Thursday, July 19, 2012

Qualities of Outstanding Teachers - According to Students

Photo from Teaching English
 I stumbled on an article at Edutopia about six outstanding teachers in California who were honored by their former students.  The article ended with the following "Keys to Success".  What I find most interesting is that the qualities that the students valued were not about entertainment or easiness - but rather that they were challenged with high expectations by teachers who were genuinely interested in their students and passionate about teaching and their subject.

I wonder, what would teacher evaluation schemes and professional development programs look like if these "keys to success" were the criteria?  That is obviously a tongue in cheek question, as it would be difficult and disastrous to try and measure these qualities.   But, as a teacher, I should strive to embody these!

Keys to Success

In addition to working in schools with challenges, the winning teachers have many things in common. Tim Allen, Director of the Carlston Family Foundation, interviewed hundreds of students who listed the qualities that make their favorite teacher stand out from the rest of the faculty. Here are nine of the key qualities/strategies that outstanding teachers share.
  1. They show a deep passion for teaching; they love their subject matter and know it thoroughly.
  2. They hold high expectations that are fair, reasonable, consistent and clear.
  3. They are scholarly and love learning themselves.
  4. They hold all students equally accountable and responsible for learning and for their behavior.
  5. They plan every minute of class time; there is never a wasted moment.
  6. They will never leave students behind and will allow other students to help those who have difficulty.
  7. They make the subject matter relevant to the lives of students and their immediate experience.
  8. They have respect for students, are insightful about them on a day-to-day basis, and are non-judgmental.
  9. They are authentic, real and appropriately autobiographical.

1 comment:

  1. Such great tips - especially being "appropriately autobiographical." Not only does it help make teachers more personable, but it helps students see how classroom values translate into life in the real world.