What Do We Need Our Teachers to Be?

One of the first books I read when I began preparing for a role in educational administration was Ten Traits of Highly Effective Teachers: How to Hire, Coach, and Mentor Successful Teachers by Elaine McEwan-Adkins. Published in 2001, the author concisely describes how the following qualities define great teachers, in terms of their character, skill-specific qualities, and intellectual traits:

  1. Mission-driven and passionate
  2. Positive and real
  3. A teacher-leader
  4. “With-it-ness”
  5. Style
  6. Motivational expertise
  7. Instructional effectiveness
  8. Book learning
  9. Street smarts
  10. A mental life

A fairly all-encompassing list. Applicable 10+ years later? I believe so. Kind of timeless, in a sense. The descriptors surrounding those qualities may evolve as does a teacher’s role each year.

I do a lot of thinking about teacher quality. I am able to interact with many teachers in both face-to-face and online settings each and every day. As some administrators may be able to tell you: Almost without fail, you can spot a quality teacher by simply existing in their presence for a few short minutes. There’s something about the way she interacts with students, is organized and prepared, is a fluid communicator and skillfully asks engaging questions, is capable of captivating an audience. He’s someone who has command of a learning environment, and it’s an absolute delight to watch this teaching and learning in action. A quality teacher has “with-it-ness,” as McEwan-Adkins describes.


Posted by on Mar 2, 2012 in Connected Leadership, The Compelling Need for Change, The How of 21st Century Teaching, The Moral Imperative,


About cbramble1

I am a teacher at Second Street School. I am currently attending Georgetown College to recieve my Graduate Degree. I am a very busy mom of three kids...senior, 6th, and 3rd. Besides being a very busy shuttle service, I teach, coach and play tennis! I enjoy getting kids into a lifetime sport! I will graduate in August and will be one happy camper. My goal is to put technology into the hands of every kid I can!

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