As I think about teaching and learning, I know there are some valuable ingredients to good teaching and instruction.
Programs that are infrequent are often not as powerful as programming that is consistent. Infrequent programming is not as predictable, reliable, and doesn't build one step on top of another as well. This is particularly critical to learners that struggle--they need consistency to do well and that consistency should be consistency of instruction and consistency of instructor.
Just Right Challenge
Sometimes we keep moving children up before they've mastered the critical foundation concepts and skills. This often results in years and years of frustrating confusion. I believe we need to carefully assess a learner's knowledge, concept, and skill level, and start there with instruction. That doesn't mean we "dumb down" the curriculum, but instead start at a just right pace and provide the quality, consistent instruction and teachers to support a child.
Commitment and Care
Just showing up and helping a child is okay, but truly dedicating your time, energy, and planning to helping a child achieve is much better than just showing up. To truly invest in a child is to understand fully what they knows, where their stumbling blocks are, and what translates into engaging, productive study.
Going the Extra Mile
It's impossible to give extra all the time, but a little extra support goes a long way to helping a child achieve.
Advocacy for Better Programming
Teachers know whose not getting as much or as good a s they can get at school--we notice deficits in our own teaching and the programming that supports our teaching. We have to advocate to fill those holes. We also have to advocate for voice, choice, and leadership too because too often teachers pleas for betterment are ignored by those who could really help to make things better.
It's never going to be perfect, but we can keep trying to make it better.