My first teacher was my grandfather. I had the privilege of watching him closely as I was growing up. I have never seen any one with such unparalleled dedication. I don’t know whether they know it or not, but good teachers have a lot of influence on their students. In their tenure as a teacher (20-30 years or more) they probably have the potential to influence 20-50K students directly. According to Teachers without Borders, there nearly 60 million teachers in the world.
Attributes of a great teacher:
- Motivated and Motivating
- Some times Entertaining
- Ability to tell great stories
- Knowledge of subject matter
- Challenges students to think
- Innovates in teaching methods
- Life-long learner
- Has Infinite patience
- Not judgemental
- Understands student’s difficulties,
- Understands student’s learning styles
- Takes pride in students’ achievements
If I love this profession so much, why did I not take up teaching profession? I ask myself that question a lot of times. I don’t know the answer. I studied engineering and jumped into a job and never looked back. But the most fun part in all my jobs and all my startups was the opportunity to teach.
Mar 3, 2014
I found Good vs. great teachers: how do you wish to be remembered? and it is worth a read. A small fragment from that post (please go and read it to get all the qualitative differences Grant Wiggins talks about):
how does one go from good to great? I think the difference is qualitative – The actions, behavior, and attitudes of great teachers differ considerably from those of good teachers; it’s not just a matter of degree. (That’s why I find almost all the well-known evaluation systems humdrum – they focus on mere goodness instead of being designed backward from greatness.)
Let me propose a set of distinctions – admittedly a bit glib – that may have value for sharpening our sense of what greatness is in teaching:
- Great teachers are in the talent-finding and talent-development business.
- Merely good teachers think they are mostly in the business of teaching stuff and helping students so that it gets learned.
- Great teachers are aiming for the future: are these students better able to succeed on their own after me and without me?
- Merely good teachers look mostly to the past: did they learn what I taught and did they do what I asked of them?
Sep 21, 2013
I am taking a course on Coursera on Foundations of Teaching for Learning. In Week 3 of the course, there is a fascinating discussion on What is a good school? What is a good teacher? What is a good student? The thought provoking part was a series of questions starting with “How do you know? Whom do you ask”. I thought one of the slides on “What is a good teacher” may be very relevant to this topic. If you are interested in teaching and learning, I highly recommend this course from Coursera.
Jul 16, 2013 Seven Characteristics of 21st Century Educators is a mind map of Seven Characteristics of Innovative Educator
July 16, 2013 Eight characteristics of 21st Century Teachers.
June 2 2012 The folks at Next Wave Multimedia were kind enough to create this presentation based on this post, using ComicsHead, a visualization and presentation tool.
4th Sep 2011 And then, I found this amazing blog post on the Technical Skills Required of a 21st Century Educator via Teacher’s Learning Journal.
23rd March 2011 AOL Search Teacher’s Attributes
Some times your blog visitors and comments tell you more about the topic you write about. I am always curious about why people read certain entries and where they come from. One way to honor them and say I recognize you is to incorporate their insights and link to them. This is a way to say, I salute you. I am glad you came and made my post a bit richer. Whenever I have time, I would like to post these under the Updates section of my blog posts.
I wholeheartedly agree with the last statement, been teaching for the last 1.5 years and it has been immensely satisfying. Stumbled here via Sukumar’s tweet. Will add you to my reader.
@Raj Thanks. I think more professionals should get into part time teaching. I think while the academics are great, students can benefit from a few anecdotes of how they can apply what they learn.
Two more attributes:
– Must be neutrally paced – not too fast and not too slow
– Must be the one who doesn’t have the “i know better” attitude and is willing to accept having made mistakes…
Thanks to Tim Oreilly, I got this link from his tweet:
A teacher who is a “Good story teller” can very well explain with ease even the complex of the theories like relativity, and can make the dullest topic look exciting!
A good teacher is a extinct species in India these days and when I think about teachers who influenced me the most, all of them are from my school days 🙂
The attributes of great teachers are admirable and aspirable -this may be useful to teachers aspiring to be great teachers: http://www.geocities.ws/greatteachersari/
I like teaching, i went to a college of education to do teacher’s training,on the long run i feel like changing proffession, but with this rightup i promise to stike to imparting knowledge.
Wow! This is one of the best comments I received ever on my blog. Thank you. I love teachers in the academics as well as outside. They help me become what I am.