He's super passionate. He's one of the leaders in enquiry, based learning and particularly. He's got this whole process of helping the students move from teacher-led enquiry through to open enquiry.
Whether students are creating their own questions and coming up with their own learning. That's meeting that your outcomes or your standards, or whatever it is from whatever country you're listening in, but is meeting all that, okay? He does, this whole system is process. It helps your students get there and he's really into helping students.
You know, love learning develop the skills of learning and he is again. Someone who just supports teachers all over the world. He runs. Yeah, he provides online PD, he'll chat to you. He gives he's so willing to give up his time like when I wrote my book even like, I sent him a copy of it, he read through, it gave me some feedback and it was amazing.
Amazing to get some comments from someone who is an effective teacher, but was willing to support and help others as well. And so, yeah, he is, I think a fantastic effective TG. He's a great innovator, and a risk taker as well. And there's, there's so many more right? People like Kelly Bell know holy class.
Atlantic Caritsus. Dave Burgess of interviewed like girl called Estimula she was fantastic. Jake Miller, Monica Burns Ron Richard, right? All of his stuff. It's fantastic. Lisa Highfield, she's an educator all about hypodox and stuff and the girls at work with her and James, Muir who is another teacher in my area here in New South Wales.
Fantastic teacher, always innovative supporting other teachers. Really passion? Really positive kind of guy. Imogen colour. I'm interviewed her as well about some stuff she's doing it's fantastic Laura from educating Laura. Fantastic teachers who are they're just I think they're getting they are kind of epitomizing. What I'm talking about in terms of what an effective teacher is like they all do amazing things things and I think are super effective.
So, I said everything that I do here at Teachers PD on the podcast or anything that I'm doing is to help you become an effective teacher, If you're listening to this, it's because I want to help you to become an effective teacher to have these characteristics and to produce that end result of effective teaching, If you are already there that is fantastic.
Keep going, you're amazing, right? And you know what? Anyone who's working towards it? You're amazing too. I would love if you think. You're kind of getting this point. I'd love to hear from you. How you going with this? How'd you get there, right? Shoot me, an email and [email protected] just shoot me an email.
I'd love to hear from you. If this sounded like something that you want to achieve that you want to work towards, please reach out to me, I would love to hear from you or better. Yet grab the free book, right? Go to teacherspd.net/freeWLTM. Grab the book you can, I'll just paying for postage and start to implement the stuff that is in that book and I'll start to support you in that process.
I'll send you content, I'll send you a whole bunch of any support. I'll antique, I'm happy to respond to emails and stuff as you work towards becoming an effective teacher. If this, I'm going to say this, if this seems impossible to you, if you think being an effective teacher and balancing work in life and being passionate and being a risk taker, loving learning and all that comes up.
If you think that is actually impossible, I can't be achieved, then you my friend are in a fixed mindset and you need to challenge yourself and start to shift towards a growth mindset because it is possible. I'm no teachers who are implementing all of this stuff. And I am one of those teachers who implements this stuff and has a work life balance.
It is amazing. What can be achieved. So let's just quickly go through what I've covered. So far here to this is a longer episode than normal. I'm gonna say, but I think this is where because this is really the crux of everything that I'm doing. And I it's all about helping teachers to become effective teachers.
So, in summary, number one, right, the characteristic is passionate effective teachers, you need to be passionate, need to love learning that desire to keep on improving either take risks because that's kind of part of the learning. They have a positive growth mindset because you know that by doing all this work, you can really improve Number five was to focus on the key actions as a teacher, those 20% tasks actually, cause the impact that we are after, and you are a teacher who supports those around, you've never six characteristics of an effective teacher and this will always result If you have, this is characteristics.
It's always going to result in effective teaching in an effective teacher doing effective teaching, right? And this is what I am all about helping and serving you to be an effective teacher that is doing effective teaching. That sounds like something you got to do. Make sure you grab that book and send me an email.
[email protected] I would love to hear from you. What are your thoughts on this and subscribe? Come back and join me again next week. I'll keep chatting about stuff that will help lead you towards being an effective teacher. See ya.