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The Job Description

November 14, 2012

It’s hard to be a great teacher. Lesson planning, grading, communication with parents plus lunch duty and taking attendance. It just never ends…

The responsibilities list for a teacher at my school is long. We expect so many things from them including continual professional growth and innovation. But I think the most important responsibility for any teacher is simple – modeling good character for the students.

It doesn’t matter to me how great your lessons are planned, if you don’t treat others with compassion, care, and respect you cannot be a good teacher. It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how excited you are about solving equations, you cannot be a good teacher if students can overhear you gossiping about other teachers in the hallways.

In 2000 I read the book “The Teachers are Watching” by Ted and Nancy Sizer and it changed my life.  Students watch everything you do – not just your teaching.  So in addition to the laundry list of responsibilities on the job description, it is all of the things assumed and implied in the character of being a teacher that matter the most.


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