Six signs of a good teacher


Riley Laurence, Staff Reporter

We all have had one: a bad teacher . And if you haven’t, you’ve at least heard the complaints from the less fortunate souls who have. “He didn’t even tell us it would be homework!” “She doesn’t even teach us!” “He gave us another reading quiz!”

But there are, however,  instances of the exact opposite. Not the decent teachers, the ones above them. The really good teachers. These knights and ladies in shining armor that make the gloomy days at public school not so painful.

If you don’t know what makes a good teacher, here are 6 signs of one.

Good teachers:

  • Make themselves available to their students before and after school.

This isn’t about a teacher giving up every second of their spare time to devote it to their students, but good teachers make themselves available when a student is in need.

  • Are able to joke around with their students, but also know when it’s time to be serious.

There is not one person in this world that despises a good sense of humor. In fact, it is usually appreciated when you find someone with the same sense of humor as you, may it be sick, dark, and twisted or light-hearted and happy. Good teachers do not make their classroom an intimidating environment by being bland and cold, they are able to lighten the mood by cracking a few jokes here and there, while still covering the material necessary.

  • Explain the subject. In depth.

It’s one thing when a teacher gives their students the bare minimum that they need to know for completion of the course in which they are enrolled. We, as high school students, should not strive for completion; we should strive for mastery. Mastery of a course can only be obtained when and if the teacher a) understands the material they are teaching rather than just reading off of a paper, and b) explains the material in a way that both makes sense and intrigues the students.

  • Are approachable.

When you ask a question in class, you should feel comfortable. After all, questions are asked to learn the material that you have not quite mastered yet. But when a student asks a question to which the teacher scoffs (or other remarks/body language signals that make one feel stupid) at, the student is then discouraged from asking more questions. This prevents the student from learning material they might not be grasping, prohibiting learning from taking place.

  • Make their students feel like they belong.

A lot of students need a community environment where they feel their opinions are valued. When that environment is taken away, the student may withdraw and miss out on the benefits of learning in groups. Teachers have a responsibility to create an environment that makes students feel comfortable.

  • Are role models for their students.

A teacher should be someone that students wants to be like after they graduate. Even if they are not interested in your specific major, your educational career should be something that your students can look up to and further model their paths after.