Wednesday, January 28, 2009


There are many attributes that make up a good teacher, but there are three that form the base of any good teacher. These three are communication, planning, and flexibility. Each of these are vital in order to be most effective as a teacher.

Communication is used to keep administrators informed about classroom progress and needs. If a teacher doesn’t communicate well, there is a chance that supplies won’t be received, rooms won’t be reserved, and events won’t be scheduled. Communication is also used to inform parents about activities, schedules, and monetary needs. Parents are vital to a program because they are ultimately responsible for ensuring a student gets where he/she needs to be, and if a parent isn’t kept informed, then the student is more likely to be absent. Parental support is also easiest to earn when they understand the structure of a class and what is expected of a student. Finally, communication is used to inform students of rules, expectations, assignments, and schedules. Students function best when they understand what is going on and what is expected, thus clear communication is extremely important to student productivity. In all these examples, a teacher is communication their plan to administrators, parents, and students.

Planning is important for many of the same reasons that communication is important. If a teacher doesn’t have a plan, they don’t know what materials they will need, when projects will be due, or when they will cover their curriculum. Planning is very important because it allows a teacher to plot out weeks and even months ahead of time, which in turn allows them to communicate this to students, parents, and administrators. Having a plan not only allows everyone around the teacher to know what is going on, but also helps a teacher to focus on what is relevant. Without a plan, a teacher could start to discuss a topic, but end up on a tangent because they didn’t have a plan to follow. Lastly, plans help teachers make sure they aren’t overloading the students with projects and tests. This is important, because students will quickly burnout or give up if they are overloaded one week and have nothing the next.

Finally, the last essential quality in any teacher is flexibility. This is arguably the most important of the three because most times things don’t go exactly as planned. When something goes faster or slower than planned, a teacher needs to be able to adjust their lesson plans to accommodate a class that needs more time, or one that can take information than originally intended. If certain materials aren’t available when a teachers plans for them, they need to be able to substitute other materials or change the plan around to accommodate this inconvenience.

The very best teachers use all three in tandem, making a plan that they communicate to all parties, then being flexible enough to change the plan, and communicating this change to all people involved. Some teachers will even make a main plan that they communicate, but have several contingency plans ready in case things don’t go as planned. These contingency plans are then communicated as needed. A teacher without these three attributes may be able to survive, but they will be infinitely more effective if they practice all three.