A Good Teacher

In What Happened When the “Silly” Teacher Became Serious by Jason Haber, he shares,

“As teachers, we must remember that we don’t just teach math, music, or digital literacy. We teach kids. Those kids need a reason to care about what we’re teaching them.”

As teachers, we face a lot of pressure from parents’ expectations, state standards, and federal policies. It is easy to be overwhelmed by all the regulations that we must follow and the paperwork to document that we are following them.

Sometimes we put pressure on ourselves. We want to be as good as our colleagues or maybe even better than them. We want the students to like us but we want them to spread the word that we are good teachers and they really learned something from us. Sometimes their definition of a good teacher can be different from ours or their parents. How do we know when we are “good” teachers?

We need to remember that we are teaching kids and not subjects. We need to remember that they have enough friends and we need to be the teacher and not the friend. Students don’t have to like us to feel that we are being good teachers. They just need to know that we care.

I used to make an extra effort to contact the parent or guardians of all my students within the first two weeks of school. I also contacted them every two weeks the first quarter and then every month after that. If necessary, I contacted them more often in order to solve a problem with the student. I believe this showed the student that I cared and many former students told me that it made an impact on their lives.

I constantly let the students know that there was no problem in my class that they would face alone. I was always there for them if they needed help but my help did not mean I would solve the problem for them. Many of my students felt that just knowing they were not alone, helped them have the courage to take the risk of trying new skills.

I also explained that if I talked too sharp or sounded impatient during a lesson, it was not because I was angry with them. It was because I wanted them to understand the lesson so much that I would get frustrated with myself for not making it easier for them to master the skill.

I need to remind myself that it is more important to remember the students and how the students are feeling and not focus so much on the skills. If the lesson is fun for me, then I hope I can make it fun for the students. If the students are having fun, it may be a lesson that they will remember. I can’t remember all the lessons I hated but I could tell you many that I enjoyed.

What do you think makes a good teacher? Please share.

Photo by Leon on Unsplash
Posted on the Successful Teaching Blog (http://successfulteaching.net) by loonyhiker (successfulteaching at gmail dot com).

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