The Anatomy of an Outstanding Teacher
2019-04-05 Mark Crocker Alumni Experiences
So you want to be a teacher. Does the thought of preparing our youth to tackle the world get you all fuzzy inside? Make no mistake, teaching is a noble profession. We put monumental pressure on the backs of teachers to educate future generations. But do you have what it takes to be an excellent teacher? A teacher that stands above the rest, and gives each student the quality education they demand.
This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate John B.
What Kind of Teacher Do You Want to Be?
Do you Remember when you were in high school? You probably had that one Instructor that was always warm, friendly, and explained everything so that the whole class understood the material. Do you also remember that one teacher that had trouble explaining the material and gave out copious amounts of homework, without proper instruction? Did they seem like they were there just to pay the bills? Which one would you want to model after? I find the first example optimal as this professor is who you should be striving for. A teaching career shouldn’t be about a paycheck or worrying about how much will be in the retirement account in 20 years. Here’s the thing, the great teachers actually care. They want to see each and every student strive to be the best possible version of themselves. But that's no easy task. It takes certain skills to accomplish such an impressive feat.
The Importance of Patience
The number one trait I find in teachers that stand out is patience. You have to remember that most students, before college, are forced to attend school. Each and every one of them has a different background, different maturity level, and different goals at this current stage of life. But one thing is for sure, you’re teaching them something new, and that requires trial and error. You can’t expect the average student to pick up what you are teaching fast, as it takes time and effort for a brain to process new material. So when you find a student not picking up the information, don’t get frustrated. Have patience with them and understand that they are trying to process the information given to them in their own way.
Also read: 6 Steps To Becoming a More Confident Teacher
The Importance of Communication
I also find that teachers that are able to communicate in an easily understood fashion, make the best teachers overall. If the teacher is able to portray the lesson in such a fashion that the students can digest the information in small easily rememberable chunks, that makes the classroom flow much more efficiently. Not only communicating in a clear and concise manner, but also demonstrating the material that has been taught effectively is also a must. Once a lesson is properly addressed, the instructor must have the proper supporting material at the ready, and he or she must be able to provide fluid examples to verify that the students are picking up the information taught.
Other Key Traits of a Great Teacher
There is no one trait that will make you a teacher of the year. The list is a huge one. Being able to create and structure your lesson plans is a great skill to have. Also, being able to listen to your students and being the mentor that some students so desperately need. Being able to discipline in a proper fashion is also a great trait, as you don’t want to come off too hard, but you should correct them so they understand that their current behavior is not ok. You must wear all the hats, from being a nurturer to being a leader. You are one of the most important figures in a child's life and should be proud of that fact. So, in closing, never stop trying. Always strive to improve. And most importantly, never stop caring. Because future generations are relying on you.
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