Knowing a great teacher when you see one
Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer
What I mean by that is that most of us would think that the word teacher merely applies to school settings. I venture saying that this applies in family, social and also all professional areas as well. To me “teacher” goes hand in hand with being a leader – who is really a mentor. Can you think of the best teacher you have encountered? Now think of the worst one(s). Interesting contrast do you not agree? My best was my English teacher here in the States while attending evening college. Conversely, the worst was my English teacher in German high school who once asserted that I would never, ever “get” English and never be able to speak it correctly. He was also infamous for throwing his key chain at students when he wanted to get their attention.
Here are a few attributes that I believe you will find our best teacher – mentors have in common. They also represent criteria that we must possess as parents and business leader-managers.
A good teacher,
conducts him-/ herself setting a good example.
has a profound, current knowledge of the subject matter.
conducts continuous research in his field or related field.
has an intuitive understanding of human learning.
has an understanding of student motivation and learning style.
understands the proper use of assessments / exams.
trusts students in their ability to achieve and learn.
possess openness: Talks about his own personal journey as well as listening to the student’s own journey.
discusses secrets he has learned.
treat students with decency and respect.
is genuine and sincere.
lets student struggle to exercise the material and tolerates mistakes made along the way.
provides a fun and safe learning environment.
makes the lesson about the student and not about himself or the school.
This should sound familiar and perhaps you can think of more points that you could share with us. While I hold fond memories of my favorite teachers, I also wrote a lovely mail to my high school English teacher in the best English that I could muster about how I learned to write and pronounce English correctly – just not in his class.
Ponder these points in your own social and business settings and I believe you will be amazed how many times you slip into the role of a teacher every week. .
“The great teacher is not the man or woman who supplies the most facts, but the one in whose presence we become different people.” Ralph Waldo Emerson