The best teachers are communicators. They are listeners. They can figure out in a heartbeat how to help a student who is dumbfounded, misconstruing, or misspeaking. How they accomplish that depends on the particular student. They need to know their kids and be prepared and able to use a variety of means, starting with the simple idea of careful listening. Suppose a kid speaks up in class and makes an error. Too often, teachers will, for the sake of speed, make the correction and move on. What has that done? The kid still feels dumb; the class is less likely to remember it, because they always remember less when the adult says it.
The best teachers know how to respond when a kid makes an error. At some point, good teachers consciously or unconsciously learn to conceptualize what they teach, and as quick as a wink, figure out how to…
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