Part of being an effective teacher involves fine-tuning your people skills. But the knack for getting along with all the different personality types among your students, colleagues, and parents doesn't happen overnight. It takes patience, on-the-job-experience, and self-evaluation to gain a comfortable rapport with people you deal with on a professional basis. Consider keeping a teaching journal track your insights and improvements. This checklist will help you assess your style and pinpoint areas where there is room for growth.

In the Classroom

  • Do I accept each student as he or she is?

  • Do I help all students feel they belong?

  • Do I show confidence in my students?

  • Do I let my students know I like them?

  • Do I make each student feel he or she has something to contribute?

  • Do my students bring their problems to me?

  • Do I help students accept one another?

  • Do I live up to agreements with students?

  • Do I succeed in getting everyone to assume some responsibility?

  • Do I help the group form a behavior code?

Outside of the Classroom

  • Do I try to develop faculty cooperation?

  • Do I do my share in determining and carrying out school policies?

  • Do I aid colleagues with constructive ideas?

  • Do I accept ideas from others?

  • Do I refrain from interfering with the classroom affairs of colleagues?

  • Do I refrain from shifting my responsibilities to other teachers?

  • Do I maintain confidentiality about my students?

  • Do I transact school business through the proper channels?

  • Do I avoid petty conversations about my colleagues?

  • Do I maintain confidentiality about my colleagues?

With Parents and Community

  • Do I maintain friendly, cooperative relationships with parents?

  • Do I hold all information confidential?

  • Do parents feel sure that I deal justly and impartially with every child?

  • Do I give all parents their fair share of time?

  • Do I present a complete, fair, and meaningful evaluation to parents?

  • Do I listen to and give fair thought to parents' opinions?

  • Do I take an active part in community life?

Ethical Standards

  • Do I treat each student without prejudice and partiality?

  • Do I respect the confidence of a student? Of a group of students?

  • Do I refuse to use my position to promote partisan policies and sectarian views?

  • Do I listen to and weigh parents' viewpoints carefully?

  • Do I avoid making remarks that might discredit parents?

  • Do I support a school policy once it has been determined?

  • Am I kind, tolerant, and loyal in my dealings with professional associates?

  • Do I take pride in the achievements of my colleagues?

  • Do I criticize with discretion?

  • Am I proud of my profession? 


This article was adapted from Learning to Teach...Not Just for Beginners: The Essential Guide for All Teachers by Linda Shalaway (© 2005, Scholastic).