The Mark of a Good Teacher

I enjoy the TechnoSpud blog and came across her comments about the end of the school year:

And that is how I am ending my school year as well. I think that I grumbled a bit more than I needed to but as I look back at the final product of what I have accomplished in the last 10 years at my job, I stop and say “ooh and ahhh” and am pleased with the results.

I hope you feel the same with your teaching!!!

I just had to comment because I had a great conversation with a colleague whom I greatly respect that reminded me of the up and down struggles that are reflected in her comments. Here is a summary of my comments to Kathy's post:

I had asked my teacher friend, Clara Williams, who is a veteran teacher of 30 years if she ever stopped doubting herself at the end of the year and if she ever could sleep the day before school started. She has been teaching Middle School English in both public and private schools for over thirty years. This is what she said to me:

“I have never met a good teacher who did not wonder at the end of the year if they had taught the kids everything they needed. I also have not met a good teacher who did not feel anxiety before school started!

“If you stop worrying, you've lost the passion that makes you a good teacher. A good teacher always wonders if she or he can do more for their students.” She continued, “I still do not sleep the week before school starts and I still get nauseated the first day of school.”

She concluded, “Be glad, Vicki, that you have that feeling in your gut, that tells me you're doing a good job!”

Mrs. Clara has been my mentor and friend for the last four years of teaching. Every time she thinks about retiring, she remembers how much she loves it and she keeps on doing it. We give her the sixth grade homeroom every year because she is so good with helping children adapt to their first year of middle school. We call her “Mama Clara” for a reason.

She inspired me to blog and to push ahead and do more. She is not afraid of blogging and wants to add it to her classroom. She is never afraid and always doing more. She is kind to everyone. She is encouraging. She teaches other teachers as well as her children. What a legacy she leaves if she ever stops teaching. (Please more years!)

What kind of legacy are you leaving? As we tell the new story, we need to share stories of teachers like Mrs. Clara who have the students first in their minds and a good education in their sights.

I look forward to seeing what she and I will do together next year now that I've gotten my feet wet in the read/write Web!

Who inspires you? Do you still have that passion for teaching? Are you dreaming of ways to make things better this summer?

Never miss an episode

Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit
Picture of Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

All Posts »


Stephanie Sandifer June 6, 2006 - 3:01 am

> Who inspires you?

The students — always

> Do you still have that passion for teaching?

Absolutely! It’s addictive!

> Are you dreaming of ways to make things better this summer?

You better believe it!!!!!


Jeanie Lee June 6, 2006 - 8:19 am

Thanks for saying that teachers should worry. It is something heartening to read in an otherwise pragmatic world that we live in.

Vicki A. Davis June 6, 2006 - 11:42 am


That is so wonderful!


I guess I shared it because for the last four years of teaching teenagers (I taught adults for five years before that) I thought there was something wrong with me because I worried. And I’m not talking worry like a debilitating, upsetting worry, but rather that butterflies in the pit of my stomach, “Can I do this?” kind of worry.

I do not want anyone else to go through my guilt of the last four years as I have worried before school started and after it ended.

As a student I used to lay awake the night before school started wondering if I could do it. What I didn’t know is that many of my teachers were also laying awake at night wondering the same thing!

Good luck to both of you!

Nausea Remedies October 24, 2010 - 12:04 am

This is so interested! Where can I find more like this?

Comments are closed.

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
Update Required Flash plugin