I’m in search not of the perfect teacher but of the wonderful teacher.

And my search has been fruitful.

I’ve met Magda, who doesn’t sit with the other teachers in the shade during recess. Instead, she plays basketball with the students, giggling and patting heads and giving high fives to accompany her encouraging words for students.

Magda, who spends her afternoons tutoring children during the school’s open homewok help hours.

Magda, who uses her weekends to lesson plan and find opportunities for her students to compete with other schools in reading and English.
Magda, who is theatrical and inspired and dedicated.


I know Yamel, who is a mother to her second graders and seeks ways to teach Charlie and Jose, even though they’re terrfied of failing and would rather not risk embarrasment in order to learn. She understands that there is always something tender, human and understandable behind misbehavior.

I know Mary, who sits on the classroom floor every morning to tell bible stories to her first grade students. When she tells the story of Jonah, she has one student tell the story to her classmates and has another interpret what that could mean for his life. She asks another student comprehension questions, involving vocabulary and using real life examples to clarify confusing parts. She moves on to tell of Zacchaeus in the sycamore tree, waiting to see Jesus. She then switches gears to some well-known fables like Hansel and Gretel and puts her students to sing their favorite song about the two siblings as a way to respond to the story.

Tell us about your wonderful teacher! Which qualities identify him or her as wonderful?


The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.

William A. Ward