I have a list of great teachers. When I try and think of all the things that made them great, I start running out of room on the paper. But if I look closely, there is one quality that they all share that makes them good at what they do. Empathy. You have to have the ability to see the world through different eyes than your own to effectively communicate with your audience.
You also have to care about what you’re teaching, I think. There has to be some enthusiasm for the subject matter or you pupils will not be interested. I once had a friend that could turn the subject of calculus into something we could all enjoy because he shared what he learned with such passion. It made me want to understand what he was talking about, and he had the ability to break it down in such a way that you were able to follow along with him. He was able to teach me how to solve a Rubik’s cube, something that I still have trouble explaining to other people.
Teachers have to be satisfied with intrinsic rewards as well. That’s a term I learned in education classes which is a fancy way of saying that if you’re looking for a job where you’re going to be constantly appreciated and encouraged, teaching is not for you. It’s also another way of saying that you should expect to be poor. Teachers don’t make money. That’s why teachers are great because they aren’t in it for that.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “We Can Be Taught!.”