The National Council on Teacher Quality has a brochure that outlines what makes an effective teacher. What I like about this publication is that it looks at the research before it makes a general claim about what makes an effective teacher. I was also interested in their finding that teacher literacy was the most effective indicator of student acheivement. So, keep reading and writing and keep those kids reading and writing. It may feel like you are not making any gains in the education of your children but research shows that you are! And it doesn’t hurt to brush up on those ‘soft’ issues that make a great teacher such as the ones outlined on page 12 of the brochure.