What Makes a Good Teacher?

By Skylar Letteer

Being a senior in high school, I’ve had my fair share of teachers. With that being said, some of them were good and some of them were bad, but what actually makes a “good” teacher? In my opinion, it boils down to two broad factors, their ability to teach and their ability to connect. When teachers genuinely love the subjects they teach in class, it reflects in their student’s ability to retain information. It’s easier to learn when a subject is taught with passion as well as understanding. We as students learn in various ways, and when a teacher acknowledges the fact that some students may have trouble with a subject while other students excel in that same area, it makes understanding a topic manageable.

While some teachers may find instructing a class to be their strong suit, other teachers rely on their ability to connect with students on a personal level. We want to see a teacher that has “flaws” (waking up late sometimes or being just as confused as we are). When students are able to see that side of an educator it allows us to gain a new found respect for them. Taking the time to get to know students plays a massive role on how we view a teacher as well. We could look forward to seeing them everyday, or we could dread going to their class. Getting to know a student doesn’t mean sharing every personal detail, it means talking to them like young adults and just caring. Genuinely caring goes a long way with teenagers, and no matter how you express it, we appreciate and notice your efforts. However, while they may appear different, connecting with students and teaching them go hand in hand. When teachers form a bond with their students, they can create memories for years to come. Your teacher will never be your “friend”, their job is to guide you into adulthood, but learning valuable lessons from them while maintaining a comfortable environment can change your academic experience. A good teacher is one that finds the balance between the two and is able to sustain that balance.

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