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Vice Principal, Educator - High School

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What is the difference between a good teacher and a great teacher?

I am curious to know what people consider the attributes that separate good from great. I would also like to know what you think would motivate a person who is a good teacher to aspire for that same greatness. Thanks for your ideas!


Closing Statement from Gene Doray

Firstly, I am deeply appreciative of the thoughtful commentaries by all. As both a teacher and an administrator, I have a strong investment in finding out what motivates people to improve their practice. Passion for their subject area? Passion for student success? A combination of both? For me it boils down to the desire to make a positive impact and improve the life chances of all students. I believe it is an honour to have the opportunity to play such an important role in the lives of our children.
When I posed the question, in the back of my mind I was thinking about a quotation that I had heard that sought to explain why we had so few "great schools". It was something like, "the reason we only have a few great schools is that we have so many good ones." The statement first caused me to ponder what traits the speaker used to differentiate the two, but later I focused on the notion of "complacency". So, I wondered "aloud" what it is that causes a person to strive for more. Once again, thanks for sharing your ideas and insights with us all. I apologize for not being involved for the past several weeks as I was enjoying some family time on an island with no computer in sight!

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  • Jul 7 2011: Hi, a good teacher is the one who gives you knowledge regarding a particular field, teach you the tricks of the trade he has mastered. (His will help you a lot in that field, be it academics or arts, martial arts etc. But a great teacher is the onw who, apart from imparting the above knowledge, pushes youforward,teaches you to be independent, level headed, humble, strategic, analytic, calculative,imbibe values and ethics etc. To cut a long story short, a great teacher goes out of the way to impart things other than mere education that enable a person to not only achieve the ultimate success in life but also to become a better human being in life. When you remember a good teacher you think, " he taught me what I know today" whereas, when you remember a great teacher, you think, " He made me What I am today". I had a teacher like this when I was in ix and x grade and still idolize him and now, 6 years later, fresh out of college, I have started as a teacher myself...

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