Teacher Top 5 is about accelerating the effectiveness of classroom teaching by asking nationally recognized teachers – State and National Teachers of the Year, Heads of Schools/Principals, and professors – to identify and elaborate on “What are the Top 5 strategies you employ to make your teaching successful?” The result was a powerful showcase of best-of-breed teaching practices documented in Teacher Top 5.
Teacher Top 5 is not simply a best practices book. Rather, it also profiles these educators who have decided to give of themselves, not for money or social status, but to serve others and a higher calling. Many of the personal biographies are inspiring:
• A young boy, diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome and learning difficulties, eventually grows up to become a Fulbright Scholar and a State Teacher of the Year;
• A Vietnamese refugee, airlifted from the ocean during the Vietnam War, excels in the United States, graduates magna cum laude from college and is recognized as her State’s Teacher of the Year.
The stories go on and on, but each teacher possesses a compelling history, allowing him or her to understand how best to connect with students and teach different types of learners. Most importantly, they reveal how stellar teaching is accomplished and what it looks and feels like in the classroom.
Teacher Top 5 also attempts to expose the numerous inefficiencies within schools. It asks:
• What can teachers improve upon?
• What school policies have worked?
• What are some of the positives and negatives in our educational system?