Bad Teacher or Great Teacher Which One Are You?

appleWho was your favorite teacher?

You might need to think a minute before answering.

Now, who was your worst teacher ever?  Of course you have no trouble remembering that one. Name, grade, school, year, day, her beehive hairdo, his polyester suit, her gravely voice, his receding hairline. Was it math? English? Shop? Gym?

bad teacherSometimes we don’t recognize the great teachers until we’ve experienced the bad ones. I once had a teacher so awful he would leave the answer key to our tests on his desk.

answer key

He’d saunter out of the room and we all took turns going up to get the answers. Even the brains cheated. Otherwise, we would have all failed. I’m not proud I cheated, but goodness – the teacher permitted it because he knew he stunk at teaching.


A great teacher can make a difficult subject wonderful and easy to understand while a bad teacher can destroy creativity and make a student hate a subject –  sometimes one that was once a favorite. You bad teachers: shame on you. Go away or fix yourself. You are doing serious, perhaps irreversible damage.


You great teachers: thank you. Our children need you.  Don’t give up. You may be the one person who pulls the greatness out of a struggling student.

The Great Teacher:

She makes learning fun. Gives constructive feedback and shows how to improve. He recognizes the difference between knowledge and understanding. Great teachers are accessible and enthusiastic. They care. They see a student as a unique and talented person. Never compares but rather looks for individual growth. Does not teach to a test. Does not rely on tests for sole assessment. Is not rigid. Acknowledges there may be more than one correct answer. Would never condescend. Asks a student how are things at home? Is a coach, a guide, a mentor, a role model, has character. A great teacher can always find something good in a student’s work.  Praises often, yet will not stand for shabby, crappy, disrespectful work.  Explains plagiarism and confronts those who dare do it. Deserves respect as she gives respect. Does not punish all for one person’s misbehavior. Deals with problems promptly. Is not a bully and does not allow bullying. The great teacher…

…the good teacher explains.  The superior teacher demonstrates.  The great teacher inspires…….