My thoughts about the characteristics of an effective educator come from my experience of being a paraeducator in a high school special education classroom. I am fortunate enough to work in a classroom with 2 co-teachers. These teachers have very different teaching styles which has given me the opportunity to learn many different ways to be an effective teacher. From these teachers, I have learned unconditional positive regard, patience, how to be creative, and many useful learning modifications. By watching their different approaches to teaching, I have also learned to develop my own style of teaching. Being an effective teacher is more than just showing up to work and teaching lesson plans. An effective teacher is creative, prepared, motivating, encouraging, involved, organized, open-minded, inspired and passionate, among others. My mentor co-teachers each represent all of these characteristics. What makes them so outstanding is that they truly care about their students both inside and outside the classroom. They are not afraid to work long hours and go the extra mile to ensure that their students have the best learning environment possible.