Great Teachers

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What kind of teacher are you?

Would you like to be better at what you do?

Are you at a point where you want to change, or can change?

Do you self-reflect and continually change?

What qualities do you possess that make you the kind of teacher you would want your child to have, or your grandchildren to have?  

As I taught, I would think of my nieces and nephews and what kind of person I would want for them to have as a teacher.  I tried my hardest to teach each child in the way that would push them to succeed. What makes a great teacher? What qualities are vital to be looked upon as a great teacher?  This is about what qualities makes a great teacher in my opinion, which comes from amazing teachers I’ve had, I’ve observed, interviewed and worked with.   How many of these qualities do you possess?

A Great teacher:

  1. is organized, prepared and is present each day. Your presence is about time and giving each child your full attention—you may be the only present adult in their life.
  2. is educated about children, families, communities, relationships and understands they are held accountable for their teaching and profession.
  3. is a researcher (always looking for current and changing/updated topics, ideas, assessment and curriculum).
  4. is kind, loving, understanding, knowledgeable, trustworthy, timely, efficient, fun, bold and one of a kind.
  5. makes mistakes (and learns from them and changes)
  6. self-reflects  (what can I do better?  How can I do it better? Why do I need to change?)
  7. builds respectful and reciprocal relationships (with families, the children and other colleagues) He or she gets to know each child one on one.  The great teacher is relatable to the family. The great teacher attends after school events, finds out about the family, makes positive calls home and keeps in constant contact.
  8. attends professional development opportunities and uses what they’ve learned in their   classroom and is always willing to learn more.
  9. facilitates an engaging and developmentally appropriate practice classroom where children are learning and making mistakes. He or she teaches procedures, expectations and routines.
  10. builds a classroom community that includes high expectations for all students—greets all students each day at the door as they arrive. To build a classroom community a great teacher has children help set expectations and makes each responsible for their actions. A great teacher gives children responsibilities in the classroom that make the classroom community run smoothly. They also allow the children to have a purpose by contributing to that community.
  11. mentors, collaborates and shares with colleagues and other professionals in the field.
  12. models professional, positive attitudes, morals and behaviors and sets goals for his or herself.
  13. is adaptable and willing to make changes
  14. have a repertoire of community resources to help families and children.
  15. Is an advocate for children and his or her profession

How many of these great teacher qualities do you possess?  How many are you willing to take on or try this year? Great teachers come in all shapes and sizes.  You probably have other ideas to add to this list.  Print these off, add your own ideas of what a great teacher is and does.  Strive to be the best you can be for your students and their families.


This guest post was written by Tisha Shipley. Tisha has a doctorate of education in Curriculum and Instruction and has taught multiple grade levels at Moore Public Schools, including pre–K and gifted 3rd–6th graders.

You can find Tisha online in these places:

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