Orwell Award Announcement SusanOhanian.Org Home

10 Qualities of a Great Teacher

Susan Notes:

Writing in Education Week, Feb. 2, 2010, James D. Starkey lists 10 qualities of a great teacher. How many of these are included in or promoted by the Race to the Top outrage?

I bet you'll find more qualities of a great teacher in this list you can agree with than you will find in the $45 million list that oozes out of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

I used to rank "sense of humor" pretty near the top but now. . . I think we should pray over
#7 and #8: Subversiveness and Fearlessness.
ALL is lost without these qualities.

by James D. Starkey
Here are the first two paragraphs of a story that appeared in my local paper, The Denver Post, in the fall:

"In a quest to find out the best teaching practices, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is giving $45 million to six school districts, including Denver, for a two-year study of teaching.

"The Measures of Effective Teaching project will examine the work of 3,700 teachers from across the country, using videotapes, surveys, and student assessments to figure out what works and what doesn̢۪t." . . . .

[content omitted as per Education Week Rules]

. . . So, Bill and Melinda, listen up. Here are 10 qualities of a great teacher:

(1) has a sense of humor;
(2) is intuitive;
(3) knows the subject matter;
(4) listens well;
(5) is articulate;
(6) has an obsessive/compulsive side;
(7) can be subversive;
(8) is arrogant enough to be fearless;
(9) has a performer̢۪s instincts;
(10) is a real taskmaster.

— James D. Starkey
Education Week


This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of education issues vital to a democracy. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information click here. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.