Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Ideal Teacher

We have all of us had much experience with teachers at all levels of education. Some recent discussions with friends centered around teachers and what would be the qualities that the ideal teacher should possess. Strangely enough, or not so strangely, none of those who were part of the discussions presented the same list of qualities that an ideal teacher should have. In fact, there was only one quality that everyone agreed was necessary, although the definition of that quality varied: consistency. Yup, no consistency in defining consistency.

So let me open this up to my readers. What would be the top qualities you would consider necessary for one to be considered the ideal teacher? Why? Don't be shy--let's hear your comments.


efrex said...

I think I said this somewhere here before, but the ideal teacher must have:

1) knowledge of the material being taught
2) love for the material being taught
3) respect for his/her students

Period. You can be animated or reserved, high-tech or low-tech, formal or informal, but if you don't have those three, you cannot be a good teacher.

If you've got all three, then all the other skills/qualities will follow.

JS said...

I think efrex is on to something. But it also really depends on what level of education you're talking about. I imagine people want something very different from a kindergarten teacher than a college professor. I think efrex's list is true regardless, but the "other skills/qualities" depend on the level of education.

Personally, I always preferred teachers that treat their students like adults (this goes to respect). Being spoken down to is a major turn off especially when it's done merely because someone is younger. I also prefer teachers who challenge their students and don't have preconceived notions as to what is "appropriate" to teach at a certain grade level. I think the best attitude to have is "tough but fair" - critique and show what was done wrongly and use strict standards to foster excellence, but do it fairly and justly.

Maybe my attitude stems from being a good student and having a passion for learning. Many of my fellow students have HATED the teachers I've loved, finding them unnecessarily tough and too demanding.

There's no "ideal teacher" for everyone. Even if 19 of 20 students love the teacher, there's going to be that 1 the teacher doesn't reach. Everyone learns differently and everyone likes different subject matter. The best science teacher in the world can't make a student who would rather be learning history interested.