Think of your favorite teacher. Teachers exist outside of the typical classroom – whether a role model, family member or your fifth grade elementary school teacher. While the definition of “good” is determined on an individual basis, teachers with this attribute in general are memorable people who share several positive qualities.
A good teacher does not respond to your questions with outbursts or angry tones. An easy-going nature is key. This key opens the door to learning.
The door to learning opens a little wider when you listen to your student. A good teacher does not interrupt the student mid-sentence or talk over them. The student is able to speak their entire idea without interjection. Be active in the listening process. Show the student you are listening to him or her.
Active listening involves fully concentrating on the person speaking to you. Do not perform other tasks with your hands while you are listening. Doing so sends an unspoken signal to the student that he or she does not deserve your undivided attention. Give the student time to speak and be patient during the speech.
Perhaps you have not been through the difficult situation your student is explaining to you. Learn about his or her background and current circumstances. Identify with the student’s feelings. If you cannot easily do so, ask others for help. Perhaps one of your friends or colleagues has encountered a similar situation with a student and can advise you how to best communicate further.
Remember that asking for help is not a sign of weakness. Clarification is needed. By asking others for help, you will learn how to be a good teacher.
A good teacher arrives prepared. Just as a football team arrives on game day with a set of plays, a teacher should have the lesson plans thought out in advance. Determine the tasks to be completed within the set duration, if there is one. Sort the tasks and place them in order if certain ones need to be finished before others.
Trust and Rapport
A good teacher is a person whom the student deems trustworthy and supportive. With trust comes the student’s ability to be open and listen to what the teacher says. A good rapport between teacher and student will also encourage the student to pay attention and follow the advice of the teacher. While teacher and student need not be best friends, a mutual respect should exist between the two people.
A good teacher influences the mood of a student and creates a positive learning environment. A good teacher provides a memorable relationship that a student remembers long after they say their goodbyes.