AACTE InTouch: ‘What Makes a Good Teacher?’

Did you know AACTE produces a mini-documentary series called AACTE InTouch? These brief videos inform the public about educator preparation and ways to advocate for, get involved in, and support the education profession.

The series educates viewers on how effective teachers are prepared and showcases successes and challenges in educator preparation. The video content is designed to align with the Association’s key messages focused on quality, advocacy, partnerships, and innovation. Featuring a variety of topics and layered storytelling, the series helps viewers understand the critical issues in educator preparation, feel connected to AACTE’s mission, and learn about innovations in the field.

In the first segment, “What Makes a Good Teacher?” which debuted at the 2017 AACTE Annual Meeting, expert educators discuss key elements of teacher quality. Although effective educators don’t all look the same, they do share several common characteristics, notes Seth Parsons, associate professor in the Elementary Education and Literacy Program at George Mason University (VA).

“Good teachers create warm, caring, collaborative environments. Effective teachers know that nothing beats a good model, and students need lots of scaffolding,” says Parsons. “Effective teachers give students opportunities to make choices—give students the opportunity to talk to one another. They use explicit teaching and direct teaching as well as give students authentic opportunities to engage in extended projects where they collaborate together on open-ended tasks.”

Harmony Tahy, U.S. history teacher at Walt Whitman Middle School in Fairfax, Virginia, says good teaching should help students become lifelong learners and equip them with critical 21st-century thinking skills. “It is more important to me that my kids, my students, can find the answer that they need than it is for them to pull it out of their head,” she says.

Visit the AACTE Video Wall to watch the first segment of the AACTE InTouch series, and stay tuned for new segments coming soon.

Please feel free to use the videos in this series to help spread the word about the positive work happening in educator preparation. Share the video link by e-mail or on social media with colleagues, state education leaders, legislators, news reporters, parents, students, and others in your local community!

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Jerrica Thurman

Director of Marketing & Communications, AACTE