What makes a great teacher?

Gretchen Cochran

What makes a great teacher? These days, one has to wonder.
As the pressure builds for public schools to perform better, teachers can seem the scapegoat, perceived as over the hill, out of touch with current subject matter, disinterested and weary.
So it was heartening to catch an invigorated teacher, Linda Mondel, 47, telling Lansing Sunrise Rotarians about her Fulbright scholarship to India. The Lansing School District teacher was vibrant, dynamic and imbued with enthusiasm. She had spent five weeks touring schools throughout the Asian country and would now, with the 14 others from across the U.S., prepare a teaching unit for American schools.
This woman was no slug. But there is more.
Last year she was the first teacher in the Lansing School District to earn national certification for rigorous testing and screening similar to programs for doctors and accountants. Now she is the media specialist at Pattengill Middle School.