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When you think back to your schooling, you will likely remember teachers that made a impact on your life. Maybe they were really passionate about their subject area, or believed in your ability when others didn’t.Your son spends six or more hours a day, five days a week, with his teachers. Spending so much time together means he will most likely be influenced by them and probably find one or two that become role models.

Are your son’s teachers passionate and accomplished? It’s important to know how to identify these traits; here’s what to look for according to Professor John Hattie. Passionate and accomplished teachers are those who:

Work collaboratively to understand their impact

Teachers who work collaboratively and collectively with others, rather than merely teaching to the curriculum make the most impact. This is a sign that your son’s teachers are passionate and deeply invested in his education and future.

Understand clearly where the student is at

Great teachers know where their students’ starting points are and they meet them there. They are passionate about taking students with them on an educational journey, rather than lecturing from the front of the classroom. Such teachers have a deep understanding of how students learn.

Encourage mistakes as an opportunity to learn

Great teachers know that mistakes are an opportunity to learn. They focus on developing a way of thinking and reasoning that emphasises problem solving. By taking a ‘wrong’ turn, they understand that students can then analyse the situation, experiment with different ideas and find their own way to a solution.

Look for feedback to increase their impact

Passionate and accomplished teachers seek feedback on their teaching. They understand that to be effective, students need to trust and respect them, and the importance of two-way communication. Great teachers also regularly take part in professional development activities to increase their impact. By looking for feedback, they teach students that receiving feedback is a necessary part of learning.

Project their enthusiasm for their learning area

Do you remember those teachers whose passion for their subject was contagious? It’s difficult not to get swept up in their enthusiasm. Look for that kind of passion in your son’s teachers. If it’s there, your son will likely talk about it at home; passionate teachers make such an impact that they often become topics of conversation.


Choosing a school with passionate and accomplished teachers is important if you want your son to have access to quality education. To learn more about choosing a school, download our ebook.


The Scots College is a proud member of the following associations.

The Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust T/A The Scots College, Sydney Australia
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William Elder


Mr Alan Elder was born in Scotland and migrated to Australia with his parents at a young age. He attended The Scots College for all his schooling, graduating in 1944. He played 1st XI Cricket and was a member of the College Cadet Unit. After leaving school Mr Elder studied accountancy and retained a life-long love of the College, especially the Pipes and Drums. Mr Elder never married, however the significant bequest he left will allow his Scots family to remember him through the Lang Walker Business Centre.