What Great Teachers Do Differently

What Great Teachers Do Differently: Fourteen Things That Matter Most

1. Great teachers never forget that it is people, not programs, that determine the quality of a school.

2. Great teachers establish clear expectations at the start of the year and follow them consistently as the year progresses.

3. When a student misbehaves, great teachers have one goal: to keep that behavior from happening again.

4. Great teachers have high expectations for students, but even higher expectations for themselves.

5. Great teachers know who is the variable in the classroom: THEY are.

6. Great teachers create a positive atmosphere in their classrooms and schools.

7. Great teachers consistently filter out the negatives that don't matter and share a positive attitude.

8. Great teachers work hard to keep their relationships in good repair--to avoid personal hurt and to repair any possible damage.

9. Great teachers have the ability to ignore trivial disturbances and the ability to respond to inappropriate behavior without escalating the situation.

10. Great teachers have a plan and purpose for everything they do.

11. Before making any decision or attempting to bring about any change, great teachers ask themselves one central question: "What will the best people think?"

12. Great teachers treat everyone as if they were good.

13. Great teachers keep standardized testing in perspective.

14. Great teachers care about their students, and understand the power of emotion to jump-start change.


  1. I agree wholeheartedly, especially with the ones about keeping people central and assessment in perspective. I sat in a national government meeting (uk) for 90 minutes the other day that was all about the future of education policy for our parties. I was the only person who mentioned children. This is why politicians need to keep their hands off schools!

  2. PS - great blog, am very much enjoying!

  3. I think that's essential in any job working with people: don't get caught up in your task and forget the people you're saving. What's the best thing for THAT student at THAT moment? A lifetime of making that decision.

    PS Thanks so much for reading! I'm glad you're enjoying.

  4. This is just great. Thank you so much, I am going to fwd to all the teachers on my staff. Great truth here.

  5. Thanks! You never know what great material you can find on the internet.