The question about what makes a great teacher is an interesting one, particularly as we don’t really know the answer. It is also an important one as much research suggests that the individual teacher is the single most important factor related to impacting learning in the classroom (For example, see Hattie, Visible Learning, 2009). As an IB school, experience teaching in an IB program is an advantage of course for teachers joining our school, along with their breadth of experience, however one of the most important qualities that a teacher can bring to HIS is a genuine interest in the student as a person, as an individual. This is also one of the most important qualities our students look for as you can see in the comments in the video above. Different qualities are needed in different schools. Context is very important, where a certain fit is necessary between the teacher and the school.

At HIS, a teacher needs to value the student rather than the subject area as the primary focus of teaching and learning. Content is extremely important, however it is the individual student’s interactions with the content that drive the teaching and learning process, rather than the content itself.  Checking in with students through consistent formative assessment and adapting the teaching and learning process in response is what this looks like in the classroom. This is what supporting student learning looks like and it starts with knowing the students as individual learners. This is one of the qualities that our teachers at HIS bring to our classrooms.


HIS Teachers – What qualities are important?