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A good teacher knows how hard it is to teach anyone anything.

A good teacher knows how hard it is for a student to learn when motivation is lacking.

A good teacher knows how faulty communication can be on so many occasions.

A good teacher knows how much there is to learn and how little time there is to learn it.

A good teacher knows how to structure the sequence of classroom activities so that they move forward at a proper pace while reviewing what has already been done.

A good teacher knows how often to test their students to find out what has yet to be learned.

A good teacher knows how to keep the classroom clean and safe so that it is conducive to learning.

A good teacher knows how to relate the content of the course to larger issues and questions that must be addressed for proper perspective.

A good teacher reviews the goals and purposes of the course before designing the syllabus: what should my students know and what should they be able to do when the fifteen weeks are over?

A good teacher likes people and understands that everyone is doing the best they can with what little they have been given.

A good teacher knows how to discipline their students with love and understanding.

A good teacher knows how to set guidelines and boundaries that are fair to the students and appropriate for the course.

A good teacher knows how to assess the competencies of their students at the beginning of the semester in order to ascertain whether they are prepared for the work of the course and to project where they might be at the end of the semester.

A good teacher knows how to foster an environment where students feel comfortable asking thoughtful questions.

A good teacher knows that nobody likes to be lectured, but they do like to listen to good stories.

A good teacher knows that all lesson plans must be written in pencil because the course of the lesson will always follow a meandering path as questions arise and new ideas come into play.

A good teacher knows how to foster a feeling of mutual respect among all participants in the learning process.

A good teacher is always learning and growing from the preparation for classes as well as from the experience of teaching.

A good teacher understands how this course relates to the others in the department’s curriculum and makes it fit properly in latitude and longitude.

A good teacher knows that attendance and punctuality are the handmaidens of academic achievement.

A good teacher monitors the condition of the students to determine as early as possible if anyone is in trouble.

A good teacher comes to class on time ready to hit the ground running.

A good teacher knows how important it is to watch the clock so that the lesson comes to a proper end in the last available minute, not seven minutes early.

A good teacher knows just how much of their professional and personal life to share with students so that they appear to be three dimensional scholars and human beings.

A good teacher knows that much of what is learned in class has nothing to do with the subject at hand because we are also responsible for the personal growth and development of our students as people, students, scholars, and citizens.

A good teacher knows that good teachers need good students and good students need good teachers.

A good teacher does not assume that students know how to organize their time, read a book, take notes, study for exams, and write papers.

A good teacher knows that students often learn effectively when working with their fellow students and incorporates that principle in the design of the activities of the course.

A good teacher knows that students need help collecting data, evaluating their findings, synthesizing it, and reporting on it in written form and verbally.

A good teacher knows that the process by which a student arrives at an answer may be more significant than the answer itself.

A good teacher knows how important it is to foster creativity in thought and deed.

A good teacher knows that enthusiasm can be infectious, and when you share your love of the subject with your protégés they will love it too.

A good teacher is never satisfied with the way they taught a particular lesson or even the whole course because there is always room for improvement.  

Stephen Jablonsky
December 25, 2009