Below are seven of the ten characteristics of star teachers. As you review each characteristic, think about whether you possess the characteristic.

Characteristics of a Star Teacher Self-Reflection

Core Characteristics Response
Yes = 1 No = 0

Approach to at-risk student

  • Regardless of adversity, it is their responsibility to ignite the desire to learn in their students.


  • Acceptance of responsibility to make classroom interesting and engaging for all children to learn in a variety of formats based on their individual needs.
  • Constant searching for best practices for every student.
  • Engagement in reflective practice to find better ways of doing things in the classroom.

Protection of students’ learning

  • Bring their outside interests and activities in the classroom to involve students in learning.
  • Find ways to expand the traditional curriculum and sometimes are seen as being noncompliant with the academic agenda (redefine the boundaries within their work). 
  • Courteous, patient, and professional when redefining boundaries and negotiating with authority figures.
  • View protecting and increasing students’ involvement in academic activities as their highest priority.


  • Admit and accept their own mistakes, which enables them to accept the mistakes of their students without attacking them.

Professional versus personal orientation

  • Do not take children’s misbehavior as a personal attack.
  • Students will be able to learn regardless of how they feel about the student and vice versa.
  • Sense of authentic respect.

Burn out: The care and feeding of bureaucracy

  • Protect self from burnout by not subjecting self to constant stress from interfering bureaucracy.
  • Seek others who are positive minded, team teach, and realize they are not alone… have a support system.

Putting theory into practice

  • Engage in reflective practice.
  • Cite clear, observable examples that all children can learn.
  • Translate theory into practice.

If you are truly interested in taking the Star Teacher test at the Haberman Foundation website, see the Evaluation Tools page at the website. There is a fee of $20.00 to take the Start Teacher Pre-Screener which consists of 50 questions.