What Makes a Great Teacher?

After teaching for 27 years, I’ve been reflecting on what the qualities of a great teacher are.

The things that came to mind have nothing to do with curriculum delivery, local testing results or teacher performance reviews.

Becoming a great teacher is something that can grow over the years through experience and pedagogy but there are other qualities which are unmeasurable.

They have to do with the kind of person a teacher is.

Students are the ones who can feel these qualities every day in the classroom.  Hours and hours of planning and marking cannot compensate for these qualities.




  • treating someone in a way that is right or reasonable


  • of a good nature or disposition


  •  able to remain calm and not become annoyed when dealing with problems or difficult people


  • genuine, sincere, honorable, respectable


  • acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate


  • all aspects of organization effects the whole instead of just parts


When you stop and think about this list, teachers need to display these qualities throughout every day of their teaching lives.

This is a challenge for anyone.

It isn’t always easy to ‘take the high road’.  Teachers are constantly inundated with multitudes of split second decisions they must make every day to create the best learning environment for their students to excel in.

All you can do is strive to do your best every day and remember you are human, and only one person, and “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”


As always, I welcome comments and please sign up for notifications of future posts.







4 thoughts on “What Makes a Great Teacher?

  1. Great list. I definitely agree with these characteristics. Although, it is impossible for a teacher to be all these things all the time, teachers that strive to be this for the students are the ones that end up making a difference in their students lives.


  2. Nice list. To make things even more daunting, I’d add, compassion, caring, and common sense with the foundational goal being: building relationship. Good thing many of us have a life-long career to get there. Cheers, Carol.


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