Remember why you started

How I Measure Success in My Classroom


A few days ago my husband and I were talking about what constitutes tangible success in the field of education. He noted that being an educator isn’t like being a carpenter, where you start out with a pile of wood and end up with a cabinet. I told him that I felt like I could see tangible success in my middle school students, but had trouble giving him an example at the time.

But, I was thinking about it now! And as often happens, once it was on my mind it didn’t take me very long to find examples of how I measure success in my classroom.

1. A classroom where questions are welcome.

I got an email from a former student asking me to answer a question for her. I felt flattered that she though of me when she needed an answer. It’s July, and we have been away from school for 2 months. On top of that, each student at my middle school sees 8 teachers in a day. It felt like a teaching success that when this student had a question and needed to think of someone who would be willing to answer it, she thought of me. It’s a teaching success to me to create an environment where my students know that questions are welcome.

2. A classroom where the students feel loved.

The family of a former student visited my church yesterday. I have had the oldest son in class for the past 2 years, and he is headed to high school on a few weeks. His younger sister will begin middle school this year. They sat in the pew in front of with their mother, and I was chatting with her. I said, “I loved having your son in class.” He turned around and said, “What?” I looked at him and said, “I loved having you in class.” He smiled and said, “I love you too,” and turned back around. A few minutes later while we were singing a hymn, his sister shyly turned and around and said, “I hope I have you in class.” Both kids filled my heart. The ultimate teaching success is knowing that in my classroom students feel loved.


  1. The things that really matter! If only that’s how we were judged as teachers!

    • Thanks for the comment, Erin. These thing are how the kids judge us, even if they’re not how some of the adults do!


  2. As always, Laura, I love your perspectives on life in the classroom (and outside of it). You are so right; these are important measures for success.
    I would add: eyeballs and hands and the ‘too excited to wait’.
    In the classroom, I want to see kids who choose to look at me when I’m teaching, who want to put their hands up to participate, and I especially love those times when kids blurt out an answer because they couldn’t hold it in because they were so engaged.
    Thanks for getting me thinking. I think I shall have to write a post on this too…

  3. Pingback: How I Measure Success in My Classroom | Musings on the Middle Years of Education

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