Your child’s teachers will become very important people to your family, so it’s important to think about what teacher qualities are most important to you. Do you want teachers who are highly educated and experienced? Do you want them to hold certain degrees? Do you want them to be diverse by age, background, or gender? Do you want them to have been at the school a long time? Consider which of these traits seem most important for your child—kind, nurturing, strict, reassuring, flexible, enthusiastic, laid-back, excited, creative, energetic, calming, collaborative, organized, fair, independent—and develop your own wish list.Your child’s teachers will become very important people to your family, so it’s important to think about what teacher qualities are most important to you.
Meeting a few teachers can be a great way to get a sense of what a school prioritizes in its teaching staff and how this matches your preferences. Some schools list their educators and include their qualifications and backgrounds on their websites. If you take a personal or virtual tour, you may be able to chat with some teachers or get a feel for their style by viewing their classrooms. Parents of current students may also share their experiences with the teachers.
If you can observe a class or two, note how the teachers interact with the children. Do teachers want kids to raise their hands and take turns, or are interactions more free-wheeling and informal? Are the teachers involved during recess and playtime, or do they stand to the side chatting with each other? Do the teachers bend, sit, or kneel to get on the children’s level physically, or do they remain standing? Are there smiles and laughs, or are there frowns and corrections? If a student looks uncertain, sad, or lonely, what do the teachers do about it? Such observations can help you understand what kind of student-teacher relationship you can expect in that program.
- What process do you go through to hire your teachers? How do you support newly-hired teachers?
- What are your priorities in hiring teachers, in terms of degrees, previous teaching experience, and special qualifications or qualities?
- How long do your teachers stay at your school?