Qualities of Great Teachers

Most of us recognize qualities we appreciated in some of our teachers. In Show Choir with Ms. MacEachran, it was about passionately pursuing excellence through an artistic framework, technical skills, and teamwork. Since we tend to remember emotionally charged experiences, and a simple Internet search reveals information about negativity bias, it’s no surprise that we seem to remember other events in even more detail.

I clearly remember when an elementary school teacher sent me back to my seat to “fix” my coloring of a backline-master turkey around Thanksgiving time. You see, my crayons were outside the cartoonish picture. What she didn’t know was how much I was already aware of this and had even taken great pains to smooth out my picture. That resulted in even more color outside the image and I was already disappointed in my own performance before she sent me back to my seat.

I found these stories from the College Board and quotes from Nicholas Ferroni’s students worthwhile reads on this topic. This article from the Washington Post also intrigued me for its wide angle lens, but caveat emptor … focusing on factors outside of my control has never impacted my students a whole lot.


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