Sunday, May 18, 2008

30 Things Good Teachers do

Okay I read a post on LifeHack "50 things that successful people do". The post took all the self-help books and boiled them down to the 50 things you need to do to be successful. Well I read them over and took a look at them from and educational perspective. Some just did not fit and many needed to be tweaked. So here is my list of 30 things good teachers do.

Habits of good teachers….

  1. They look for and find opportunities where others see nothing.
  2. They find a lesson while others only see a problem and they focus on solutions.
  3. They consciously and methodically create success for their students, while others hope students will find success.
  4. They ask the right questions - the ones which put them in a productive, creative, positive mindset and emotional state.
  5. They rarely complain (waste of energy). All complaining does is put the complainer in a negative and unproductive state.
  6. They don’t blame (parents, students?). They take complete responsibility for their actions and outcomes (or lack thereof) of their students.
  7. They are busy, productive and proactive. While most are laying on the couch, or in the teacher's lounge, they are out there getting the job done.
  8. They align themselves with like-minded people. They understand the importance of being part of a team. They create win-win relationships.
  9. They are ambitious; they want amazing for themselves and their students- and why shouldn’t they?
  10. They have clarity and certainty about what they want (and don’t want) for their students .
  11. They innovate rather than imitate.
  12. They are life-long learners. They constantly work at educating themselves, either formally (academically), informally (watching, listening, asking, reading, student of life) or experientially (doing, trying)… or all three.
  13. They are glass half full people - while still being practical and down-to-earth. They have an ability to find the good.
  14. They consistently do what they need to do for their students, irrespective of how they are feeling on a given day. They don’t spend their life stopping and starting.
  15. They deal with problems and challenges quickly and effectively, they don’t put their head in the sand. They face their challenges and use them to improve themselves.
  16. While many people are reactive, they are proactive. They take action before they have to.
  17. They are good communicators and they consciously work at it, with student, parents, administrators and peers.
  18. Their desire to be exceptional means that they typically do things that most won’t. They are willing to take risk and realize that you learn as much if not more from failure.
  19. They do what is best for their students and that is the first question they ask.
  20. They understand the importance of discipline and self-control. They are strong. They are happy to take the road less travelled.
  21. They are generous and kind. They take pleasure in helping all students achieve.
  22. They are humble and they are happy to admit mistakes and to apologise. They are confident in their ability, but not arrogant. They are happy to learn from others. They are happy to make others look good rather than seek their own personal glory.
  23. They are adaptable and embrace change, while the majority are creatures of comfort and habit. They are comfortable with, and embrace, the new and the unfamiliar.
  24. They are resilient. When most would throw in the towel, they’re just warming up.
  25. They are open to, and more likely to act upon, feedback, from administrators, peers and students.
  26. They don’t invest time or emotional energy into things which they have no control of.
  27. They are happy to swim against the tide, to do what most won’t. They are not people pleasers and they don’t need constant approval.
  28. They don’t rationalise failure. While many are talking about the troubles of their students, they are finding a way to help them succeed despite all their challenges.
  29. They are more interested in effective than they are in easy. While the majority look for the quickest, easiest way (the shortcut), they look for the course of action which will produce the best results for their students over the long term.
  30. They practice what they preach. They don’t talk about the theory, they live the reality.

I am sure that many teachers will read this list and say, hey that is me. Others will say that I must be nuts, no teacher can be like that (I not sure many of those will find this post). Do I care or even want to know? What do you think?


skip zalneraitis said...

Your post is very inspiring!!!
There isn't anything with which I find any dis agreement.
Thank you.

IC Jones said...

What a conversation starter! I will certainly share this with my team in our next meeting.
Thank you for the inspiration.


PDonaghy said...

Hi Lee
Nice list to have when the going gets tough! Might also be useful on the staffroom noticeboard.
PS: you might be interested in joining us on the new International Edubloggers Directory at

Anonymous said...

I must be a bad teacher:(