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Education: The Power of a Teacher

Haim Ginott – Some Thoughts

“I’ve come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element in the classroom. It’s my personal approach that creates the climate. It’s my daily mood that makes the weather.
As a teacher, I possess a tremendous power to make a child’s life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration. I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal.

In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis will be escalated or de-escalated and a child humanized or de-humanized”

Importance of a Highly Effective Classroom Teacher
This quote demonstrates the tremendous power of a teacher in the classroom and emphasizes the need to find the right people for these important positions. Over the course of their careers, teachers can have tremendous influence on large numbers of students. This influence must derive from the abilities of the teacher to build effective relationships with students, fellow teachers, and administrators. Additionally, teachers must have a mission to focus on student learning and growth. They must be able to manage the classroom, to facilitate learning, and to build partnerships with parents and the community. In today’s world, teachers must recognize the importance of diversity and implement strategies to reach all learners. Thus, the importance of a highly effective classroom teacher cannot be over-emphasized, and our tools for selection and development are of critical importance.

Importance of Highly Effective Education Support Professionals (ESP)
In addition to the certified staff, there are many other important jobs within educational systems known collectively as Educational Support Professionals (ESP). Examples of these positions would include secretaries, para-professionals, maintenance personnel, food service, and bus drivers. In addition to completing their described jobs and ensuring the safety of children, these personnel have the potential to engage in meaningful interactions with students. The selection of the right people in ESP positions enhances the school experience for all.

Leaders of School and School Districts
The leaders of schools and school districts ensure that the mission and vision are followed, provide guidance for other supervisors, and help the teachers and ESP through professional development. It is critical to the success of the district that the highly effective people are placed in these positions. To accomplish these goals, the district, and particularly the Human Resource Department, must be functioning at the highest possible level.

Human Resource Tools
The Human Resource selection tools are available for all these positions. Used together, they ensure that the entire district is populated with the best possible staff. This, in turn, works to provide the best learning environment to fulfill our society’s most important responsibility – educating our youth!