Our mothers were our first teachers. Good mothers and good teachers share a lot of the same qualities.
A good teacher loves what he is doing and tries to reach each and every student in his class. He establishes a rapport with his students. He lets the students know that they are special and that he can be counted on to always have their best interest at heart.
A college degree is a prerequisite to a teaching job, but it in no way guarantees that someone will be a good teacher. We’ve all experienced that teacher who, despite their expertise in their academic area, couldn’t show you how to add two numbers together. Mastery of subject matter is of little use if the teacher can’t communicate with the student.
Learning to be an effective teacher is something that begins after you start teaching. If someone doesn’t realize this from the very beginning in their career, they will never become a good teacher. A good teacher never stops learning. He studies his students. He understands that no two students are the same. Personalities and especially learning styles vary greatly from student to student. Being able to access the resources that will match the learning style of each student is what makes a teacher effective.
A good teacher is able to identify and seize “the teachable moment”, the moment at which a concept or life lesson is ripe for the picking. This is something that cannot be taught in a college classroom, but rather comes from experience. While covering percentage in math, for instance, a good teacher may stop and talk about interest rates and how they can get people in trouble if they don’t understand how they apply to credit cards. This might lead to a discussion of how people can abuse credit cards and destroy their credit rating. This may further morph into an ad hoc lesson on how long it takes to pay off a credit card if only the minimum payment is made each month. This type of learning not only utilizes the skills from the lesson, but also provides the students with useful information, and more importantly an example of why it’s important to study math.
A good teacher runs a democratic classroom, where students are encouraged to voice their opinion in a respectful manner. He is fair and sets high expectations. A good teacher leads by example. He instills a love of learning in his students.
A good teacher treats and expects from his students the same he would of his own children. He is truly “in loco parentis”, in place of the parent.
by: Albert Aunchman
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