This paper reports on the first phase of a study investigating the qualities of effective teachers from the perspective of gifted students. A questionnaire was administered to students in Years 7, 9 and 11 at an academically selective high school in New South Wales, Australia. The data demonstrated that the personal-social qualities of the teachers were more highly valued than their intellectual qualities although there was a shift between Year 7 and Year 11 toward the intellectual end of the continuum. Overall there were no gender differences but in Year 9, girls favored the teacher's personal characteristics more than their male counterparts. The open-ended questions, however, demonstrated that the characteristics (personalsocial vs intellectual) cannot be neatly dichotomised. Recommendations are made for teacher training.