Every good teacher is unique in his or her own ways. Therefore, it is not really possible for us to list the characteristics of a good teacher. So, is that it? Is my article going to end here? At around 35 words? Of course not. While the characteristics of every good teacher are different, the qualities in teachers that students are drawn to are somewhat similar. So, it will be good to consider the qualities of good teachers from the students’ perspectives. So, let’s look at the some of the common qualities that students take to:
It will be good to start off with the quality of being caring. Students have a good impression of teachers who will make every effort to guide them in their studies. I am not implying that teachers spoon-feed students but rather, teachers should be a pillar of support when it comes to enabling students to excel in their education. Therefore, teachers who exhibit this quality consistently usually win the hearts of the students. It is almost impossible to dislike a teacher who is dedicated in her or effort to guide a student towards excellence, right?
Then there is the use of the nurturing approach. During the years when I was a student, most of my teachers are authoritarian and they place class behavioural control over teaching. As a result, few students in class ever consider them to be good teachers. On the other hand, when a teacher uses the nurturing approach (which includes talking politely to the students, making the effort to understand their reasons for doing things, giving them encouragement whenever possible, not getting angry too quickly etc.), they often win the hearts of all if not most of the students. It is not difficult to understand why. All of us want to be appreciated and understood. A teacher who can do this is usually an outstanding teacher with very good standing in the teaching community. Bringing in the example as mentioned above, I will say that a teacher who uses the nurturing approach to enable a student to excel will often beat an authoritative teacher with similar intentions. Therefore, when it comes to being a good teacher, it’s not only the intentions that matter but a teacher’s teaching approach as well.
Another quality that students take to is patience. A teacher who often takes the time to guide his or her students despite the fact that they have made recurring mistakes is often a desired quality that students look for in teachers. Even as adults, we do not like to be put down by others for mistakes that we have made. In fact, we hope that others will forgive us when we err. So, what more for the students? Therefore, students usually relate better to a teacher with a larger heart. Communication between the students and the teacher improves as a result too. Personally, I feel that one way to assess good teachers is to observe the communication process between the teachers and their students. The determining factor of being a good teacher is not so much their communicating styles but more of their ability to relate and understand their students. And the quality of patience is usually one of the catalysts that improve communication in this aspect.
However, I think that the most important quality of a teacher is the ability to inspire students to soar to greater heights. This is also the most challenging issue to touch on since all good teachers do it in so many different ways. Some of them achieve this through the use of encouragements. Some of them tell insightful stories in class to inspire. And some of them instil confidence in the students through the acceptance of the students’ works and contributions. The list goes on. Once again, it’s best to put ourselves in the shoes of the students and see what they see. Seen in this light, I believe that students find teachers to be inspiring when the teachers gives them hope and tell them that they have tremendous potentials that are not released while at the same time, having the conviction that all of them are able to achieve great things for the greater good if they release these potentials of theirs. I feel that this is something that all of us are looking for in someone, and not merely students.Therefore, as can be observed, there are many qualities in educators that make them good teachers.However, a teacher who acts as a beacon of hope for the students and inspires them to greatness is not only a good teacher, but a great one.(20)