Defining Teaching Excellence: The Characteristics, Practices and Experiences of Highly Effective Teachers

Defining Teaching Excellence: The Characteristics, Practices and Experiences of Highly Effective Teachers

by Keith E. Leger


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This is an easy, yet very informative read for teachers who want to continuously improve their craft. The ideas, experiences, practices and characteristics shared in this book come directly from highly effective teachers using their exact words. The book is written in such a way that the reader will feel as though he/she is engaged in a comfortable, informal conversation with the featured highly effective teachers. Not only will the reader come away with meaningful insights into how and what these teachers do, the reader will also glean several helpful ideas that can be immediately implemented in any classroom.

This book should also be read by school administrators looking for examples on how to improve instruction either in one-to-one improvement conversations with a struggling teacher and/or in general professional learning communities. The study questions and respective answers provided by the highly effective teachers may also serve as reference points when interviewing prospective teachers.

Finally, this book should be included in teacher preparation programs. The teachers featured in this book provide years of valuable experiences, ideas and practices that are proven to be effective in any classroom setting. Prospective teachers will benefit greatly from reading about what works from the direct quotes of highly effective teachers as well as the supporting related literature.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781985584303
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 03/11/2018
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.44(d)

About the Author

Dr. Keith E. Leger earned his Doctorate degree in Educational Leadership from Lamar University in 2014. He received both his Master of Education degree (1997) and Education Specialist degree in Administration and Supervision (1999) from McNeese State University. Dr. Leger earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Louisiana State University in 1993.

Dr. Leger retired as a School Administrator in 2015 having also served as a Classroom Teacher, District Quality Supervisor and Federal Grant Director.

He is a member of the National Beta Club Board of Directors, a lifetime member of Associated Professional Educators of Louisiana (APEL) and an active member of the American Evaluation Association.

Dr. Leger served on the Louisiana Standards Review Steering Committee for English, Math and Science (2015-16) and is serving on the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education Minimum Foundation Program Task Force and the Louisiana Commission on Assessment Review and Use in Public Schools.

He is a U.S. military veteran, father of four children and married to Jennifer.

Dr. Leger is the owner and manager of High Quality Program Improvement & Evaluation (

Table of Contents


Acknowledgements i

Prologue ii

1. What Is Highly Effective Teaching 1

Facilitating fun, interesting, and meaningful activities 1

Possessing a high level of teacher energy and enthusiasm 3

Exhibiting high expectations 3

Emphasizing high order thinking skills 4

Maintaining an organized classroom with consistent, structured, student-led routines 5

Exhibiting genuine caring, compassionate, empathetic and fair concern for students 6

2. What Characteristics and Knowledge Contribute to Highly Effective Teaching? 10

Pre-teaching, non-education life experiences 10

Gaining a deeper knowledge of subject content and teaching strategies 12

Mentors who provided guidance and inspiration 15

Personal reflection 18

3. What Practices Contribute To Highly Effective Teaching? 20

Lesson planning strategies 20

Meaningful activities 26

Questioning and discussion techniques 27

Classroom management routines, expectations and procedures 31

Assessment of content mastery with remediation opportunities 38

4. What Types Of Support Systems Contribute To Highly Effective Teaching? 47

Effectively communicating with administrators 47

Gaining a clear understanding of the expectations in the observation rubric 50

Receiving and heeding immediate feedback following an observation 52

5. MS. O’BRIEN 55

6. MS. MILLER 70

7. MS. LANE 84


9. MS. LOGAN 103

10. MS. TURNER 120

11. MS. DAVID 133

12. MS. FLYNN 142

13. MS. MANNING 149

14. MS. MURRAY 159

15. Summary Of Major Findings 170

16. Conclusions 172

17. Implications For Practice 174

Effective teachers 174

Effective teacher preparation and professional development 175

Administration 176

18. Concluding Remarks 178

19. References 181

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