What Makes a Good Teacher? Cover

What Makes a Good Teacher?

Thirteen traits to nurture in the 21st century classroom

  • Original and inspiring perspectives on central professional development issues
  • Grounded in 30 years of experience of teaching and professional development
  • Diverse, accessible and practical strategies for use in the classroom.

What Makes a Good Teacher? offers 13 answers - or 13 characteristics that in combination can produce a quality teacher. These characteristics reflect the educational epoch in which teachers practise today while also recognising that some elements of good teaching are timeless. This thought-provoking resource encourages you to look afresh at the teaching landscape and your own teaching practice.

Ages: 5-17 | Pages: 48 | Code: 0267 | ISBN: 9781877390623

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Picture of John Hellner

John Hellner

John Hellner, a self-confessed "humorologist", has taught or worked as a teacher-educator in New Zealand secondary schools from 1975 to 2009. A former head of history at Auckland Grammar and deputy principal at Orewa College, he delivered the University of Waikato Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Secondary) at Tauranga. He is currently working at Overseas Family School in Singapore. John has published articles on education, and he believes humour is vital in a teacher-student relationship, which enhances learning.


Introduction: the game has changed4
Good teachers demonstrate competence6
Bread and butter6
Seven teacher behaviours that improve student achievement (that we already know)8
Good teachers work hard at being good and getting better11
Save power – re-energise professional learning11
Good teachers convey passion14
It's urgent14
Good teachers care16
The gracious heart16
Be firmer!18
Good teachers model positive character traits, attitudes and values20
When bad taste is good taste20
Good teachers are mentally and physically robust22
Never give up22
The stuff teachers deal with23
Good teachers teach people first and curriculum second25
Unwritten lessons25
What's our job?27
Good teachers lead29
Leader of leaders29
Storyteller, humorist and teacher31
Good teachers are relational32
Classroom relationships32
The "good guy"34
Good teachers move out of their comfort zone36
Risk taking teachers37
Good teachers use judgement39
Videotaping Judgement Day39
Good teachers reflect42
Learning teaching42
Good teachers teach ennobling thoughts45
The ennobling thought46