The difference between a lifetime of playing catch-up and excelling in school and beyond comes down to whether or not a student has an effective, highly qualified teacher. Students with highly qualified and highly effective teachers score higher than their peers time and time again, demonstrating how an educator’s level of effectiveness and quality has far-reaching consequences beyond their current grade level.
“While licensure or certification is a significant indicator of teacher quality, these factors alone are insufficient for teacher effectiveness.” Pamela D. Tucker and James H. Stronge said in their book, Linking Teacher Evaluation and Student Learning. “Effective teachers are able to envision instructional goals for their students, then draw upon their knowledge and training to help students achieve success. A ‘highly qualified’ teacher is certainly a good starting point, but most of us would want our child to have a highly effective teacher whose teaching effort yields high rates of student learning.”
The impact of a highly effective teacher is immeasurable. It impacts a student’s learning at their current grade level and far beyond. It also sets them up with a model for future learning and achievement. As a teacher, you aren’t just sharing facts and figures; you are imparting wisdom and demonstrating what it means to be a thoughtful, knowledgeable person. It’s not just what you know when you start out as an educator that makes you successful—it’s your willingness to learn more.
Continuing education, whether that takes the form of an advanced degree or specialized training, is part of the equation that helps you become a highly effective teacher. Beyond merely adding to your credentials or our commitment to continuing education shows your students that you walk your talk.