A week after an excerpt from Elizabeth Green’s new book, Building A Better Teacher, appeared in The New York Times (Why Do Americans Stink at Math?), another excerpt was the cover story of Parade Magazine — How To Build A Better Teacher.

In it, she lists what she says education researchers have found to be five things “great teachers do differently.”

She makes some great points, along with a couple that I think don’t quite hit the mark:

1. They can right a wrong. — She nailed this one:


2. They never say “Shhh!”

I’m not as positive about Doug Lemov’s techniques as Ms. Green sounds likes like she is, and I’m not convinced that this is a key part of what makes a good teacher “great.” Perhaps, though, it might be more relevant to younger children than in high school, where I teach.

3. They encourage deeper thinking. — She nailed this one, too — we need to ask better questions (see The Best Posts & Articles About Asking Good Questions).

4. They “cold call”—with ­purpose

Yes, cold-calling can be very valuable, but Ms. Green doesn’t clearly highlight the accompanying element that’s necessary to make it effective — wait time.

5. They show more than they tell. — yes, “making your thinking visible” — Bulls-eye!

Her Parade piece is definitely worth reading. I’m looking forward to reading her book, plus, she’s agreed to answer a few questions for my Ed Week Teacher column. Look for it in the future.