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What makes a great teacher?

We asked more than 9,000 kids and teens, and here are the top three answers:

  1. The teacher explains things well and makes the subject interesting. (33%)
  2. The teacher is funny and has a lot of personality. (25%)
  3. The teacher is interested in what students have to say. (9%)

Other answers rated high, depending on the age of the student. About 3,000 teens took the poll and 13% said they appreciate teachers who go beyond the classroom and help with stuff other than classwork, like career planning.

About 6,000 younger kids took the poll and 25% said they like a teacher who's patient, understanding, and willing to answer questions. Charlotte said her favorite teacher is known as "Mrs. Frog" because she does a good frog impression. And Mrs. Frog is very encouraging. "She always gives you 'Good Job' notes when you do something that impresses her," Charlotte said.

Chayna loved the way her 5th grade teacher joked all the time. And he knew when to look the other way. "When my friend and I were passing notes, he looked at me but the thing is he IGNORED us passing notes!!"

The poll also gave teachers a say, asking "What Makes a Great Student?" About 3,600 teachers said these were the top qualities in kids and teens:

  1. The student is willing to try his/her best every day. (26%)
  2. The student is willing to ask questions when he/she doesn't understand. (14%)
  3. The student is polite and respectful to the teacher. (14%)

Do you do those things every day? If not, maybe you should start!

Teachers also praised students who are positive, organized, and kind to other students. Kids may like funny teachers, but do teachers like students with a sense of humor? Only 7% said yes, and they included a condition: They said they like students who are funny, but not disruptive.

Want to create a great relationship with your teacher? Try these tips:

  • Work hard every day by completing homework and participating in class.
  • Ask questions whenever you don't understand something. If you feel shy during class, ask after class or set up a time to meet.
  • Be polite and respectful all the time. That means "please" and "thank you," of course. Also follow class rules such as listening when another student is talking, taking turns, or raising a hand instead of shouting out.

You'll find it easier to be teacher-pleasing and do your best if you're well-fed, well-rested, and organized, so don't forget these back-to-school rules:

Sleep: Get to bed on time. You should feel rested when you wake up.

Breakfast: You'll have more energy and do better in school if you eat a good breakfast.

Cheat sheets: Write down important info so you don't forget locker combinations, class schedules, bus numbers, etc.

Schedule: Use a wall calendar or personal planner to record important dates, such as when assignments are due, tests will be given, extracurricular practices and rehearsals will be held, etc.

Night-before routines: Get organized the night before by setting out everything you need. Homework and books should be put in their backpacks by the door. Pack your lunch and have it in the fridge (or set aside your lunch money). Your whole outfit — shirt, pants, socks, shoes, belt — should be in your bedroom ready to go. Then you can dress and dash. You don't want to be late, especially for the first day of school!


HI!! I'm so excited to be mid-week blogging like old times! 

I had a chance to snap a few pictures after school today and wanted to share a homework management system that has been a huge help for me this year! 

I owe it all to the fabulous Kristine, from Young Teacher Love (have you seen all of her Common Core math goodies?! Incredible!). Kristine has written very helpful posts on this system (with homework management printables): In Love! and Amazing Idea for Homework Management.

With this system, each student has a space to turn in their homework...a space the teacher can see very easily to quickly check for homework that has been turned in! Kind of an at-a-glance accountability system...

(It's a also great visual reminder to pass in homework for students who arrive at different times during the morning).

So, to set this up, I used some of those clear binder pockets and hot glued them to the wall (this is something I've done in the past to display books in my class). I used two dots of glue at the top edges of the pocket and left the bottom hanging free. I've only had one fall off (pretty sure my fingers were all burny and hot-glued-out at that point, leading to a bad gluing job!) but the others have stayed on nicely.

I like the clear pockets because they don't really stand out too much. They also make it really easy to see when they are filled with homework...

(that's just a blank paper, but you get the idea!).

And that's it! Between this homework system and the student numbering system in general, my teaching life has been SO much easier this year! Thank you Kristine and thanks bloggy friends!!

What are some management techniques you use for homework?

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