14 Things Great Teachers Do

From Todd Whittaker’s book What Great Teachers Do Differently: 14 Things that Matter Most

Great teachers…

  1. Never forget that it is people, not programs, that determine the quality of a school.
  2. Establish clear expectations at the start of the year and follow them consistently as the year progresses.
  3. Have one goal when a student misbehaves: keep that behavior from happening again.
  4. Have high expectations for students, but even higher expectations for themselves.
  5. Know who is the variable in the classroom: They are. They consistently strive to improve and focus on something they can control: Their own performance.
  6. Create a positive atmosphere in their classrooms. They treat every person with respect. In particular, they understand the power of praise.
  7. Consistently filter out the negatives that don’t matter and share a positive attitude.
  8. Work hard to keep their relationships in good repair: to avoid personal hurt and to repair any possible damage.
  9. Have the ability to ignore trivial disturbances and the ability to respond to inappropriate behavior without escalating the situation.
  10. Have a plan for everything they do. If things don’t work out the way they envisioned, they reflect on what they could have done differently and adjust their plans accordingly.
  11. Ask themselves one central question before making any decision or attempting to bring about change: What will the best people think?
  12. Continually ask themselves who is most comfortable with each decision they make. They treat all people as if they are good.
  13. Keep standardized testing in perspective. They center on the real issue of student learning.
  14. Care about their students. They understand that behaviors and beliefs are tied to emotions, and they understand the power of emotion to jump start change.

What’s your opinion about these 14 points? Is something missing from this list?

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