April 08, 2015

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Five things great teachers have in common


The quality of someone's teaching does not just refer to how much information they manage to get into their student's heads or the results that they produce. It also refers to their technique and presentation. Many teachers have a fantastic amount of knowledge that would be greatly useful to students, but they have no idea of how to express it. Great teaching often has less to do with wisdom and skills, but more to do with their attitude to their student, their subject and their work. This article explains the top five characteristics of great teachers, and how to incorporate them into your own lessons.

1. Passion. Without truly loving what you do it is impossible to be really good at what you do. If you don't adore your subject, then how can you expect your students to do the same? Never be afraid to show that you love what you are talking about, even if your students look at your like you are crazy when you discuss algebra with a look of love in your eyes. Your enthusiasm and interest will soon rub off on them.

2. Creativity. Students love a teacher who is able to make dull subjects more interesting by incorporating colorful and exciting printables into lessons or by making up games. Standardized tests and the constant offensive of new curriculums will be making this harder, but it is still extremely important. Simply teaching the given material to your students does make you a good teacher, but to be a great one, you have to be prepared to develop unique learning methods and custom lesson plans.

3. Flexibility. Being a teacher is a committed profession. If a student does badly on a test then you have to be prepared to offer yourself to tutor them after school. Make yourself available whenever you are requested and make this information public so that the students who need the most help know that they can get it.

4. Integrate. Everyday life is not left isolated, and neither should education. It doesn't matter if you are the only one in the entire school who is integrating, you should continue to do so. If you aren't quite ready explain complex algebra with music, then take small baby steps by integrating one lesson with another discipline and seeing how things go from there. If you search online there will be many teaching resources that will give you ideas that you can begin to build on. This skill is all about trial and error.

5. Connection. You cannot possibly hope to teach effectively without having a connection with your students. A solid and trustworthy connection needs to be built between yourself and each individual student that you teach. Strictly speaking, you are the representation of the knowledge that forms the connection. Over time, the students will come to trust you, but you have to be interesting. It was mentioned before that you have to possess true passion for your subject, but it should not be your only one. Take up hobbies such as writing, athletics or playing a musical instrument. That way you will have something in common with the students which help to break down any barriers in place by the student/teacher differences. You need to be able to connect with your students.

Aamani Khan
Aamani Khan