IN MY OPINION, it is really hard to say a teacher is good or bad. The truth is that great teaching seems to have less to do with our knowledge than with our attitude toward our work and our students. I used to classify my teachers according to their academic knowledge and experience. But an experienced professor is not necessary to be a good teacher at all. I make a shortlist here of ten characteristics which are essential for a ‘good teacher’.
A good teacher should love to teach. I think one of the most important qualities a teacher should have is a love and passion for teaching. If you work as a clerk and you don’t like your job, then try, and it will be over anyway. But if you work as a teacher and you don’t like your job, then you will be always underestimated by your own students. This only factor will destroy your effective faster than any other ones ever. Originally, there are too many discouraging factors associated with teaching that is difficult enough for a teacher who absolutely love his job, let alone for who doesn’t have a passion and enthusiasm for it.
A good teacher is inspirational. I used to think that only a literature teacher could inspire students, but I was wrong. A compulsory heavy educational program will easily put even best students under pressure and lose their learning motivation. A teacher should help students understand the meaning or the necessity of learning something new, try to motivate them to become a life-long learner. If students cannot find something spiritually meaningful when learning something, at least they will figure out how useful the knowledge is for their future.
A good teacher always struggles to be better. A not-good teacher finishes a bad lesson and says ‘oh, thanks god! It’s finally over, ’ a good teacher says ‘There are some points that I will definitely make them better next time.’ Like learning, teaching is a long-term process, so a good teacher should understand that being a good teacher is a constant, never-ending fight to overcome your weaknesses. And believe me, it’s such a long way to go!
A good teacher should be dedicated. There must be reasons why people consider teaching as a noble career. In fact, we have a special day to honor teachers. They are people who always spend unpaid time to provide students with the most interesting and effective lessons. They often arrive early for classes and stay late at night for lesson-planning. They work parts or whole weekends, in summer or holidays to make sure that they are well-prepared for each class.
A good teacher should be joyful. Bring a smiling face to class is not always a possible mission, but try to always bring a positive attitude, a good mood and enthusiasm to your every lesson. Believe it or not, a joyful teacher will have joyful students and vice versa. Be happy when teaching and your students will be happy when studying.
A good teacher should have an intensive knowledge in particular subjects. It’s pointless to be passionate, dedicated, inspirational or joyful but teachers themselves don’t have anything much to share with their students. At the end of the day, a teacher comes to class to teach students something, not to entertain them.
A good teacher should be fair-minded. I know trying to be fair or objective always is not an easy task to do but it’s absolutely necessary for a teacher. This is an important criterion when students evaluate you and therefore decide to appreciate you or not. I myself used to be very frustrated when my teacher showed their bias to the monitors or good students in the class.
A teacher should be patient. This may sound unimportant at first but absolutely essential for a teacher. If you get mad at your friend, you can have a real quarrel with them. But you should never do that with your students. Not just because to keep your face, but because you have to keep your honor. Moreover, not all students are good ones (that’s why we need education), you have to encourage all students to study more and improve themselves.
A good teacher should be adaptive. Stick with one way of teaching is the shortest way to boredom in teaching and learning. Flexibility is the key to control your class. The teaching area is roaring out there, make sure you always update yourself with new techniques, skills, methods as well as teaching tools like media or social networks. Coping well with changes will ensure you with a stable career and joyful job ever.
A good teacher knows how to motivate themselves in hard days. Nobody see you spending hours doing lesson-planning but just your paid time in classes. A conclusion comes to their mind that teaching is such a pleasant and wealthy job. When you are a teacher, you will find it quite a misconception. Another thing is not all your students are ‘good’ ones. I mean there are so many types of students you have to cope with in your teaching life. Sometimes a rude student may demotivate you so much that you want to quit your ‘noble’ job in no time at all.
I do believe teaching is a gift for some people. It comes naturally for them and without much effort. However, with the rest of us, teaching is a serious job that we need to put all your heart and soul and mind into it to become a really good teacher.