Qualities that Make a Teacher Great

Throughout their academic careers, students are going to encounter numerous teachers. Some will be good, some will be bad, and (hopefully) a few will be great.

It’s the great teachers who leave lasting impacts on students. They’re the ones who perhaps challenged what the student thought, or pushed them to work a little differently than they were comfortable with. Maybe they inspired their students to set new goals or work even harder for the ones they already had. Great teachers are the ones students will think about long after they’ve left school. And it turns out; they may all have a few things in common.



Rob Jenkins, a faculty member at Georgia Perimeter College, wrote The 4 Properties of Powerful Teachers for the Chronicle of Higher Education, in which he details qualities he believes all great teachers possess, no matter the subject or grade level.

The first quality is he shares is all great teachers seem to have similar personality traits. He writes, “Great teachers tend to be good-natured and approachable, as opposed to sour or foreboding; professional without being aloof.” He also lists several other traits of teachers including being comfortable in their own skin and creativity.

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Give Back to Teachers at CharitySub in February

Teachers don’t always get the appreciation that they deserve, but this month you can help change that. During February, CharitySub.org’s charity focus is on teachers and educators, and for just $5 you can help make a difference. The five dollars you donate will go to one of three Empowered Education programs that the community giving organization is focused on.

Each month, the members of CharitySub.org donate just $5 to help a different cause, which changes monthly and has included service animals, veterans, sustainable fishing, arts education, and childhood obesity. Three organizations for each cause are featured in a brief video, and members select which organization will receive their $5.

This month, your $5 will help one of the three Empowered Education programs. Take a look here and then learn more at CharitySub.org. Read the rest of this entry »

Chicago Schools Implement Longer School Days without Angering Teachers’ Union

How do you make two parties who want opposing things happy? Well, if one party is a mayor who wants a longer school day and if the other is a teachers’ union that wants to keep their work day the same length of time, you can look to Chicago to find the answer.

Instead of forcing the current teachers to work a day that is 20 percent longer than the days they worked last year, the city has decided to hire more teachers to make up the extra time. The extra time in the school day will be filled with extracurricular classes, such as art, music, and PE.

Just where will these teachers come from? That’s another brilliant part of the solution: the teachers will be selected from a pool of teachers who were laid off since 2010.

However, the question still remains as to where the school district will find the $40-$50 million required to pay all of these new/returning teachers. Read the rest of this entry »

$20,000 Pay Raises for Math and Science Teachers with Obama’s Master Teachers Program

During a rally in San Antonio, President Obama revealed a new proposal to his supporters for elite master teachers, a billon dollar effort to improve education for students in the science, technology, math, and engineering fields. The new proposal was strategically unveiled months before the November elections.

The program will include a pay raise of $20,000 dollars for each master teacher, but they must remain master teachers for several years. Not only are the master teachers educating students, they will be teaching other faculty members as well. The beginning of the program will start up with 2500 qualified teachers divided across the 50 states. If the program is successful there will be an additional 7,500 teachers over a four year course. The Obama administration will partner with groups, including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, to produce 100,000 math and science teachers over the next 10 years.

However, the federal government has 80 established teacher quality programs implemented already. Why another one billion dollar program? A report found that the U.S. must grow the number of students in science, math, and related fields by 34% to keep up with economic demand. Read the rest of this entry »

New York Releases Ratings of Individual Teachers

In a controversial move, the New York City Department of Education recently released information concerning individual teachers in the district and their ratings, based on a value-added analysis. This analysis was used to determine how effective each teacher is at helping students improve on standardized tests. More than 12,000 teachers’ ratings were released and of the teachers taught either English or math for students between fourth and eight grade.

Some people are quite upset by this release of data. The United Federation of Teachers has started an advertising campaign and is placing ads in newspapers across New York City. The ads state “This is No Way to Rate a Teacher!” and show a complicated math formula that is supposedly used to rate the teachers. The ads also feature a letter from the organization’s president, Michael Mulgrew, in which the president outlines all of the reasons why the data is faulty and should not be relied on. Read the rest of this entry »

School Upgrades in Obama’s Jobs Bill in Jeopardy

2011 American Jobs Act logoLast month, President Obama went before Congress with a $447 billion jobs proposal that included tax cuts and new government spending, all designed to revive an economy that is still festering in a recessionary lull.

While there was some initial conciliatory language from the opposition party — Speaker John A. Boehner said in a statement that “The proposals the president outlined tonight merit consideration” — as one would expect from a town where agreeing is equivalent to sacrilege, the proposal was struck down in the Senate. The bill got 50 votes, well short of the necessary 60 to pass. There were two dissenting Democrats, Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Jon Tester of Montana.

Some economists estimate the bill could create between 1.3 million to 1.9 million jobs in 2012. But it appears all for naught, since it included tax increases on the wealthy, which seemed to get Republicans riled up the most.

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The NEA Supports President Obama’s Campaign for Re-Election in 2012

In early July, 2011, the National Education Association did something a year earlier that no one expected them to do. It was not an overhaul of the public education system nor was it the passing of a new rule that would improve the quality of school lunches. No, instead, the NEA publicly announced their endorsement of President Obama for re-election in 2012.

Representing more than 3,000,000 teachers, the NEA is the largest teachers’ union in the USA. The president of the NEA, Dennis Van Roekel, feels confident that supporting President Obama for re-election will make the organization’s members happy. He feels that the President “shares our vision for a stronger America.”

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Texas Teacher Faces Jail Time for Sleeping with 5 Students

Brittni Nicole Colleps was a teacher at Kennedale High School in Texas. Colleps is a mother of three and her husband is in the military. She seemed like your normal high school English teacher until reports that she had sex with five of her students.

It all began on April 20 when Colleps and her 18-year old student began sending explicit text messages. Six days later, the student came over to Colleps’ home and the two had sex. This set of a series of events that led to Colleps becoming sexually involved with four other students and even videotaping one of the encounters. All of the students were over 18-years of age, but it is still a second-degree felony offense for a teacher to have any type of sexual relationship with his/her students. Colleps was arrested on May 16, 2011; she was released later after posting the $125,000 bail.

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Raising Teachers’ Salaries to Improve Children’s Education

It’s no secret: teachers in the USA are not given the respect they deserve. These are the people who are shaping America’s future, but in many states, they are underpaid for their invaluable services to today’s youth. Now, with President Obama’s desire to improve the quality of education that children in our nation receive, it’s time to step back and take a look at the important role that teachers have in this process.

“Teaching in the U.S. is unfortunately no longer a high-status occupation,” said Andreas Schleicher, who monitors an international achievement test known as Pisa. “Despite the characterization of some that teaching is an easy job, with short hours and summers off, the fact is that successful, dedicated teachers in the U.S. work long hours for little pay and, in many cases, insufficient support from their leadership.”

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The U.S. Should Take Pointers From Top Scoring Education Systems

For many years now, teachers in America have been overlooked for their hard work and passion for educating students. Lately there has been a heavy focus on education practices and teachers in America which has caused education areas to be highlighted.

McGraw-Hill has conducted some research on the most successful education systems in the world. According to their results, raising the status of the teaching profession can make a huge difference in the quality of education that the country’s children receive. The top scoring education systems were found in South Korea, Singapore and Finland. These countries search for top graduates to fill teaching positions. They also offer higher pay and give teachers mentors.

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