What does make a great teacher?

I first got to know Audrey Watters when she worked for ISTE. Now she’s a freelance writer and blogger. Today she wrote a tribute to her favorite teacher, Mr. Callahan. Audrey goes so far as to say that Mr. Callahan is the best teacher she ever had.

In reflecting on this wonderful teacher, she repeatedly makes the point that what made Mr. Callahan a great teacher was not the kinds of things that officials are talking about using to measure the greatness of teachers.

What if we were going to make our own rubric for measuring the greatness of a teacher… What are the criteria we would measure? What makes the best teachers we ever had the best?

Please leave your thoughts as comments.

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About Mike Muir

I'm an educator, teacher trainer, and educational developer interested in creating multiple pathways to learning and helping people figure out how they are smart.
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2 Responses to What does make a great teacher?

  1. Daniel says:

    Very hard to measure any of the qualities and characteristics of a great teacher, in fact, I keep contact with one of my best teachers and I’m always pestering her (via facebook, of course) about how to become a great educator. I suppose there is some truth to the cliche that great teaching involves no formula or process, simply honesty and humility when it comes to leading learners into the unkown.

    Personally, my quest to greatness is just beginning (2nd year teacher) and for some reason, becoming great is synonymous with – almost nightly- 3-hour long planning sessions and those “teacher moments” in which I’ll be doing something completely mundane and “boom!” an idea for a lesson strikes. I suppose that is what makes us great educators, if we are first and foremost, great learners.

    Daniel G.
    El Paso, TX

  2. Jim Forde says:

    Hi Mike (and others)!

    There is so much that goes into being a great teacher but three of the qualities you always see are: lifelong learner, sense of humor and empathy for their students. I think that these three elements drive many of the other exciting things you experience with them.

    Jim Forde : -)

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