In the end, this experience changed me as a teacher. Students are people who have feelings and who don't want to feel cornered. They want to learn but they also want to feel as if they have some control over themselves. I never made assumptions again about a student before they came into my class. Every student is different; no two students react in the same way. It is our tasks as teachers to find not only what motivates each student to learn but also what motivates them to misbehave. If we can meet them at that point and take away that motivation, we can go a long way towards a more effective classroom and learning experience.
Experience: 5 years
I believe a great teacher is one who creates a classroom environment that makes their students 1.) 'curious', 2.) want to 'explore' ('investigate') and 3.) allows them to 'discover'. I think instilling and encouraging these three elements in students makes a great teacher.
Is 'curiosity' valued in your classroom? A great teacher creates a classroom environment that makes the students 'wonder' about the things they're teaching? You can tell if they are asking questions. Or are they just 'consuming' information!