What makes a good teacher?

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Peter Loganbill, Staff Writer

Students spend a lot of time with teachers. Seven different people for an hour a day, a little under 200 days a year. Their role is vital to their lives. Students will have had many teachers by the end of high school. It’s important that teachers present information in a way that is effective to their students.

Opening a class with the phrase, “We have a lot to do today,” will never motivate students to work. The hour will then be viewed by the students as not enjoyable in any way, and they will want to fly through their work and not put thought into it.

My favorite teachers have always been the one who treated me like I was their son, in a sense. From the thoughtless bliss of Kindergarten with Mrs. Stetler to the dread of calculus with Mr. Miller, I’ve always cared more about a class if the teacher cared about me. Of course discipline from a teacher to a student is necessary at times, and it must be done out of care for the student. Love needs to come from the teachers; if the students feel cared for, then that will motivate them to do their best.

Students need teachers who care about them. The teachers need to understand that many of the students have incredibly hectic lives. A great mistake of teachers is giving students unexpected homework assignments that will take multiple hours at night. One class in light of six others, work, family, and church is not a student’s main priority; however, it is a priority. A great problem occurs when a teacher doesn’t explain a project or assignment. If a teacher continues to make a great effort to make sure that the students understand what they are trying to get across, then the students will feel cared for, and like they are truly learning. Students need to do their best, and teachers need to help them through.

Teachers must be extremely passionate about their subject; it must be “their thing”. They should love it so much that they have a desire to share with people who are younger than them. Teachers need to view class every day as something they enjoy to do, not a task that they need to finish.

Teachers also need to make sure to communicate why their subject actually matters. It must be understood why the subject is even being taught at school. Everyone won’t be interested in every field, but they all must be presented with the correct way of thinking. The word “worldview” has become difficult to take seriously at KCC. I personally would rather say, “the way things are” or “that someone thinks the world is like this”. Students and teachers alike need to think about their classes as aspects of the world, not “subjects”.

If the students see the material as information about the world, as opposed to pointless work, and the teachers present it in this way, then school can be enjoyable and effective, and not just something that needs to get finished.