Best Practice

Outstanding teaching: 31 things that effective teachers do

There are no golden rules about what makes a teacher effective. However, John Dabell offers us 31 traits that he has seen when watching outstanding teachers in action

What qualities does an effective teacher have? Enter the pedagogical hive and there will be colleagues galore buzzing to tell you what’s hot and what’s not.

But “being effective” is elastic – there isn’t a definitive list of platinum behaviours that we can neatly put in a fancy box, decorate with a ribbon and present as a gift to the teaching profession.

Teaching is a constant work in progress. There isn’t a top, we just keep going and find ways to be better. I do have a list though and this is a small collection of what I see as the characteristics of being an effective teacher. They are based on personal experiences and professional observations of hundreds of teachers. Crucially, they are grounded in what students say too.

Register now, read forever

Thank you for visiting SecEd and reading some of our content for professionals in secondary education. Register now for free to get unlimited access to all content.

What's included:

  • Unlimited access to news, best practice articles and podcast

  • New content and e-bulletins delivered straight to your inbox every Monday and Thursday


Already have an account? Sign in here