Hmm, what does make a great teacher?
I’ve had many different teachers. Some I really liked and some I really disliked, but I believe having a great teacher has such a huge impact on both what students learn, and how the students communicate with the teacher.
Rather than write a paragraph about it, I’ll write in a slightly different way for a change. Here are the reasons I believe that make a teacher great:
- Staying on topic – It’s really important for teachers to stay focused on their subject. I had some teachers that got very easily distracted by telling stories etc (mainly in high school!), which I felt was unfair on the students that actually wanted to learn.
- Knowing their subject thoroughly – Yes, this sounds obvious. But you would be surprised by the many teachers I had that didn’t really teach much about the subject. They were vague, and basically read out of a book. I could have learnt more myself at home.
- Friendly and approachable, yet professional – Being friendly is a big plus for teachers. It enables students to feel more relaxed and able to go to the teacher for help and support if they need to, without feeling too scared. Plenty of times I needed help at school for various things, but I couldn’t go to all of my teachers if I needed the help because some were too scary and intimidating.
- Treating each child equally – Every child should be treated the same way. If one person gets told off for something, then everyone should get told off if they do the same thing. An example of this I have, is in Media. We would have an essay deadline to hand in by a certain date. There was usually only about 5 of us who would hand it in on time, yet everyone else would have excuses. They always got an extended deadline for coursework due to that, yet if we asked for longer as well so that we could improve on it, we weren’t allowed. So frustrating…
- Respect – If teachers want students respect, then they must give it back in return. Don’t expect students to be so respectful to you if you’re going to be disrespectful to them.
- Preparation – Preparation is key in teaching. Why come to class unprepared and waste time when we are here to learn?
- Rules – Most of my classes were given boy/girl seating plans. This didn’t bother me too much as I got older, but I remember when I first went to high school I hated it. I actually think students learn better when they are sat with their friends. Yes ok, some are really silly and just mess about, but they should get punished for that because that’s their own fault. At school, I remember students liked all of the teachers who didn’t make silly seating plans – which emphasises my ‘respect’ point even more.
- Understanding – Having a teacher who is understanding is a big plus. It means that they are more approachable and will be given more respect. There is nothing more intimidating and patronising in school than when you tell your teacher you don’t understand something and they act as if you’re really stupid and get angry about it… Big no no!!
- Humour – Having humour helps. Not too over the top, of course, but enough for students to be able to warm to you and see you do have a friendly side after all!
Well, I’m sure if I tried I could write a few more points to be honest. But I’m sure you can see where I’m coming from. After finishing all of my school years, I could definitely pick out the great teachers compared to the…not so great teachers, still to this day.