Most adults will be capable of reciting the names of many teachers they had decades earlier. Some could probably tell you what teacher they had and in what grade. As children we look up to our teachers as mentors, and role models. Though we may remember their names or what grade we were in, few teachers make memorable and lasting impressions on us. The kind of impressions that, 20 or 30 years later, we are still thinking about.
The number one characteristic of a memorable teacher is passion. Passion for their job, passion for life, passion for their students. Passionate teachers are the ones who come into school because they love it. They make each and everyday an adventure for students because it is an adventure for themselves.
What is often noticed about those memorable teachers is that they always demanded and expected more of their students. In educator Regie Routman's book Writing Essentials, she explains that teachers should always set high expectations for their students. The higher expectations give the students the confidence and belief that they can achieve excellence. A passionate teacher will never settle for poor quality. They expect passion from their students, and anything short of a student's best effort is unacceptable. In their mind, the job is not to teach a class for the year, their job is a lifelong commitment to helping their students reach their potential.
Two of the most memorable quotes I ever heard going through school were repeated by one of the most influential people in my life. He would always say, "You will be treated like a man until you ask to be treated like a child". Simple enough to understand, however many teachers fail to adopt this in their classrooms. The students would be held to a higher expectation. They would be expected to act and work as adults, and given the respect and responsibility that accompanies it.
The second quote, which pertains more to student success, is about improvement. He would tell us "I will only criticize you if I know you are capable of greatness.". As a result, anytime he addressed you, always like a man, it was clear that he saw potential in you. This confidence and trust made everyone believe they had the capacity to be great. The evident passion for life and students protruded from this teacher.
Even as a child we are capable of noticing changes in our mentality. It is the years spent with memorable teachers in which we grow the most as individuals.
Memorable teachers are not the ones who are the nicest to their students. They aren't the tough ones either. The characteristics of a memorable teacher go far beyond the external experience. They inspire students and propel them to the next level. The passion for life is undeniable and their ability to share that passion with the class permanently influences each student. It leads to confidence and maturity, gifts that are stored within, and kept for the rest of our lives.
Education is the basis of personal growth and professional success. The ability to impart knowledge to others is one of the greatest gifts we have.
A Great Teacher Essay
Throughout my life I have been taught by a number of teachers, all of whom have had some form of influence on me whether it be positive or negative. However, through this intellectual journey I have discovered many qualities that have distinguished these great teachers from the rest.
A great teacher has certain qualities that distinguish him/her from the other teachers. He/she shows qualities such as patience, kindness, flexibility, resourcefulness, tolerance and open-mindedness. He/she also has a good sense of humour and is honest, humble, enthusiastic and most importantly enjoys teaching. A great teacher always smiles at his/her pupils and dedicates him/herself to the job. One special quality that I have most often found in a great teacher is that they are able to be my friend. I do not know anyone better to trust and gain knowledge from than a friend. A friend is often a person that you remember for the rest of your life. However, I also believe that there must remain a balance between representing an authority or a friend so that the student shows respect. Some of the best teachers that I have been taught by have shown almost like a motherly or fatherly love towards their students. This attribute, in particular, is something that makes a really great teacher. One of my most memorable teachers was from grade five, named Mrs. Chinnevai. At one point during that year I remember having a very difficult time dealing with the death of my grandpa and she was able to comfort me and talk to me at a time when I needed it most. Whenever I just needed to talk to her she made herself available and that made me feel like she really cared about me and that my feelings mattered to her. For me, a good teacher is someone who teaches not only with their mind but also with their heart. This is a person who truly cares about his/her pupils and their interests, wishes and feelings and is also someone that a student can confide in times of sadness or of joy. It is great for a teacher to be able to get to know each one of his/her students personally in order to help them with their problems.
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Aside from representing kindness and love, a great teacher can find the right way of teaching between his/her passion for the subject and the interests of the class. This is the type of teacher who is able to challenge his/her students to become all that they can be which, in turn, helps to build confidence and self-esteem in students. He/she is not only able to teach textbook materials but also the truth about what is happening outside in the real world. In grade eight, while living in Alberta there was one teacher in particular who stood out from the others. Her name was Mrs. Maclean and she gave me the encouragement and confidence that I needed to succeed. Her believing in me at times when I did not even believe in myself made my want to strive to be the best person that I could be. She taught me that I could do anything if I just set my mind to it and those words had a great impact in motivating me.
There are many qualities that distinguish one teacher from another. However, each individual has his or her own opinion of what a great teacher is to them. For me, those qualities are a passion for teaching, being able to form a friendship with students as well as caring for them. I believe that education does not continue after school but continues throughout life and I am sure that throughout my life I will come across many more great teachers.
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