What Does It Mean to Be a Great Teacher?

image from icanread

Talk of being a great teacher surrounds us; in the news, in the corridors, in our own minds.  We all dream of being great and when we get our own classroom we strive for greatness.  Yet, being great can mean so many things today.

Does great mean high test scores?

Does great mean major student growth on their assessments?

Does great mean smiling students or many laughs?

Does it mean students who feel safe in your classroom?

Does great mean in-depth discussions, perfect spelling, or A+?

Does it mean you give as much of yourself as you expect the kids to give of them?

Does great mean that you cannot stop thinking about the kids you just said goodbye to even though they are legally not your to worry about anymore?

Or does great simply mean that you go in there and try your hardest every day, every minute?  That you pour your heart into it and give them all of you?

I know what it means to outsiders, but what does being a great teacher mean to you?

8 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Be a Great Teacher?”

  1. A great teacher really cares for his/her students. It isn't about the job or the perfect lessons, it is about making good decisions that positively impact the lives of the kids in your classroom.

  2. A great teacher asks this very question and many others of themselves. A great teacher reflects on what they do and asks how they can do it better in order to help students have a great life at school and beyond.

  3. A great teacher meets every child where they are and helps them grow from there. They celebrate each step that child takes. That type of growth can't always be measured by state tests, but you know they've grown and you celebrate with them.

  4. Great teachers expect to exceed their own expectations every day. And when they don't, because many days they won't, they reflect on what worked and what didn't and try again the next day.

  5. A great teacher is focused on student engagement over compliance. Great teaching seeks to ignite in children their unique sparks of interest, passion, aptitude and potential…

  6. Good teachers are those who love their students and know what,how,and why to teach…For becoming great teacher one has to work day and night. It is like walking on the edge of a razor.

  7. An important question…I ask myself this a lot. There are so many answers to "what makes a great teacher?"Some say a teacher should be an entertainer, keep students captivated and laughing.Some say a teacher should be like a book, giving knowledge.Some say a teacher should be a judge and lay out justice.Some say a teacher should be a social activist, and stamp out harmful ideologies.Others say a teacher should be a friend, and make students feel good.It's so hard to be all these things! For now I focus on being like a friend and a very good, rich book. I'd like to keep my students entertained, but it's not a priority. If they like themselves and learn something useful from me, I'm happy.

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