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What do parents want in a teacher and what can superintendents do about it? Parental opinion on this topic will vary, usually based on context. Parents are often driven to want the opposite characteristics of the last “bad” teacher they experienced. Or, they want to have the best of their child’s greatest prior teachers or the best of their own favorite teachers. Every teacher lands someplace on a spectrum related to the following areas: wisdom, relationships with others, subject and craft knowledge, and use of time.
Following are the desired characteristics followed by questions for superintendents.


  • Does the teacher have a moral compass for dealing with difficult issues?
  • Does the teacher have a sense of purpose in life?
  • Is the teacher a positive role model?
  • Does the teacher know how to stay professional while bringing fun to the classroom?
  • Can the teacher handle stress?
  • Will the teacher take correction well?

Relationships with Others

  • Is the teacher motivational and patient with students, including those needing unusual approaches?
  • Does the teacher see the validity of various perspectives?
  • Does the teacher have high expectations?
  • Is the teacher respected and respectable?Does the teacher stand strong under criticism?
  • Does the teacher allow mistakes?
  • Is the teacher fair?
  • Does the teacher communicate well and know how to authentically and appropriately praise and criticize?
  • Does the teacher love students?
  • Is the teacher humble, positive, and friendly?

Subject Knowledge and Instructional/Craft Knowledge

  • Is the teacher an expert in his or her subject matter?Is the teacher a lifelong learner?
  • Can the teacher present the material in a way that makes sense with less telling and more demonstration?
  • Does the teacher regularly try out and employ new tools?

Use of Time

  • Is the teacher organized and consistent, managing time well?
  • Is the classroom environment positive–a place where students want to spend their time?
  • Are objectives clear?

Three Suggestions for Administrators

First, consider if employment applications and interview questions and processes generate evidence of the presence of these traits in candidates. Second, consider your staff development efforts. Are these characteristics built up in employees through activities and evaluations? Third, consider assessing if these characteristics are fostered or discouraged in the work climate.


(Article taken from Galileo for Superintendents. To learn more about this publication, please visit: www.masterteacher.com/Publications/Publication-for-Superintendents)

Thought for the Week

Finding ways to engage students, increase learning efficiency, and extending recall of what students learn can be a constant quest. Fortunately, designing activities and employing strategies that release the flow of dopamine in our students’ brains can help us to meet this challenge, especially now.

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