Top teachers in Virginia say the most effective teachers are those who consider the whole child, set high expectations, are passionate and tailor the curriculum to their teaching style and individual student needs. "No student has ever come up to me and said, 'Thank you for helping me pass my world history [Standards of Learning].' That's not what they want from me," one teacher said. "They're going to be appreciative of the life lessons I've taught them [and] the way I taught them to think critically."

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