Today’s prompt: what makes for a great teacher
I have watched for years as my kids have struggled or been successful in classrooms. I have thought about this long and hard. What is the difference in a good teacher and one that is less effective? It’s really a tough question and even harder to generalize. The best teachers know a few simple facts. The first is that people learn different ways. I believe the teachers who limit themselves to one teaching method lose not only the interest of some of the people in their class but also fail at reaching each and every student.
I was driving through Sonic yesterday and my son was excited to tell me what he learned in religious education class. The teacher had three cups. One with vinegar(the people), one with soy sauce(sin) and one with bleach(god). When the sin was added to the people, the color got darker. But when God was added to the sin or the people, the color turned clear. Why am I telling you this? If this teacher decided to lecture that day about the concept of sin, I can guarantee my son would have been staring off into space fantasizing about building a new building in his latest Minecraft game. But, because he was taught in an experimental kind of way, he was totally intrigued.
The second method is this. I get that teachers are not there to entertain us but let’s face it, a boring teacher is a boring teacher period. I believe teachers have to be spontaneous a little creative to find ways to keep her audience listening. Sometimes, it’s the little things. I know my daughters favorite teacher back in middle school gave an assignment she was absolutely excited about. They were each assigned a president and they had to teach the class about it by coming up with a song. It was several years ago and she still knows the words today. She will never forget the facts about Abe Lincoln that she crafted into the catchiest little tune.
That is my answer then, creativity and several teaching methods make for the best teachers. Anyone can learn but not everyone can teach well. What do you think?