At Creative Education, we run a wide range of courses aimed at building on teachers’ existing skills so they can take their ‘good’ practice and turn it into ‘outstanding’ practice. Which got me to thinking – When did good teaching stop being good enough?
When I asked my Twitter Followers whether they thought good teaching was good enough, I got some pretty cogent and insightful responses. The general point of view was that whilst being consistently good may be good enough, we need to be aiming higher:
@MissSMitch: “ I think that good teaching consistently is good enough because pupils will perform outstandingly if they make good progress but if you settle for ‘good’ there is a danger that your standards will slip”
@SebisBashi: “Being reflective with a view to improve makes good teaching. There is always something which could be better”
The Ofsted English Dictionary
We all strive to be outstanding in everything we do in school. It seems only outstanding is truly good enough now. I think perhaps Ofsted have their own special dictionary and the definitions run something like this:
Satisfactory: “Inadequate. You should be ashamed of yourself”
Good: “Simply not good enough”
Outstanding: “Mythical status of greatness which you should constantly strive towards”
Ofsted provide us with plenty of food for thought about what makes an outstanding teacher. There are more rubrics on the topic than you can shake a stick at – but is there a danger that sometimes we can worry too much about ticking the appropriate boxes and lose the spark and creativity that in my mind set apart the great teachers of my own school days from those that were simply good?
What Makes a Teacher Great?
When I discussed what makes a GREAT (oh okay Ofsted, ‘Outstanding’) teacher, I got a really wide range of responses on Twitter. It seems greatness is not easy to achieve but if it looks like this then I’m pretty sure it is worth striving for:
@CarterHeadTeach: “Great teachers always look to improve, innovate, challenge. And have total passion for kids. Great teachers are born, good teachers are created.
@FrankCrawford: “A great teacher 1. Listens and thinks 2. Makes sure you understand 3. Likes teaching kids.”
@Artrix2010: “great teachers show passion, demonstrate excellent communication and feel trusted & valued by their colleagues.”
But I also got the following response
@STEMClubs “I’m sorry but I’m not feeling the love for this question. Implies that good teachers aren’t good enough.”
Which brings us back to the initial question – Is ‘good’ teaching good enough or should we always be aiming higher?
Is ‘good’ teaching good enough?
What makes a great teacher?
Can focusing on ticking the ‘outstanding’ boxes stand in the way of innovative and inspiring teaching?
JUNIOR BLOGGERS – what do YOU think makes a great teacher?