GREAT TEACHERS PT. 6: What do you think makes a great teacher?

We put the question to residents around Greater Victoria

  • May. 21, 2014 1:00 p.m.

Experience with grade school teachers is something virtually all of us have in common.

We’ve had good ones, and if we’re really lucky, some great ones who have really clicked with us, inspired us, and maybe even motivated us to dig deeper and work harder.

In this week’s installment of our series on outstanding educators, part of Black Press and Staples’ Great Teachers initiative,supported by Thrifty Foods, we went to the streets to hear what you think makes a great teacher.

When asked what makes a good teacher, Oak Bay resident Jim Branson said, “I think someone willing to invest in the well being of their students.”

Chelsea Murray from Victoria said, “Somebody who can figure out how to make it relevant to you in a way that you care to understand it.”

Tammy Giuseppini from Saanich said, “Someone with understanding, who listens, and somebody who is receptive to everybody’s differences.”

Mike Vardy, from Victoria called a great teacher “Somebody who engages the students on a one-to-one basis  and uses technology to help them with that engagement, as opposed to replacing that engagement.”

Brentwood resident Alicia Moyes believes a great teacher is “someone who is outgoing and adaptable. A person who has the ability to communicate with different types of learners and connect with students on a professional and personal level. Those are the types of teachers I still think about almost 10 years after finishing grade school.”

Sam Zieman works on the West Shore and lives in Sooke. For her, the good ones focus on “Caring about your teaching. Taking pride in what you teach, not just doing it for the money. You can tell the difference.”

Readers have until May 25 to nominate an outstanding individual who is currently teaching grade school. Find the details at

How to nominate your great teachers

• Black Press, Staples and Thrifty Foods encourage you to nominate a grade school teacher you feel is making a difference in the community. From all nominations, one teacher each from the elementary, middle school and secondary levels will be honoured at a gala in June. To nominate, visit and click on Great Teachers. All nominators are entered to win a $50 Thrifty’s gift certificate.

Previous stories in this series:

Special teachers make a difference around Greater Victoria

GREAT TEACHERS PT. 2: Parents appreciate excellence in teaching

GREAT TEACHERS PART 3: Community leaders share their favourite teacher stories

GREAT TEACHERS PART 4: Teaching evolves through technology, flexible approach

GREAT TEACHERS PART 5: Great teachers have an impact: students