I like Al Burr's differentiation of teachers into three groups:
Superstars, Backbones and Mediocres
I discussed this will Mohamed today and he could easily place his teaching staff into one of these three categories.
Superstars (the cream - the top 5 - 10%) - we have 4 or 5.
Backbones (the middle 80 - 90%) - we have 21 in this category.
Mediocres (the foot draggers, the gripers) - we don't have any. Amazing but true. We had some last year but they have moved on.
Mohamed and I also discussed what makes an effective teacher.
This is his answer:
He (we are in a boys' school and all the teachers are male):
- is well prepared;
- uses modern teaching techniques;
- has clear learning objectives for each class;
- ensures success criteria are met;
- is student centred in his approach;
- differentiates to include different learning abilities and styles;
- reinforces good students;
- motivates lower achievers;
- uses co-operative learning techniques, group work;
- reflects on what the students are doing;
- explores his own learning to improve his practice.
Wow - this is a great list.
I then asked him how many of his staff would match this list and he named his four superstar teachers (I would include one other but that's by the by).
The following article is worth reading on what makes a great teacher.