EDITOR’S NOTE: Writing club students at Halifax County Middle School, working under the auspices of Tiffany Whitlow, submitted for publication the following letters to the editor describing what makes a “great” teacher. The students wrote the letters during National Education Week.


To the editor:

There are many things that make a perfect teacher. Being respectful is one of the qualities of being a good teacher. Teachers should be passionate about their job. Teachers should also know about class management. They should know how to handle their class and not let their class look like a circus.

The teacher should know knowledge about the subject they teach. The teacher shouldn’t put pressure on the students. They should make the class a little bit fun and not stressful for the students. They should know grading skills. A teacher should be reasonable. 

A teacher’s classroom should be clean and organized. Their attention should be on the students. Teachers need to make sure that every student understands everything about the subject. Teachers should help students setting a goal for themselves. The teachers should encourage their students.

Nidhi Patel 

South Boston


To the editor:

Some kids and teens dislike teachers and complain about them all the time. They never say what a perfect teacher is like. A great teacher is caring, a good caring teacher is key. Caring for students is good, because students will know that they care about them and respect you more. Teachers should care about students. 

Teachers should not give up on students. If they do, that’s not a teacher. Teachers teach you until you are successful. Some teachers give up on students and make them feel worthless and not try and help them reach their goal. Students are already given up on and have people who give up on them. Students who know someone who isn’t giving up on them is good and can encourage them not to give up on their goals. 

Reviewing is a good thing that teachers should do more than giving us a lot of worksheets and putting grades in if that majority is bad. I think reviewing stuff in class helps students and improves their grades. Some teachers barely review and just give us tests too fast. 

I think students would be more successful and appreciate teachers more. 

China Johnson



To the editor:

A good teacher is someone who makes students do their work and knows how to balance work with fun to keep things interesting. Another thing that makes a good teacher is having the patience to handle the rougher students. When a teacher can deal with kids calmly and swiftly, it helps everyone in the classroom stay focused, and it also makes the student respect that teacher. It also helps for a teacher to know how to effectively use sarcasm to defuse situations.

One teacher that uses sarcasm to keep his class under control is my math teacher. It might not sound like an effective strategy, but students these days listen better to teachers that don’t seem to be strict. The teachers who helped me most were always funny but kept the class on track.

 When a teacher can effectively control their class and defuse tense situations quickly while still being kind and keeping the class fun, I would consider them a great teacher.

Nathan Lucas 

Vernon Hill


To the editor:

What makes a great teacher? A great teacher is prepared, has a positive attitude and teaches with passion. Good traits of a teacher to have is kindness, respect, confidence and class management. Teachers make a difference in our young lives. Saying yes to everything isn’t always the way.

Teachers should always have these good traits no matter what is going on in their lives. Be respectful to everyone. If you want respect, be the bigger person and give respect. When your class is out of hand don’t lose your temper. 

Kindness is a pleasant concern for others. Treat people the way you would want to be treated, be approachable and friendly. 

If you have a negative, bad attitude, the class is affected by it, and it puts us, the children, in a bad mood. 

Class management is a big key. Teachers should come to school prepared and organized. They could take time and put the SOL objectives on the board. 

Discipline is needed, and new teachers shouldn’t be so nice on us and write up kids that are a distraction to the students trying to learn. 

Teachers should set goals and expectations based on the class and should meet his/her goals and expectations and love what you do and be a leader.

Do you know what makes a great teacher? Teachers should show leadership. Does your teacher show the qualities? If not tell them, you are a good teacher, but I know you can do better. 

Make a difference in somebody’s life.

MeSharlia Fountain