Daniel Behan McQuaid
Leader and Teacher
Over the years, Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School became a leader at his school because of his unceasing dedication to his students and the study of American and world history. He has been a member of the faculty for over 25 years and has always been committed to his students in the seventh and eighth grade. He hopes he can prepare students for the next stage in their lives.
Teaching Tip - Cherish Your Hard-earned Credibility
Students expect their teachers to keep their word in the classroom. When you promise your class a reward for good behavior, for example, you have to follow through if your students hold up their end of the bargain. This is the same expectation you have when you pay for a service. If you go into a mechanic’s office and they promise to fix your car, you hold them to that promise, and you get angry if they don’t hold up their end of the agreement. Students not only get angry with their teachers, they close them out after broken promises, never trusting a word from their mouths again. Once you’ve lost your credibility as an authority figure, it’s almost impossible to get it back.
Simply keeping your promises sounds intuitive and easy, but there’s an art to making deals with your students. Above all, don’t make promises you can’t keep. Make sure you are prepared to honor your side of the agreement before you propose it to the class. If the students don’t follow through, you have to give them the promised consequence or your deal making abilities will be lost forever. Keep your promises and follow through. Often times, the students will motivate each other to uphold their end in order to get the reward. This can be very powerful, but it shouldn’t be your only way of controlling your class.
Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School has over twenty-five years teaching middle and high school History and English.
Teaching Tip - Be Open and Willing to Help
There are many teaching tips that you can try in your classroom to add to your already wide teaching training and knowledge, but the most important thing to remember is to be open to your students and always willing to help those who are struggling. As a teacher, it’s your job to be as open to your students as possible and to nurture those who may not be getting the material as easily as the rest of the class. By making yourself available to all students, you are creating a free and open system in your classroom in which anyone who needs help can get it. Of course, you won’t be doing their work for them, you’ll be challenging them to work through their difficulties, but providing help to those who need it should be your top priority. The students will pick up on your availability and take it as a sign that you care about them and about their priorities as well.
Being a teacher means being willing and able to work one-on-one with students when they need closer instruction. The best teachers are those who form personal and appropriate relationships with their students. The best students take advantage of the openness of their teachers to better grasp the material and learn more. Be open to these students and make it clear that all are welcome to seek intensive help if and when they need it.
Daniel Behan of McQuaid Jesuit Middle School has long been known for his willingness to help struggling students in all levels.