sábado, 8 de octubre de 2016

What makes a good teacher?

This is a short but complex question that a teacher should ask herself when teaching. The idea of learning by doing allows students to experience the content of learning. Is this your teaching philosophy? Do you think you are a good teacher? There are many characteristics, techniques, etc, that make for a good teacher, but they may be as varied as the teachers themselves. However, there are certain qualities and practices which contribute immensely to becoming a better teacher. Take some minutes to read the following list to help you reflect on yourself as a teacher as well as your practice:

  • A good teacher loves teaching.
  • A good teacher understands that some days the most important things may not be academic.
  • A good teacher must be “competent” and have a command of the contents to be taught.
  • A good teacher sets high expectations for their students and holds the students to those expectations.
  • A good teacher has a sense of humour and is able to use humour as part of their teaching practice, so that the ice breaks and students learn in a more relaxed atmosphere.
  • A good teacher not only motivates students to learn, but also teaches them HOW to learn, in a manner that is relevant, meaningful and memorable.
  • A good teacher always remembers that each student and class is different, and realizes that they are the conductors and the class are the orchestra. All the students play different instruments and at varying degrees of proficiency.
  • A good teacher firmly supports the idea that teaching is about being human, respectful and professional at all times.
  • A good teacher is flexible and creative; a good teacher “takes risks” and is able to deviate from the course syllabus easily when there is more and better learning elsewhere.
  • A good teacher has “common sense” and has the confidence to react and adjust to changing circumstances.
  • A good teacher reflects on their own work.
  • At the end of the day a good teacher experiences pleasure and intrinsic rewards.

Moreover, remember that you don´t learn to teach only by getting a degree and becoming certified. You learn to teach in much the same way you learn to drive, by driving. You learn to teach by teaching, making mistakes, learning from them and improving.
And most importantly, teach because you want to. A good teacher couldn´t imagine doing anything else!

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