What Makes a Great Teacher


Carsyn Hall

What Makes a Great Teacher
Part 2 of a 2 Part Series
Carsyn Hall

“What makes a great teacher is being flexible to meet the needs of your kids instead of being determined for them to meet your expectations. If they don’t know that you care about them, then they do not care about class and learning more than just surface-level” says Ashby Sanders, a fourth grade teacher at Round Top Elementary.

Being a great teacher is much more than getting the required information across to their students. There are many other qualities that teachers should possess to be considered a great role model.

Building Relationships
A great teacher is someone who puts their focus into their relationships with their students. Qualities such as enthusiastic, caring, and accessible show commitment to their students and to the school. “When you meet the needs of your kids and your focus is building relationships with them, then everything else that is important falls into place,” says Sanders.

Setting High Expectations
Good teachers expect that all their students can and will achieve in the classroom, and they don’t give up. They have lesson plans that challenge their students to make them better “I think a great teacher is someone who sets high expectations and believes that their students can achieve them,” says Kailey Collins, an English teacher at Blythewood High.

Engaging their Students
Effective teachers create lessons that engage their students and motivate them to accomplish their goals. They ask “why” questions to encourage students to predict what will happen next, and continue asking questions to make sure everyone is following along. “A good teacher is one that assists students in every way possible. They give numerous opportunities for help and always respond to students’ needs. Their class is engaging while being educational as well,” says Rachel Truitt, a sophomore at Blythewood High.

Being Caring
“A great teacher has to care about their students more than anything else. They have to care about them as people and not just focus on academics,” says Collins. They reach out to check in with their students if they see a negative change in character and come to a level of understanding of that student’s situation. Students often connect more with their teachers when they show compassion and understanding towards them.

Great teachers are masters of their subject and continue to learn more about what they teach. They should show enthusiasm for what they are lecturing to engage and encourage their students to have a hunger for more knowledge.

Teaching is more than just academics. It’s about creating relationships with students and showing encouragement, creativity, and a new way of learning.