Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Good Teacher Is…

flexibleIn What Makes a Good Teacher? From Tinkerings, Tim asks,

“What makes a good teacher?”

I’m nearing the end of the semester with my class and even though I’m enjoying teaching this class, I have had some challenges.

Since I’m a big fan of lists, I thought I would answer this question with my list of what makes a good teacher. These are not in order of priority but rather as I thought of them.

A good teacher is:

  • Flexible. It is important to be able to adjust to what is going on in the here and now without getting upset and rattled. Students pick up on these emotions and it could set the tone for the class.
  • Prepared. Nothing is worse than being unprepared. This invites a lot of misbehavior, boredom, and loss of time. A teacher who is prepared is setting a positive example for the students.
  • Sincere. Students know when the teacher is sincere is faking it. I hear students talk about teachers they feel are teaching just for the money (which I assure you is not a lot!). They don’t feel the teacher enjoys teaching or the subject and really doesn’t care about the students.
  • Happy. I’m not saying that teachers need to be happy all of the time but overall happy with the career they have chosen and happy with their life. This shows in their body language and in the tone of their voices. It is what helps them “shine” when they are in a group of other teachers.
  • Knowledgeable. A good teacher knows their subject and can answer questions. Students know when the teacher is fumbling around guessing and has no idea what they are talking about.
  • Organized. Organization is key to an orderly classroom. Again this sets a good example for the student. Teachers who can’t find anything, loses things constantly, or piles things up in a haphazard fashion is going to have a hard time keeping up with the endless paperwork deadlines or other responsibilities that come up every day. It is better to stay ahead of the paperwork before it becomes overwhelming.
  • Open minded. Teachers need to be open to other opinions or other solutions to problems. Always insisting that there is only one right way or one right thought narrows the possibilities.
  • Committed. Teachers understand that they will put in more time than an 8-5 job. They understand they will do a lot of work at home, make phone calls on their personal time, and be involved in extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. They also understand that they will never be paid for what they are really worth. But all this doesn’t matter because it is all worth it.

What would you add to this list? Please share.

Image: 'Flexible'
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