Editorial: Join us in saluting our great teachers

Oak Bay High teacher demonstrates many qualities of a great teacher

What makes a great teacher?

Ask five different people and you’re likely to get five different responses. Knowledge of their subject and the ability to impart that knowledge to their students; the ability to connect with their students and school families; a willingness to give back beyond classroom work; an understanding of different students and their learning styles.

The list seems virtually endless.

Sometimes, we come across teachers who combine a host of these qualities, striving each and every day to make a difference with their students, their school and the greater community.

In addition to his classroom work, and leadership on the soccer pitch, for example, Oak Bay High teacher Brent Garraway instills by example the qualities of hard work, inclusiveness, volunteerism and philanthropy – life lessons, as he says – through the Live Different program. Through the initiative, students work, fundraise and volunteer for more than a year to build homes alongside families in need in Mexico.

As student, athlete and Live Different participant Sophie de Goede notes, Garraway “puts his heart and soul into everything he does and that passion and commitment is an excellent example for us as students to follow. I’ve had some of my most memorable and impacting experiences as a result of the incredible time and effort Mr. Garraway puts in and I couldn’t be more thankful.”

During this year’s Great Teachers campaign, we heard from students and parents about many teachers making a difference in their communities – inspiring stories from elementary, middle and high schools around the region.

Read about some of these inspirational leaders on pages 8 to 13 and join us in saluting some of our region’s Great Teachers.