What Makes a Great Teacher?

Great teachers know their content.  They plan engaging lessons and value their students’ opinions. Mutual respect is visible in their classroom, and they are good listeners.  Great teachers are dependable, approachable, flexible and good communicators. They don’t give up on their students. They are enthusiastic  and passionate about teaching.  Great teachers consistently have a positive attitude, and their classrooms are well managed. They believe in their students, are kind and care about students.

Great teachers’ influence goes beyond the classroom.  They are team members who mentor other teachers.  They share their bright ideas. They make school a place where others want to be.  They change lives.

In my own personal life, I have experienced the positive impact of several great teachers. My sixth-grade teacher, Mrs. Erma Colding was a pioneer in her own right.  She wasn’t like any of my other teachers.  Our classroom at Harms Elementary School was full of plants and animals, she made learning fun, and she allowed us to make mistakes and learn from them.  Lessons were hands-on, and we rarely completed a worksheet.  Mrs. Colding was real. She was always smiling, and I loved it when she tilted her head back and laughed out loud.  She loved Lays Potato Chips, especially the folded ones.  When I close my eyes, I can see myself back in her classroom enjoying an engaging activity or learning how to clean a hamster cage.  I knew she cared about me, not just about my school work, but about how I was doing outside of school.  That was many, many years ago, and although she has passed away, her influence on my life remains.

This week we celebrate Teacher Appreciation week.  I wish I had the opportunity to convey my respect and appreciation to Mrs. Colding.  While I can’t do that, I can share my appreciation to the amazing teachers in our building who are changing lives every day.  I can strive to be the outstanding educator and positive influence on my students that Mrs. Colding was to me.

In Honor of Great Teachers…Thanks for all you do for your students every day;

For every decision, every redirection, and every second chance you give.
For putting your students’ needs ahead of your own.
For planning engaging, relevant, and fun lessons over and over again.
For changing, modifying, and revising those lessons for those who need accommodations.

For your kindness.
For smiling, laughing, and setting a positive attitude even when life is tough.
For caring about your students in and outside of the classroom.
For looking for ways to connect and for creating a safe nurturing environment in your classroom.
For teaching your students to think, create, and communicate.

For being a positive role model.

You are not told often enough how much you are valued and appreciated. Thank you for the valuable work you do every day!  You are a Great teacher!

Take time to thank your teachers today.  They are paramount in creating a school culture in which students long to be a part.

This blog was written by Dr. Connie Franklin. Dr. Franklin has over 20 years in education with 15 years as a school administrator at the middle school and high school levels. Before moving into administration, Dr. Franklin taught business education and was an instructional technology specialist.

Categories: Uncategorized

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