Weigh in: What Makes a Good Teacher?

BY Kelly Chen  February 4, 2013 at 3:45 PM EDT

Our American Graduate team’s recent report on the complexity of teacher evaluations has us going back to the basics. Behind all the rubrics, the terms, the union fights and funding issues — what makes a good teacher?

We want to hear from you — what makes a good teacher?

For the past year, we’ve heard stories about teachers can make a difference in a student’s life.

Victor Rios, a former gang member turned professor credits his high school teacher Flora Russ for inspiring him to turn his life around when his best friend was shot and killed.

“It was important for me to hear an adult tell me, ‘listen we know you are a mess-up, we know you are a dropout, but we still believe in you.’”

Rebecca Mieliwocki, who won the 2012 Teacher of the Year award, told us in September:

I think what the best teachers are, are seekers.

We are given a family’s child to teach. We’re given their most precious resource, their child.

And our job is to send them out better than when they walk through the door. And better doesn’t necessarily mean that they can ace a standardized test.

Better means that I have seen deep within each child what his or her unique potential is.

Consider this an open thread for discussion. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page.

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American Graduate is a public media initiative funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting to help local communities across America find solutions to the dropout crisis.