What it means to be a skillful teacher


While the popular media often portray good teachers as charismatic “sages on the stage,” skillful teaching is a sophisticated cognitive process in an intensely interpersonal environment whose most fundamental activities are less dramatic and often invisible to the casual observer.

Skillful teaching requires:

• designing meaningful lessons that engage and ultimately ensure success for all students;

• developing a highly-nuanced professional judgment informed by both “hard” and “soft” evidence to assess student learning and to determine the most appropriate teaching methods;

• applying emotional intelligence and human relations skills with students, parents, and colleagues in complex and ever-changing circumstances;

• engaging in professional learning and collaboration with colleagues to continuously improve teaching and learning; and

• managing personal energy and time to enable vitality both in school and at home.

What have I missed?

4 Responses to “What it means to be a skillful teacher”

  1. 1 Jody March 9, 2016 at 7:43 am

    With so much use of data to inform instruction, and the ever-increasing use of online resources for information, practice, and assessment, teachers need to have knowledge and skill in the selection and use of those resources.

  2. 3 Peggy Dickerson March 9, 2016 at 10:47 am

    I support student teachers as they venture into this world of “skillful teaching.” Your “bulleted” indicators encompass heart, hand, and head of teaching – SO VERY COMPLEX.

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