10 Characteristics of Our Excellent Teachers

We love our excellent teachers at TIA! But we want you to do something before you continue to read this article. Do an internet search by typing in the words “Quotes about Teachers” into the search box. Then come back. Amazing yes? If you type in any other profession on the face of the earth, you will not see the same love and respect shown as you see for the teaching profession. Why is that? Because teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions! We wouldn’t have doctors, lawyers, astronauts, computer programmers, engineers, or any other profession for that matter if there hadn’t been a teacher to teach! From the moment we are born we are learning, which means someone is teaching! One thing is for certain -- Teachers do not choose their profession for fame, glory, or money. So why would someone choose to be a teacher? Well, for one thing, they have been given a gift. Not just anyone can be a good teacher. One must not just possess the knowledge to teach, but also the ability to share knowledge in a way that makes the student retain it and want more. But teaching is so much more than just disseminating information. Each teacher is unique and yet there seem to be some universal traits of excellent teachers. Think about your favorite teachers. Bet you will see a lot of their characteristics listed here.

? Excellent Teachers Make Learning Fun

Whether they are teaching the alphabet or advanced calculus, a good teacher can make learning fun! This requires an immense amount of creativity and also a passion for the subject they are teaching.

? Excellent Teachers Listen and Adapt

Lesson plans do not always go as anticipated. Good teachers are in tune with their students and adapt lesson plans on the fly to meet their student's needs.

? Excellent Teachers Care About Their Students

This doesn’t mean all teachers are warm and fuzzy. It does mean they are truly invested in each student’s success.

? Excellent Teachers Continue to Learn

It’s important for teachers to continue to add to their own knowledge base. Whether it’s to learn more about their students or the subjects they teach, an excellent teacher is also an excellent student.

? Excellent Teachers Love What They Do

Again, teachers generally do not enter their profession to become famous or rich. They become teachers because they love kids and they love learning. Teachers of excellence are able to imprint their joy of learning on their students. A joyous and engaged teacher is much more likely to have joyous and engaged students.

? Excellent Teachers are Amazing Communicators

Whether captivating the attention of 20 kindergarteners or meeting with a parent, teachers need to communicate well with a variety of people.

? Excellent Teachers are Inspirational

Many times the most important thing a teacher can do is help students to overcome their negative expectations of themselves and replace them with the ability to imagine their own success. It’s often a teacher who sees students’ potential long before the students see it for themselves.

? Excellent Teachers Understand Balance

Balancing the different needs of a classroom full of students can be daunting. An excellent teacher knows how to manage the needs of individual students while maintaining the goals and expectations of the group as a whole.

? Excellent Teachers Go the Extra Mile

Teachers of excellence often do whatever it takes to help students learn and achieve success. Much of their work takes place after the last bell of the school day has rung.

? Excellent Teachers are Good Role Models

They are people of character. They are honest and exhibit integrity. They do not hold double standards for themselves and their students. We are confident that you recognize these characteristics in every teacher at Tucson International Academy!  

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excellent teachersTIA Excellent Teachers

3 Reasons Why Our Small Class Size Is Important in Education

At TIA Class Size Is Important Imagine a large classroom with close to 30 students and only a single teacher. Many of those students struggle to get the attention they need, and their difficulties only increase as the school year continues. A few kids manage to do well on paper but remember very little from each lesson. Most students need more individual attention than a single teacher can provide. The quality of the teacher’s instruction to every student is inherently diminished because he or she is spread so thin.

Reasons Why Small Class Size Is Important 

Most students have different needs and one of the best ways to ensure a good education for every student is to keep class sizes small. While maintaining smaller class sizes is difficult for many public school districts, it’s worth the effort here at TIA. Schools offering smaller class sizes tend to report better academic performance and overall student satisfaction. Small class sizes offer other advantages. Consider the following three reasons why a small class size can be a boon to your child’s education.

Better Class Culture

In larger classes, cliques tend to form at almost every grade level. A smaller student-to-teacher ratio makes it easier for teachers to ensure students’ individual accountability. Also, this will encourage students to forge lasting friendships with each other and be happy for each other’s success.

Getting your students to work together in the classroom should be every teacher’s goal. At TIA, maintaining smaller class sizes ensures students are more supportive of one another and that each student receives the same level of interaction from the teacher.

More Opportunities for One-on-One Attention

In a large classroom of nearly 30 students, it’s very easy for some students to “slip through the cracks.” Unfortunately, those are the students who often need the most help. In the largest classrooms, the quiet students and the unmotivated students tend to suffer the most.

At TIA, our smaller classes enable teachers to provide more one-on-one time for each student. Our teachers can more easily approach each student on their level and provide the type of instruction they need. One-size-fits-all solutions do not work in the education world; students may all receive the same lessons, but the way a student navigates those lessons can be entirely unique from the next student.

Greater Opportunity for Better Relationships

With the additional one-on-one time, our smaller classes provide the added benefit for our teachers to have the opportunity to create stronger relationships with each student. Smaller classes make it easier for teachers to identify each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and unique needs. Ultimately, when teachers can identify how their students learn, they will organically be able to explain complex concepts more easily.

Ultimately, smaller class sizes increase student engagement levels, provide individualized learning experiences, and help students feel more recognized and more included, even when they have very diverse educational needs. TIA is a charter school with small classes. This environment allows the teacher to focus on teaching each student.

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3 Reasons Why Small Class Size Is Important in Education

6 Innovative TIA Teaching Strategies (and Why They Matter)

Students today face a constant bombardment of information from countless sources on an almost constant basis. Smartphones, television, and many other distractions can make it difficult for any student to focus. Even without these distractions, many students have trouble feeling engaged with their classroom experiences.

Innovative Teaching Strategies Used in the Classroom that Help Students Focus

These ideas help bring some innovation into the classroom in a way that will resonate with modern school-age students:

Encourage a Mindset of Self-awareness 

We try to encourage students to be mindful of their feelings, thoughts, and actions.  This will help them to consider the effects of their choices. Therefore it will help them to think critically not only about what they do, but why they do what they do.

Ask Open-ended Questions

The ability to regurgitate information is not the same as learning. Our students will get much more from their lessons if they are encouraged to think more critically. Instead of asking questions geared toward specific answers, we ask open-ended questions. After that, we see where our students’ thought processes take them.

Promote Self-reflection

It’s vital for students to understand how their lessons apply to their lives. We encourage them to reflect on their behaviors, responses, and feelings surrounding different topics to find what resonates strongest with them.

Create a Safe Learning Environment for Students of Different Ability Levels 

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for teaching. The students in our classrooms all need to learn the same material.  However, they will absorb the information in different ways. We try to reach each student on a personal level when it comes to his or her ability level and learning style.

Encourage Students to Take Risks

We inspire our students to think boldly, to question accepted answers, and think critically about the topics we teach. We do this by showing them that taking risks can offer tremendous rewards. Most importantly, we help them appreciate the learning opportunities that failure presents.

Demeanor Impacts the Classroom Environment 

Our teachers are engaged and excited about what they teach therefore our students are more likely to feel the same. TIA teachers approach each new topic with enthusiasm to inspire their students to engage more deeply with their classroom time. These innovative teaching strategies reinvigorate students, make them more excited to come to class each day, and help them care about the lesson plans being taught. Tucson International Academy celebrates innovation. We encourage each of our instructors to try some of these strategies in their classroom, therefore, helping students be more creative, think more critically, and engage with their lessons on deeper, more meaningful levels.   

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6 Innovative Teaching Strategies (and Why They Matter)