The 'It Factor' to a Teacher's Greatness

Pembroke Pines, FL (PressExposure) March 01, 2009 -- The reasons one becomes a teacher varies extensively. That is for sure. We’d like to think ideally, that everyone entering the field is as dedicated, passionate, and capable as can be. Unfortunately as in many professions, we know that does not always turn out to be the case. In time, actions and results ultimately reveal through inference, how effective a teacher might be. I propose that the ‘It Factor’ to a teacher’s greatness is one’s driving energies of compassionate empathy.

With all things being equal, the license to teach is easily attained after taking a bunch of prescribed courses at an accredited college. Unless having a criminal record, or few with a restricted ideology contrary to state norms, I don’t know of anyone that was accepted in college who was turned away from pursuing and ultimately attaining the qualifications for a license to teach. So what makes a great teacher? How do principals and administrators hire what they think will be an effective teacher?

Resumes will present some combination of the courses taken at college, life/work experiences, and even one’s hobbies and affiliations. These, and other such factors are windows into the person that help at least tentatively identify a prospect’s apparent worthiness. Furthermore, all such listed information can easily be investigatively verified. But what makes that ‘special teacher’? What is the ‘It Factor’ that makes the difference?

The ‘It Factor’ is one of those undefined and subjective attributes that is more than just an attractive quality... it’s also a hallmark of success, and falls into the category of you-know-it-when-you-see-it. I propose that it is one’s driving energies of compassionate empathy which can not be measured - only felt, and established in time.

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘empathy’ as “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner”. It should be noted that ‘empathy’ does not necessarily imply compassion or empathic concern because this capacity can be present in context of compassionate or cruel behavior.

The use of empathy and listening skills--empathic listening—can lead to outstanding student/teacher relationships, caring, emotional intimacy, and subsequently happier, smoother running classrooms. Simply stated, the class develops respect, tolerance, and understanding as skillfully guided and modeled by the empathic teacher, (non-verbally and unconsciously at times), educating the students on using and developing their own empathic behavior. Ultimately it thus encourages and guides youngsters to become more sensitive, aware and caring citizens in our society.

If one empathizes why any particular child is acting out, and if the underlying issue is then addressed, then the likelihood of a continuance of negative, unacceptable behavior will be reduced or totally eliminated. Problems resolved will vaporize the need to address lingering, perhaps simmering, unacceptable manifestations. Subsequently, the classroom atmosphere is more conducive for receptive learning without negative distractions to detract from teaching.

The real question is how to develop, detect, attract, nurture, and keep teachers having the ‘It Factor’ by those deficient themselves?

Feedback is welcomed and can be sent to Richard Errera at bonjourrre@aol.com

About G.I. Inc.

Richard Ben Errera
13701 NW 4th St.
Unit 207
Pembroke Pines, FL 33028

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Press Release Submitted On: March 01, 2009 at 1:43 pm
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