My Journey in becoming an Effective        Teacher
By: Aubrey Dietrich

Purpose of Study

My plan for my teacher research project was to look deeper into the qualities of an effective teacher and implement them into my own teaching this semester.

My research questions: What does it means to be an effective teacher? How I can incorporate the qualities of an effective teacher into my own teaching?

My framework for my project is a self-study where I am reflecting on my own teaching along with getting feedback from my teacher and professor on my lessons.


I began by interviewing my cooperating teacher on her thoughts of what it means to be an effective teacher. Then I developed my own list before going into the literature and researching other lists of effective teacher qualities.

Once I had the qualities of an effective teacher, I focused on a few qualities in my teaching and received feedback from my teacher and professor of my lessons.

Then I analyzed all of my data and came up with a list of effective teacher qualities.

Setting and Participants

1st grade classroom at Stonybrook Early Childhood Center

The participants: 19 1st grade students. Ranging in ages from 5-6 years old.

Data Collection

I collected my data over the course of 12 weeks on Tuesdays.

Observation-critical and deliberate watching by the teacher researcher. I received feedback from my teacher and professor of my lessons.

Interviews- teacher researcher asks questions about the project to students, teachers, etc. I conducted a teacher interview on her thoughts of an effective teacher prior to me teaching.

Artifacts- documentation that provides added information about your topic. I collected student work to measure effectiveness after my lessons.

Data Analysis

Feedback from lessons and Personal Reflection notes:

  • Analyzing what went well in my lessons and why as well as suggestions of how the lesson could have gone better. I will align my strengths and suggestions with a quality of an effective teacher.

Comparing Teacher Interview and Literature Lists of Effective Qualities:

  • Finding similarities and differences between all lists of effective teachers from experienced teachers.

Student Artifacts:

  • Measuring my effectiveness by matching whether the students met the objectives and understood the content of the lesson


The data that I was able to collect reveals that my teaching has improved this semester and that my student's work reflect their understanding of my lessons as well as my effectiveness.

Through my analysis of the data I collected here is the list I have compiled.

An effective teacher is on who...

  1. Meets students individual needs
  2. Lesson Planning (knowledge of content and preparation to teach)
  3. Classroom Management
  4. Creates positive relationship with students
  5. Ambition and commitment to teaching


The limitations of my study may include a lack of time to see improvement or definitively see what the essential qualities in an effective teacher are.

I may also not have enough data from student work as I would have liked.


I think that the opportunity to conduct this research project has helped me grow as a teacher and allowed for me to reflect on my own teaching in a more deeper way than if  I were not able to conduct this project.

If I were to conduct this study again, I would have the study span over a longer period of time so that I could see more of a growth in my teaching along with more data. I would also want to teach on a more consistent basis as opposed to once a week. I also feel that video-taping my lessons would be a good source of data as well.

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