Calling Attention to Unsung Teacher Heroes

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

To the Editor:

Jeffrey Newport’s recent Commentary, “In Praise of Teachers” (Oct. 5, 2011), salutes the unsung heroes in education: great teachers.

Coincidentally, the very same week that Mr. Newport’s article appeared in Education Week, I asked my graduate students to write a paper entitled: “Who Was Your Most Effective Teacher and Why?”

Each time I assign this paper, students identify the following traits of their most effective teachers: teaching for understanding, connecting new learning to students’ daily lives, tapping students’ critical-thinking skills by asking provocative questions, encouraging students with meaningful comments on their written work, maintaining high expectations, keeping classroom momentum, building relationships, caring, inspiring, showing passion for their subject. The most frequently mentioned attributes of great teachers, according to my students, are building relationships and caring.

Mr. Newport’s essay shows us that great teachers care so much that they spend more time at school, and when they are at school, they are constantly engaged with their students. Mr. Newport reminds us that great teachers communicate often with parents, collect information about their students and use it to improve teaching and learning, seek ongoing professional development, and strive to meet the needs of diverse learners. Great teachers do all of this and more. They impact the lives of their students so that one day their students will remember how important they were to their growth and development.

Phyllis Gimbel
Associate Professor
Secondary Education and Professional Programs
Bridgewater State University
Bridgewater, Mass.

Vol. 31, Issue 10, Page 22

Published in Print: November 2, 2011, as Calling Attention to Unsung Teacher Heroes
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories