What Makes a Good Teacher?


I had to answer this question during my initial application process to the University of Regina. Despite having wrote this in November of 2014, I find that my answer now is similar to what my answer was then. So,

What Makes a Good Teacher?

Most teachers each have a style in their teaching, and some of these are more appreciated than others by student majorities. However, there is no singular style of teaching that can cater to all the needs of the differing students. Good teachers are able to mold themselves and their lessons to be inclusive, and are able to explain in more than one way.

The most likely scenarios I have seen in modern classrooms are one of two things. Either the teacher moves to the pace of the brightest students and hopes, but does not ensure, that the rest follow along. The other equally unfair scenario is where the teachers move to the pace of the slowest students, depriving the brighter students of moving forward.

There is no universal code to explain how to fix this problem. No teacher can, on their own, arrange their classes to contain students on the same academic level. The best thing a teacher can do is ensure that they do not follow either of these two scenarios, by understanding that each student is different, as is each classroom.

Nobody can be taught how to be handle every possible situation and classroom they’ll encounter throughout their career. Being quick-witted and prompt in their problem solving is the best an aspiring teacher can do in hoping that when a new situation arises, they are able to quickly cater to it. This diversity is also why it is important for teachers to be as open-minded as possible. They have to understand that not everyone will learn something in the same way, or at the same speed, as themselves.

Many good teachers I know have an interest or knowledge in human sciences, philosophy and/or psychology. This interest directly reflects their understanding and knowledge of human diversity, learning, and even mental illness. This knowledge is a key component in teaching as a student is more likely to understand their teacher, if their teacher also understands them. (November, 2014)


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