Master Teacher: Definition and Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Math Homework Rubric Examples

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:01 What Is a Master Teacher?
  • 0:32 Qualities of a Master Teacher
  • 3:47 How Do I Become a…
  • 5:01 Effects of Master Teachers
  • 5:40 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Natalie Masters

Natalie has been a teacher, educational consultant, and curriculum designer for 15 years and has a Master of Education degree in Instructional Design and Technology.

Experienced K-12 teachers can take it to the next level by becoming certified master teachers. While state requirements vary, this lesson will provide an overview of some of the strengths and skills all master teachers bring to their practice.

What Is a Master Teacher?

In short, a master teacher is one who has mastered the basics of teaching, one who goes above and beyond to ensure a positive learning experience for each student, and one who shares his or her knowledge with the broader learning community. The specific criteria for master teacher certification vary from state to state, but most experts agree that master teachers are those who clearly demonstrate competency in five specific areas.

Qualities of a Master Teacher

First, master teachers are focused on student learning.

Master teachers believe that all students can learn, and they are committed to the success of their students. They possess a deep understanding of how students learn and develop, and they strive to create positive learning environments for all students, regardless of current skills or ability levels. For master teachers, classroom management is consistent, fair, and effective. A master teacher's classroom is an organized and pleasant environment, conducive to learning and academic risk-taking, where all students feel valued, encouraged, and safe.

Second, master teachers are experts in their practice.

Master teachers use research-based teaching methods to design, plan, and deliver effective lessons. By understanding and using the most current and effective teaching strategies, master teachers meet their students' needs. Master teachers often think outside the box, moving beyond worksheets and textbooks to provide the most meaningful learning experiences possible for their students. They know how to accurately assess student learning, and by proactively analyzing assessment results, they continually modify instruction to meet students at their levels and scaffold instruction to develop mastery of critical knowledge and skills.

Third, master teachers are experts in their content areas.

They know their subjects and not only understand the history, content, and real-world applications of their subjects, but they also possess a deep understanding of how students with diverse sets of skills and background knowledge can learn. Master teachers also anticipate gaps in understanding. They can predict the skills or concepts with which students will most likely struggle and take measures to prevent or fill those gaps, offering clear paths to learning by balancing structure, flexibility, and opportunities for students to practice and develop over time.

Fourth, master teachers actively participate in ongoing professional development.

They are lifelong learners and are never satisfied with the knowledge and skills they have already gained. Instead, they continually seek out opportunities to develop as practitioners in their content areas, studying the latest research and literature on their subjects and stretching their skill sets and strategies in the classroom. Master teachers critically examine their methods and practice and adjust their techniques as they learn more.

Lastly, Master teachers are leaders in the educational community.

As they develop professionally, master teachers do not keep their wealth of knowledge to themselves. Instead, they serve as leaders in their schools, sharing knowledge and skills with others; mentoring new teachers; and developing strong relationships with parents, families, and stakeholders in their communities. Master teachers often serve on boards and committees in their districts, putting their wisdom to work by refining the curriculum, helping to develop new staff members, and evaluating the most effective uses of district resources. Many a master teacher has also expanded resources through grant writing and community partnership. Master teachers often conduct professional development workshops and courses, too.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account