How do you define an outstanding educator? My definition consists of three main elements. The first is to have knowledge about what you are teaching and present it at a level of understanding. I believe in being prepared, organized, but also flexible. Sometimes the best lessons are taught when a question is asked by a student. Today's technology is a perfect source of information and can be used to expand a lesson. We need to make students become good decision makers and the way to do that is to teach information and then have the students apply it to real life situations. Bring the world into your classroom.
Secondly, in any classroom, there needs to be discipline. Learning is an interaction between the teacher and student. Realize that each student is a special individual and each needs to be handled in a different way. I have learned that when students have challenges and are motivated, there is less conflict.
Finally, you can not expect students to be lifelong learners if you are not one yourself. Taking graduate courses, while I was teaching, helped me continue my professional development. Classes and seminars have given me fresh ideas and renewed growth in my teaching.
Teaching takes dedication and heart. I have these qualities and can make a difference in the lives of the students in my classroom.