Meeting and Exceeding Student Expectations of Teachers

Here’s a blog written by Larry Cuban on “Meeting and Exceeding Student Expectations of Teachers: A Way to Achieve “Good” Teaching”. It was published originally more than 13 years ago and is one of the most highly viewed blogs that he has ever written.

Go into most public school classrooms and you will see a sign, usually in the front of the classroom, listing what the teacher expects of students in classroom behavior.


Experienced teachers advise new ones to make these rules explicit and enforce them from day one. Folk wisdom among veteran teachers is that expecting these behaviors and equitably acting on the rules will lead to an orderly classroom. The prerequisite for any learning to occur. So most new and experienced teachers, believing this advice and wanting a well-managed classroom, list classroom rules early in the semester. A few adventurous (and experienced) teachers have students construct the rules since they have been in many classrooms and are well aware of acceptable behavior from previous teachers.

In it, he gives examples of student expectations of teachers that he had encountered over the years. In his view “good” teachers

  • know more facts and concepts than students do about the subject.
  • answer student questions clearly and correctly.
  • take time to explain complicated content.
  • do not publicly humiliate students.
  • assign homework from the text.
  • clamp down on late-comers to class
  • break up fights between students and protect weak students from being bullied.
  • do not permit students to copy from one another when expecting each student to do his or her work.
  • do not let students sleep in class.

To read the whole blog, go here.