Often teachers work in isolation which I mostly don't support, but sometimes it's the best way. There's no "one size fits all" or "best practice" since context, communities, and needs differ dramatically from school to school, classroom to classroom, and subject to subject.
Yet, no matter what our situation is, we have to ask the question, "What can one teacher do?"
In my setting, the first requirement is to establish good relationships with all children. I find that to be quite easy once you adopt a "servant leadership" attitude towards students and families. This attitude puts the teacher in the role of serving children, families, and colleagues as well as one can in an effort to teach children well.
Last night's #edchatma Twitter chat and Saturday's keynote by Jose Vilson focused on pedagogy--what can we do to inspire children and teach well. Every teacher can continually hone their pedagogical skill to teach well.
There are incredible resources out there online and off that help educators develop content knowledge. Good knowledge of the content helps us to teach well.
When Audrey Jackson and Victor Joyner presented this Saturday they commented that "Consistency is Calming." Educators can work towards optimal, simple, and streamlined consistent routines that bring students that sense of calm. Of course, at times, it's good to shake it up a bit too as that supports creativity and flexibility which are important too.
Planning and Preparation
Teaching well relies on good planning and preparation.
There are multiple ways to respond well to students in order to coach them forward. This kind of response is essential.
Coach, Mentor, Friend, and Education Partner
Yes, the good teacher works to be a positive coach, mentor, friend, and educational partner with students--we are there for the children we teach.