Handbook for Qualities of Effective Teachers
Publication Type:Web Article
Year of Publication:2004
Cossondra George, a Michigan teacher, writes that this book focuses on six main qualities: prerequisites of effective teachers, the teacher as a person, classroom management, organizing for instruction, implementing instruction, and monitoring student progress and potential. It stresses the importance of professional development.
Citation: Hindman, J.L., Stronge, A.H. & Tucker, P.D. (2004). Handbook for qualities of effective teachers. Alexandria, VA: ASCD.
By Ames H. Stronge, Pamela D. Tucker and Jennifer L. Hindman
2004 (226 pages/paperback)
for Supervision and Curriculum Development
$29.95 ($22.95 for members)
Reviewed by Cossondra George
Middle School Math
The first sentence of the introduction of this book hooked me:
"Most teacher do not want to be just good teachers, they want to
be great teachers." (NWREL, 2001) This book sets out to show good teachers how to do exactly that: become great teachers. It is an easy- to-read, easy-to-use
handbook with practical steps any teacher can use to improve
Each chapter displays the key information both in text and in graphics.
The chapters focus on six main qualities:
•Prerequisites of effective teachers
• The teacher as a person
• Classroom management and organization
• Organizing for instruction
• Implementing instruction
• Monitoring student progress and potential
This handbook would benefit any classroom teacher, but would also
be a terrific resource for mentors, coaches, or administrators
who are trying to help teachers improve their instructional
Among the prerequisites for effective teachers, verbal
ability struck me as particularly important:
Teachers make connections with their students, colleagues, and
students' families through words and actions. Effective
teachers know their students and how to communicate with
them, both individually and collectively.
While this may seem obvious to some teachers, other teachers need
pointers in how to effectively achieve this goal. This handbook
offers practical strategies for improving these skills.
Another interesting point made about effective teachers was the content
knowledge they possess. Teachers tend to specialize in
areas which interest them personally, which carries over into
the classroom in their enthusiasm for that topic. Students
benefit because the teacher is not only an expert in the area
of instruction, but also provides insights into the study
of that topic from their own personal perspective.
Professional development is a topic of utmost importance according
to this handbook:
...(T)eachers need the opportunity to work with others (e.g., coaches,
mentor, experts) to enhance teacher effectiveness through
sharing as this provides a forum for collaboration and
I think teachers intuitively know they need time to work with
others to improve instruction but it is meaningful to have
this laid out in the text. This could be used to convince
administration of the need for such networking opportunities.
The handbook is full of useful tools, including teacher inventories,
reflection logs, goal setting templates, time on task charts,
questioning lists, curriculum map samples, etc. There are
endless ideas for easy ways to focus a teacher's improvement
goals to his/her own particular situation. These forms vary
from the very simple blank lesson plan to the more complex
questioning techniques analysis chart. There is truly something
for every level of teacher to use in most any situation.
Each chapter starts with a short story about a teacher in a real-life
school situation. This scene sets the stage for that particular
chapter and how the skills addressed in that chapter apply
to a real school setting. This humanizes the information and
makes it more user-friendly, making the reader feel they are
not alone in their struggles to improve.
For each concept, the authors offer supporting research and additional
resources. I see this as a book which should be on every teacher's
desk, close at hand where they can easily pick it up and look
for ways to improve their teaching practice.
This book encourages the teacher to be self-reflective, seek
out others who can support their improvement efforts, and
to constantly be looking for ways to change and grow as
an educator. It's the kind of book that teachers will refer
to over and over again throughout their careers.