Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What Makes a Teacher Great?

Scott Maxwell, 3D Realty Handshake, December 25, 2007, Creative Commons License

Every great teacher that I know has had a special kind of energy. The special kind of energy that makes it very clear that they are excited about teaching. They are willing to go the extra mile inside and outside of the classroom. They are willing to take risks by trying new methods in the classroom. They smile, laugh, and talk about how much they love teaching and their students. However, the most important focus of their excitement and energy is directed at relationships. These teachers use their love for education to build relationships with students, parents, and colleagues. If you truly know your students, and if you truly know the parents, you can better serve their needs. If teachers work hard at developing a relationship with their students, and if the students know that they are loved, they too will have an excitement for learning just like their teacher. Relationships also extend outside the classroom. Encouragement and collaboration among colleagues will make a teacher great. This type of teachers is willing to share resources, methods, projects, and ideas with other teachers.

Great teachers love their students, respect the parents, and collaborate with colleagues. Building and maintaining these relationships will make you great.

This blog post was inspired by the Educational Leadership article What Makes a Teacher Great? from the Dec 2010/Jan 2011 issue.


  1. It seems like in today's classroom the most important part of being a great teacher is being a great leader. Showing children how to be positive in all aspects is a great way for them to turn into leaders themselves. is a great place to see how school leadership roles form and allow children to become leaders themselves.

    Hope this helps,

    John Laing

  2. Fantastic - I totally agree... that special kind of energy... that love of learning that drives their pursuit of excellence for all the right reasons; connections, success, mentoring, etc. Not being driven by tests, but by things that truly matter! I blogged about this topic too:
    Thanks for the great post!

  3. It's all about the relationships, that's for sure. Kids need to feel valued if they are going to learn. I read this article yesterday discussing this same idea.