What Good Teachers Give Us
If we asked you which teachers have left the biggest mark on you, it probably wouldn’t take very long for you to answer. You remember their names, the way they ran class, and why they impacted you so much. You never forget a good teacher.
This is also true of everyone who has taught us outside of academia. The people who teach us valuable things leave a mark on us, beyond the knowledge that they imparted.
Hundreds of people pass through our lives, and many of them leave without a trace. But people who demonstrate a special ability to share knowledge are unforgettable. Why are we so lucky when we have good teachers? Because they give us much more than they actually mean to, and much more than we expected.
It’s interesting to see who children view as heroes throughout their childhood. Beyond their parents and fictional characters, teachers occupy a very important place in their lives.
For example, if a teacher has instilled the value of effort in you, said the right words at the right time, or used a fun learning technique, it’s very likely that the acquired knowledge will always be associated with the memory that made that teacher so unique.
Unfortunately, most teachers are very routine, conduct lessons monotonously, and adhere too strictly to the textbook. But a handful of teachers – who can probably be counted on one hand – are exceptional and demonstrate a special ability to reach us.
Good teachers are those who teach while having fun, who prove their vocation in front of 30 bored children who would rather be somewhere else playing, who help you choose your future profession.
What is the ideal teacher like?
They’re not the ones who give fewer assignments or let students do whatever they want in class. They’re also not the ones who give assignments that take all afternoon and evening to finish, or who tyrannously keep the class in absolute silence.
A good teacher is one who sets the bar at a height that the students can jump to, just a little bit above the height that they could comfortably reach. One who finds the best way to get the students to internalize the material.
Vocation is something that we might not understand when we’re little, but we can easily see it in people who have it. This is so because it easily transforms into an attitude, a positive disposition in the face of the challenges that the class can pose.
If they treat everyone equally, if it doesn’t bother them to spend a little extra time explaining to those who don’t understand, if they’re friendly and close with their students, and especially if they have a great amount of patience, then they’ll be an ideal teacher.
They should also have enthusiasm for their job and the desire to continuously exceed, to find new ways to say the same thing, and to give the best of themselves in the knowledge that they impart.
Teachers should also remember to give their students a complete education. What does this mean? It means that on top of teaching data, formulas, and techniques, they should also teach about values and good habits.
Do great teachers exist outside of school?
Up until now, we’ve talked about children and their schoolteachers. But mentors can come from any age or profession. Many adults also look for someone to guide them, to teach them something that they need to or want to learn.
Even though you can pick them, there are some professors that you find just by chance. You could run into the professor from the class next door, or the one from previous class.
Mentors offer all of their knowledge to their apprentices and help them to overcome diverse obstacles. They usually have a lot of experience in the field and have a special talent for teaching or handing down wisdom.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter how old you are: there’s still time to find the best teacher you’ve ever had in your life.
“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings.”
-Carl Gustav Jung-