Can I Be a Star Teacher of Diverse Children in Poverty?

Delia Stafford and Dr. Martin Haberman

Will I be a star teacher? How do I compare to some of the most effective teachers in America working in some of the most difficult schools? How do my beliefs and actions compare to those of great teachers?

These questions were the hallmark research initiative for Martin Haberman, Distinguished Professor (1932-2012), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. For four decades he continually researched and observed teachers in school districts all across the country to determine what the difference is between the best teachers in America and those who fail. His book, the culmination of his work, ” Star Teachers Serving Children of Poverty” is the Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society’s’ all time best seller.(Mike Wolfe, Ex. Director, 2002.) Individuals considering teaching should want to know the answers to the above stated questions.

After years of research, Dr. Haberman was able to determine that the beliefs of great teachers differs greatly from the quote,” quitters and failures” in public schools. His book goes to great lengths to describe the differences between the two sets of beliefs and describes the under girding ideology of the star teachers and their performance in classrooms.

From his on-going reseach, Dr. Haberman crafted an interview which gets to the heart of what teaching should be for children, especially those who live in poverty. The questions and answers were derived from what the best teachers believe their job will and should be. The interview actually test the third dimension of working in classrooms. Not content, not pedagogy, but does the teacher have the capacity to build relationships with children, parents, and school leaders in general.

Now you can find out about your potential for teaching diverse children in poverty schools by taking the written prescreener to the Haberman Star Teacher Selection Interview. This is a 50 item, half hour test that you can administer to yourself, in private, on your own computer. Your answers will be rated in terms of how star teachers vs. quitter/failure teachers have responded to the very same questions. At the completion of the test you will get a professional profile that tells you a great deal about your potential for teaching in poverty schools. First, your total score will be compared with

everyone else who has taken the test and will tell you the quartile of your total score. In other words, how close your answers were to those of star teachers. Second, your answers will be organized in terms of ten mid-range functions of teaching which predict success:


Organization and planning

Value of student learning

Theory to practice

Teaching at-risk students

Approach to students

Survive in a bureaucracy

Explaining teacher success

Explaining student success


For each of these ten functions your answers will again be compared to those of stars vs. quitter/failure teachers. Whether you are a beginner thinking about becoming a teacher, or a veteran teacher thinking about your next stage of development, this test will give you some insights into your own potential for being effective with the children who need great teachers the most.

No one will know how you do on this test but you. You can decide to use the results as part of a portfolio or an application process. School districts all over America use this interview and would be impressed by how you scored on this written prescreener. On the other hand you may decide to not share the results with anyone. You also may decide to take the test again at a later time. These decisions are yours. There are few opportunities in life to gain real insight into oneself and one’s potentialities. This is one of those rare opportunities.


Haberman Educational Foundation, Inc.
4018 Martinshire
Houston,Texas 77025