Great teachers are critical, but not what we commonly think of as great teachers. Qualities to aspire to include:
- Quiet, even reserved
- Older with 30-40 years experience
- Steady, deep, unblinking gaze
- Listen more than they talk
- Avoided pep talks and speeches
- Offered small, targeted and highly specific adjustments adapted to each learner specifically with probing and strategic impatience.
"Running from meeting to meeting with constant lack of preparation and follow-thru is exhausting and non-productive. Stop, you aren't making any progress. Get your calendar out and prioritize chunks of time to get important things done."
What would we do that we are not doing now?
- Finish one whole quality thing.
- Prioritize our focus and realize that doing everything is not the same as doing the important things.
- Own our energy and do what it takes to be productive, regardless of what society and culture are driving us to do.
- Move away from the technology once in awhile (Coach Crean does not have a personal email account. His team prefers text and tweet.)
- Write everything we learn down in a little book and carry it everywhere. Review it once a week.
From The Talent Code: In 1997 Gary McPherson set out to investigate a mystery that has puzzled parents and music teachers...why certain children progress quickly in music lessons and others don't. He undertook a long-term study of 157 randomly selected children. Was it IQ, aural sensitivity, math skills, rhythm, motor skills, income level? No. A question that McPherson asked before the students started lessons was the predictor of his bell curve results: "How long do you think you'll play?" Short-, Medium- and Long-term commitment prior to lessons influenced success independent of the amount of practice. McPherson writes: "We instinctively think of each new staff member or student as a blank slate, but the ideas they bring to that first lesson are probably far more important than anything a teacher can do, or any amount of practice.,” McPherson said. “It’s all about their perception of self. At some point very early on they had a crystallizing experience that brings the idea to the fore, that says, I am a musician. That idea is like a snowball rolling downhill.”
I intend to always improve my ability to:
- Encourage a sense of self which desires ongoing growth in others.
- Change my sense of self and pursue regular learning from other professionals to model the behavior I want in my team and learners.