Ideas about what makes a good teacher are important in thinking about educationalreform, and have come into focus recently. These ideas are contested and open tochange. The first part of this paper traces models of the good teacher in Australia fromthe colonial-era good servant, through an ideal of the autonomous scholar-teacher, tocontemporary lists of teacher competencies. The second part looks more closely at theincoherent but insistent way the good teacher is now defined under neoliberal governanceby teacher registration authorities. The third part of the paper makes proposals for anew understanding of good teachers: based on understanding the labour process andoccupational dynamics of teaching, the intellectual structure of Education studies, andthe overall logic of education itself. To access: email author