chapter  2
3 Pages

What Makes a Good Teacher?

I was named principal of Otwell Middle School, located outside of Atlanta, Georgia, several months prior to the beginning of the school year. The first thing I did after being named was to meet individually with all 100 certified and classified staff. In these individual meetings, I asked each person three questions: (1) What are we already good at? (2) In what ways do we need to improve? and (3) What can you do to help? Although these one-on-one conferences required countless hours of time over several weeks, they provided me with a tremendous amount of information about the school I would be leading. One message that kept coming through as something positive and which teachers bragged about was what they referred to as “doing things the Otwell way.” In a nutshell, this seemed to mean that many folks on staff were prepared to go the extra mile to ensure that each student experienced academic, social, and emotional success.