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[Susan notes: Longtime educator Lynn Stoddard offers this fine letter to anyone who wants to take it for their own use. Let's spread the message around the country.]

Published in Utah newspapers

To the editor

Two Rules for Great Teaching

Nearly everyone can remember a great teacher who changed his or her life forever. How do you create great teaching? There are two basic rules, one is a don̢۪t and the other is a do:

Rule # 1. DON̢۪T try to standardize, or make students alike, in knowledge and skills. If you try to do it, you will only get frustrated and discouraged because it̢۪s impossible to do. It will drag you down to your lowest level of teaching.

Rule # 2. DO nurture student variety. You will find your ultimate satisfaction in helping students discover their individual greatness. Aim for it. Look for and draw out the best in each unique child. In so doing you will draw out the best that is in you. The result? Joy and happiness in meeting the diverse needs of children and building yourself into a professional teacher.

Reference: See the booklet, Educating for Human Greatness, which includes an accountability tool for drawing out great teaching.

Lynn Stoddard

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