How do you measure success? Often it's by quantifying it with number or a letter. But sometimes it's by simple appreciation.
So it's disheartening to read in the L.A. Times how hundreds of excellent instructors are under-recognized:
Most (teachers) are like Zenaida Tan, working in obscurity. No one asks them their secrets. Most of the time, no one even says, "Good job."
Frequently, even their own colleagues and principals don't know who they are.
But that's not always the case. If you pick the brains of principals for their keys to success, it sometimes points back to simple communication, which sometimes gets buried in the quagmire of low budgets, test scores and frustration.
"I think the biggest thing you have is trust, you trust (teachers) professionalism, their knowledge," says elementary school principal Fabiola Elias. "I have an open door policy, they can talk to me anytime. I really do listen to them. It makes them feel heard, valued, important, making sure they are valued."
Elias is the principal at Central Elementary in Escondido, a school that received worldwide attention for using iPods in the classrooms. Now the iPad is being implemented in the classroom in a pilot project, with Elias' encouragement, after a teacher came to her with an idea. It's a philosophy that works for this school.
If you know a teacher who has a great idea, call them out and post a comment below.