“Great Teachers”

This is a blatant cut and paste job on my part of a post by educator Danny Steele.

I’ve adopted a couple of thoughts gleaned from reading about Teach for America, an innovative teacher training program that recruits non-traditional candidates to teach underserved students in impoverished areas.

The thoughts are:

  1. “Teaching is leadership.” This idea that the teacher is committed to leading students to a better learning experience.
  2. “If the student hasn’t learned, the teacher hasn’t taught.” This statement challenges the teacher to be accountable for outcomes even though students may come to them ill prepared and unmotivated.

So, as you read this, substitute leader or boss or supervisor or parent or coach where it says, teacher. It may resonate.

The following is Mr. Steele’s post ad he wrote it.

I have had the privilege of working with many great teachers.  These are some things that are true about them:

Great teachers don’t always have the best lessons.  But they always have the best relationships with kids.

Great teachers understand that developing the right classroom climate is a prerequisite to teaching the right lesson.


When a lesson does not go as planned, great teachers are not looking around the room… they are looking in the mirror.


Great teachers always come to class ready to teach… but they are mindful of the fact that not all students come to class ready to learn.


Great teachers understand the power of human connection, so they are diligent about building relationships with their students.  They are even relentless about connecting with the knuckleheads.


Great teachers don’t show up for WORK… they show up for KIDS!  It’s a passion — not a job.


Great teachers understand the “Golden Rule” for educators: Teach every child the way you would want your own child to be taught.


Great teachers are not intent on winning “battles” with the students.  They understand that if there is a battle in the classroom, nobody wins.


Great teachers define their success by the success of their students.  They understand it’s not about the teaching… it’s about the learning.


Great teachers are not defined by their lesson plans… they are defined by their passion.


Great teachers are in it for the kids.  It’s not about the lesson plan, the rules, or the massive paycheck. It’s always about the kids.


Great teachers will spend some time this summer thinking about how they can improve their lessons next year.  That’s just what they do.


Kids leave their class feeling better about themselves… because great teachers understand there is more to teaching than delivering instruction.


Great teachers are never victims of “slacker kids.” They refuse to let those students get away without doing the work.


Great teachers are not driven by courses of study… they are driven by the faces in front of them.


Great teachers can look past the bad attitude.  They realize there’s always something else going on.


Great teachers did not become great by accident.  They became great because they made a decision that being “good” was not enough.


All teachers have bad days.  Great teachers never lose perspective, and they refuse to let their personal drama undermine the positive energy in the classroom.


Great teachers are always in pursuit of a better lesson.  They demand the same excellence of themselves that they work for in their kids.


Our world is a better place because of the passion and dedication of great teachers everywhere.  They inspire me daily.



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