For students, a great teacher is someone who entertains the class, includes anecdotes, and gives little or no homework. Whereas teachers believe that giving tons of homework and classwork qualify them to be a good teacher. The teacher and student definition of a great teacher may differ from one another, but the main goal of all definitions is the enhancement of student learning.
A teacher who is able to achieve enhanced learning and good results from a student is a great teacher. However, the relationship between the student and teacher is much more complex than that. Students are highly impacted by their educators as most of their life learning takes place within the class. A teacher who is nothing, but a learning machine may have a negative impact on other areas of a student’s life. A teacher ought to be a leader and guardian for students who lead them in the right direction, both academically and non-academically. A bright student with no sight can only reach a limited amount of success.
There are many teacher’s professional development programs now that train teachers to be a wholesome and ultimate guardians for students. According to these programs and experts, to enhance student learning, a good teacher may possess a few qualities.
1- Life-Long Learners
An educator who believes that he/she has reached the end of the horizon and has learned everything can never be a good teacher. To make sure your students are good learners, a teacher himself has to be a great learner and must believe in the power of infinite knowledge. Experts believe that teachers must stay in the continuous process of learning in order to teach effectively. Recently, the educational world has changed a lot, which requires teachers to train more in order to stay in touch with recent trends. Not only that but when teachers are learning, they get a better sight to understand things from student’s perspectives and shape their techniques and methods into more effective and student-friendly ones.
Flexibility is another feature of a great teacher which helps them enhance class learning. As mentioned earlier, the educational world has transformed a lot, which requires teachers to be well equipped. For instance, technology has played a key role in changing the educational sector. Students are extremely tech-savvy and seek digital assistance for most minor tasks. Teachers, however, are not close to technological changes that took place just recently. There are many teachers who are adamant to resist EdTech in their educational setting because of various reasons. One of those reasons is the fear of change.
A great teacher understands and knows how to differentiate between good and bad changes. A teacher should be able to adapt to new methods, techniques, and innovations in the educational sector and should be able to use those changes for the advantage of students. EdTech benefits student learning in various ways and requires the assistance of a teacher to ensure that students make the correct use of it.
3- Creativity and Passion
It is crucial to keep the class learning engaging enough to keep the students interested. The current age of students has a short attention span which makes it harder for teachers to keep them engaged. Teachers who are creative can turn a dry lesson into a fun and engaging one, allowing the students to take an interest in learning. A teacher who is passionate about his profession can find learning models that would turn a dry class lesson into an engaging one. Experts also believe that teachers who are creative in their profession have a positive impact on student creativity and thinking skills.
4- They Listen
It is one of the key features of an unproductive classroom, that the teacher’s teaching models are based on his own opinion of the classroom. These methods or models are the most ineffective ones, as they lack student feedback and insight. A great teacher knows that student opinion matters the most when it comes to their learning, therefore, they value their input and take their opinion into consideration. On the other hand, many teachers refuse to listen and alter their models according to student needs, which usually results in reduced class performance.
5- Bonding with Students
Class environment matters the most when it comes to learning. Experts found out that the student learning level was at its lowest in a toxic classroom environment. Unfortunately, the classroom environment needs to be created and requires effort from the teacher. A wholesome classroom environment can be achieved when there’s a good bonding between teacher and student.
A great teacher forms an interactive environment in the classroom, where students feel comfortable talking to their peers and discussing their concerns with the teacher. This interaction promotes a healthy student-teacher bond, having a positive impact on class learning.
Patience is the key feature of any teacher who believes in student achievement. There are different types of students in one class with different abilities. Teachers who use uniform teaching models for all students often get impatient when some students learn slower than others. This leads to an achievement gap in class and reduced learning. A good teacher knows that patience is the key ingredient in closing down the achievement gap and helping those students who struggle in the classroom.
In professions such as engineering, medicine, and so on, skills can be learned and copied, but teaching is a profession in which great abilities are often difficult to replicate and learn. For some, teaching comes naturally as a gift, but others can be better teachers through continuous learning and teacher development programs. Different teacher abilities can also work to enhance learning as long as the main goal of the teacher is student success in classroom.