* An outstanding teacher inspires. They don't simply convey information. They grow greatness in each student academically, socially, and personally.
* An outstanding teacher has great classroom management. The culture and atmosphere of their classroom environment allows for more learning and less managing.
* An outstanding teacher is organized. There are so many balls to juggle as a teacher. If balls are falling everywhere from disorganization, it has the potential to interfere with student learning.
* An outstanding teacher constantly reflects. They can verbalize what they can improve upon, as well as what they're doing well. They also know why they're doing what they're doing.
* An outstanding teacher is a gatekeeper. They stand at the door of their classroom and protect their students from unhealthy practices. They don't allow something in the door simply because everyone else is doing it.
* An outstanding teacher never stops growing. They don't allow themselves the satisfaction of thinking they know it all. They pursue their own professional development.
* An outstanding teacher has high expectations. They know what their students have the potential to do both academically and behaviorally and teach their students from day one the habits of reaching those expectations.
* An outstanding teacher strives for real-world instruction. There's authenticity, meaning, and purpose to what they ask of their students.
Again, what are the qualities of an outstanding teacher? It's a perfect question to ask possible new additions to a school staff, especially considering the correlation between teacher quality and student achievement. It's also a great question to ponder as someone who's been doing this job for 20 years. There are days, weeks, or maybe even months when being outstanding seems like a lofty goal, but these qualities remind me that several little people are counting on me to strive to be at the top of my game at all times.