Teaching Profession Letter to the Editor

Calling Attention to Unsung Teacher Heroes

October 31, 2011 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

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.

A version of this article appeared in the November 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as Calling Attention to Unsung Teacher Heroes


Student Well-Being Webinar After-School Learning Top Priority: Academics or Fun?
Join our expert panel to discuss how after-school programs and schools can work together to help students recover from pandemic-related learning loss.
Budget & Finance Webinar Leverage New Funding Sources with Data-Informed Practices
Address the whole child using data-informed practices, gain valuable insights, and learn strategies that can benefit your district.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
ChatGPT & Education: 8 Ways AI Improves Student Outcomes
Revolutionize student success! Don't miss our expert-led webinar demonstrating practical ways AI tools will elevate learning experiences.
Content provided by Inzata

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Teaching Profession Summer Jobs Have Become an (Unwelcome) Tradition for Many Teachers
Many teachers rely on summer as a time to earn much-needed extra income.

4 min read
Image of a computer at a desk with "Job Search" in the search window.
Syuzanna Guseynova/iStock/Getty + EdWeek
Teaching Profession Opinion The Teacher Who Inspired Me to Be Who I Am Today
It wasn’t until 10th grade that a teacher truly saw me for the first time.
Raj Tawney
3 min read
Surreal art of dream success and hope concept, a man in a grey environment looks through an open door into a bright colorful exterior
Jorm Sangsorn/iStock
Teaching Profession Opinion Teacher Stress Is Not Inevitable
But first we need to stop expecting teachers to be Band-Aids for system inequalities. Sacrifice shouldn't be part of the job.
Kristabel Stark, Kathryn Meyer & Elizabeth Bettini
4 min read
Illustration of teachers and students.
Mary Haasdyk Vooys for Education Week<br/>
Teaching Profession Dear Administrators: Here Are 7 Things Teachers Want You to Know
Teachers offer unvarnished advice about how administrators can make them feel heard and respected.
6 min read
Image of someone balancing happy, sad, and neutral emojis.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty