Another thread got me thinking-- always a good thing!:lol: I know that no two of us have the same teaching style. But I wonder: just what characteristics do successful teachers have in common? Here's my off-the-top-of-my-head answer, in no particular order. 1) Content knowledge. You can't teach it if you don't know it. And you have to know what came before it in the syllabus and where it's going. You have to be able, where possible, to answer the infamous "when are we going to use this??" questions. You have to be able to come up with alternate explanations when the first one doesn't make sense to a kid. All that means that you need to know your stuff!!! 2) A love for kids. We've all had teachers who loved their material but didn't love kids. The combination didn't lend itself to good classroom management. 3) A good self image. Teaching can be tough on the ego. Good teachers need to be self assured enough that a petulant adolescent doesn't make him or her question his or her career choice. 4) An appreciation for fairness. The absolute worse claim a kid can make is "It's not fair!!!" That smart kid in front who forgets his homework must get the same punishment as the scary kid in the back with the mohawk and the tattoos. Even the good kid will acknowledge to his friends that it's not fair otherwise. 5) Consistency. A teacher who makes a rule today and then makes exceptions tomorrow is going to spend the whole year arguing with her kids. 6) A respect for parents. Like it or not, these parents love and adore these very same kids who challenge our patience. They want their kids to succeed. Even if we disagree heartily in their parenting choices, they deserve our respect and answers to their questions. 7) A respect for administration. I've been lucky enough to work for wonderful administrators. But even poor administrators deserve at least minimal respect. Teachers who choose not to respect those to whom they answer are in for a rough ride. 8) An ability to follow a policy even if they don't agree with it. I'm not talking the big disagreements-- blindly following something you know is wrong. But if a school policy says kids can't eat in class and you allow it, you're not doing your job. And the kids will know it. Even if they love it, they'll know that you can't or won't follow the rules, and they'll be less inclined to follow any rules you do set down. 9) Professionalism. That's kind of a blanket term. But it means, to me at least, doing your job. Returning phone calls to parents. Getting forms to the office in alphabetical order on time. Dressing the part of a teacher, whatever that might mean in your particular work enviornment. Being a presence in the hallways. Stopping in to a noisy class enroute to the faculty room if the classroom teacher is running a bit late. Basically just stepping up to do what needs to be done. 10) Serendipity. The ability to take advantage of those teachable moments when they come along and ditch your hard worked plans. OK-- those are my top 10. What are yours?