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It’s been said that the best leaders are terrific teachers.

So what do the best teachers do to teach so well?

  • They create an environment where their students want to be there.
  • It’s fun.
  • They make learning active.
  • They draw on the experience the students already have.
  • They get their students to retain knowledge by teaching as they learn.
  • They use multiple senses, formats, and modes.

One of the highest awards a teacher can receive is the Milken Educator Award.

You don’t apply for the MEA.

They find you.

The recipient is given a $25,000 prize, in a surprise ceremony at their school assembly.

Last October, at Glastonbury (CT) High School, Douglas Hutton, a physics teacher won this prestigious award.

Hutton’s been teaching physics for 18 years.

Why did Hutton win?

According to news reports,

His lessons include props, such as auto parts and gliders. When he explains acceleration, he uses a push cart and a baseball and it works.

He is receiving the national honor for using real-world examples to help his students understand physics.

He is so successful that students sometimes take on the role of teachers themselves as they present demonstrations to each other and using critical thinking skills to arrive at the correct conclusions.

By the way, Hutton’s students significantly outperform the national and state averages on Advanced Placement exams.

Great teaching translates into great results.

I don’t know about you, but I remember hating physics. It never made sense, and it seemed completely useless.   It had nothing to do with my world.

In reading about Hutton, it made me reconsider.  Maybe it wasn’t the subject.  Maybe it was the teacher.

Great teachers make things matter.

They make things come to life.  They create urgency.  They instill passion in their students.

Isn’t that what great leaders do, too?

Which of these “teacher lessons” can you apply to be a more effective leader?

Alain Hunkins leads personal and professional development trainings for individuals, teams and organizations. Over the last two decades, Alain has facilitated for over a thousand groups, ranging from at-risk youth to Fortune 500 executives. He moves between the educational, artistic, not-for-profit, government and corporate worlds. Alain sharpened his facilitation skills as an Educational Consultant in New York City, developing programs on many subjects, including Conflict Resolution, Networking, Customer Service, Communication, and Leadership.
Alain earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College and his Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin/Milwaukee Professional Theater Training Program. He is a certified Leadership Challenge & MBTI facilitator, as well as a certified co-leader for ManKind Project International, whose mission is to help men lead missions of service in their families, communities, and workplaces. Alain completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 1995.

– is a deeply personal issue that everyone decides for himself. Sometimes the price is high, sometimes low. But this is not very important for life. Life is an interesting thing. And the price on Viagra – too.