What Great Teachers Do Differently

Response to discussion 1

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After reading the text, “What Great Teachers Do Differently”, I have some really good insight on how to alter my classroom for the betterment of myself and my students. The one thing that I am going to focus on doing differently for the remainder of the year is following through with everything I say I am going to do. I am a Physical Education teacher and coach. Sometimes it is hard to separate classroom teacher from coach on the field. Often times, I say one thing to a player in the classroom but go back on my decision for various reasons one being, he’s a great player. Sometimes I say things out of anger or in the spare of the moment. I want to start actually thinking through what I am saying and consequences I give. According to Whitaker (2020), “It is so much stronger to say in a quiet tone “When you’re not listening, you take away from your learning,” than to snap, “If you keep talking and fooling around, you’ll have twice as many problems for homework tonight” (p. 19). The book also mentions the effectiveness of long-term gain versus short term satisfaction or control. I want to take a moment to reflect. According to Whitaker (2020), “so often, what teachers blurt out when they are upset is not what they would have said if they had taken the time to reflect on their response” (p.19). I need to change the way my expectations are presented. I will go back thoroughly through all of my expectations and consequences that will follow. I also need to hang them up in the room where they are easily seen. If the change is a success, I should better behavior from students in the class and less lectures from me about behavior.



As I read the book, What Great Teachers Do Differently, there was a lot of interesting facts that led me to thinking. There are a few things that I will do differently for the remainder of the school year as well as the beginning of next school term. One thing is incorporating Assertive Discipline. As a first-year teacher I have given a lot of verbal warning, but I can see how incorporating assertive discipline can be effective in implemented in your classroom properly. Whitaker says, “What matters is not whether they do it, but how appropriately they do it.” Another thing that I will implement is meaning what I say. I am quite consistent, but I sometime fail to give to many chances. I can see my mistakes and this book help me realize how to address discipline effectively. I do not have picks a chooses but I do struggle with how to handle students who a very disrespectful. I do not ignore them, and I follow the discipline ladder accordingly. Instead of pushing away because of the consistent disrespect, I can draw closer and try to build a relationship with these students to try to figure out the root of the problem. I have discovered that referrals do not always work. Whitaker says, “Those that who know how they come across to others and how others receive their behavior work more effectively.” This is what motivated me to try another approach. (Whitaker, 2012)

Things I would need to change in my classroom is incorporating assertive discipline. Verbal warning for misbehavior works for majority of my students but there are still some who ignore it. Not only will assertive discipline give me a way to keep up with verbal warnings, but it will also let students visually see their consistent misbehavior and hopefully correct themselves for their final warning. Students will also be aware of the consequences that follows assertive discipline. Whitaker also states that, “Great teachers never forget that it is people, not programs, that determine the quality of a school.” My district is so caught up with software and programs until you forget the basic. I will incorporate programs, but I will also remember to incorporate my own ideas and find creative way to use programs in my own unique way. I feel these things will definitely bring more positivity to my school year and I look forward to the remainder of the year and the beginning of next school term. (Whitaker, 2012)


I often wonder what I might be doing wrong, and what I could do to correct the things that are different from other teachers. Reading this section of this module, made things that I already knew come to the light. Like our young children of todays word say “I understood the assignment, but I did not master the assignment”. I can set expectation for students, yet the expectation that I set for myself I have yet to accomplish. Things are going to change for the better-meant of my future.

I will not only set the expectation for myself, but I will make sure that the expectation that I set for my students are followed through to the best of their ability. I will work out some type of actual format in the system that they can see along with me as the teacher, as mto what I will expect of them and give them time lines. I have this procedure in-play but I have not followed through with it like  I should and i take full responsibility for that.

I will focus more on putting my students first even though I think I have this task in affect. I always put my students first and make sure that they know that I do this job for the love of them, and not because I need a paycheck. It is important that some students that are less fortunate know that you are here for them and whatever they need help in. You have to understand and know the laws of how far you can go, but also know they are your main priority and will always be.

I love to praise my students for the things that they accomplish. I make sure that they get rewards in some form or fashion. I known as the candy lady in school, because I love to do pop questions, in-which if they get the answer right I toss them a piece of candy as the reward. As most children in todays world love sweets, so getting a sweet treat just for answering the question right busted up class participation.

I have to work on my repair skills because I often get mad because I know that a student should know the answer to a question or if I think a child is just being lazy it makes me anger and I may react in a negative way. I may or may not come back an say something to repair what has been said to them about just being lazy. I really need to work on this problem because as teacher we never know what I student has been through before they come to school or even before they get to your class. So starting this day forward I will work on repairing the words, or any-other fail moments that I feel needs repairing.

I pray daily that God allows me to be the person that is for this job. I know that teaching was a calling from God and he would not have let me get this far without having a purpose. I love this job and love each of my students. I have to catch myself being to empathic to some less fortunate students. I have certain students that I have become so attached to and when something happens to them, it sometimes throws me for a loop. Example: Student A was a quite child, came to school hardly sad anything, but he allowed his outside life hanging with his brother and other children in the neighborhood influence him do something wrong. My student A is not facing murder charges at the age of 17 for being in the wrong place. I’ve talk with student A and all he says is Ms. Jackson if I get out of this I’m going to school and going home and that is it. When I heard of him being involved my heart just drop and I could not do anything but cry. I know what kind of child he is and what potential he has and how bright his future could have been. I’m still in disbelief and praying that he somehow gets out of this.

With being a great teacher, it takes the power of God and a lot of prayer to be a great teacher. I will continue to pray for my co-workers and of my students and hope that we all survive this awful sickness that is in our world and do what we have to do to protect each other


and taste our undisputed quality.