What Makes a “Good” Teacher?


Okay, if you’re reading this, you can’t deny this. You have had teachers before. Whether you like them or not, you respect them, because if not, you’ll probably get punished. But while most people respect their teachers, some teachers may be more respected than others. It could be because of their teaching style, or their personality, having certain traits may qualify certain teachers as good, and others as bad. Although, both good and bad teachers are subjective.

First off, let’s start with “good” teachers. As proclaimed previously, the term good is subjective, and varies from not just multiple students, but to multiple teachers. Sophomore Sophia Bell’s idea was very simple: “They’re really supportive, they don’t criticize you for things you get wrong or things you need explained.” Meanwhile, Brandon Woytowich, a senior, said, “Good teachers are attentive and able to explain hard questions in a way that I can understand.”

So while the term is subjective, there are some things about good teachers that many agree upon. They’re patient with their students, and supportive when you achieve and uncritically helpful if you fail or mess up, as well as being willing to help when a student doesn’t understand something. A certain anonymous teacher agrees as well, saying “Patience is the first and foremost trait of a good teacher. But I would also include empathy, compassion, and dedication. Teaching might be one of the most difficult jobs out there. The struggles can be awful, but the rewards cannot be measured.”

But let’s talk about “bad” teachers. Just like with good teachers, bad is subjective too, which is why, once again, a few different people were sat down for an interview. Bell’s answer was once again simple, being, “They don’t help you learn, and if you don’t understand something it’s very difficult to get help.” Meanwhile Woytowich said, “There are some bad teachers who use other educators as crutches. They would rather use a YouTube video to explain something, rather than explain something themselves. Sometimes this is helpful, but a lot of the time it feels cheap.”

And once again, there are traits agreed upon for “bad” teachers. These includes impatience, laziness, and indifference. According to the same anonymous teacher, these traits are important when it comes to being a good teacher. “I’ve seen teachers, especially late in their careers, who have no patience for kids. I feel like this is the worst kind of teacher. If you can’t keep in mind that you are dealing with young minds, emotional beings, and maturing humans, then this isn’t the profession for you,” the teacher said. Not to mention their style of teaching. The style should work for multiple students, as well as not offend anyone, or be too confusing.

Luckily, no one being interviewed claimed to be offended by their teachers’ phrases or style of teaching. And no one claimed to have a “bad” teacher. Well, the anonymous teacher has had to deal with those who do. But it seemed to handle it appropriately, saying, “When students react negatively, or call me names, I remain calm and try to treat them with respect. I realize that students react in anger when they are upset, but usually I am not the reason they are upset. It is usually their fault, but I know that it’s easier, but not fair, to take it out on me.” And thankfully, most teachers at Truman High School are respectful, compassionate, and dedicated to their students’ education.

Categories: News

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