What is the difference between a good and a great teacher? This is a question I’m sure many of us have pondered from time to time and even wondered which category we would be in.
We need many good teachers to educate our children, but how awesome would it be if we had more great teachers. I’m talking about the kind of teacher that changes kids’ lives for the better and has a tremendous impact. I’m sure we all had at least one teacher in our lives like that. If you are looking for some help with a response to the topic, think about those teachers and list their qualities here. Also something to think about is, how can we get more great teachers in the education system and how can we become great teachers ourselves? I realize that this can be a tricky topic.
So I guess what I’m asking is, what makes a great teacher? Feel free to respond to this question on your own or comment on my list:)
One of the things that got me thinking about this was a post by Grant Wiggins called “Good vs. great teachers: how do you wish to be remembered?”
I brought this up in a forum post a bit earlier in the class. You can access it here:
Here’s my current list (I’m sure this list is far from perfect):
Great teachers make their students feel like they really matter and they can make the world a better place.
Great teachers realize that what happens in their classroom can change a child’s life forever.
Great teachers teach their content AND teach life long lessons that will help their students forever.
Great teachers inspire their students through their own actions, the activities they plan, and how much they care.
Great teachers get their students to discover things about themselves that they didn’t know before.
Great teachers focus on effectiveness; good teachers tend to focus on efficiency.
Just for fun: If you could get every teacher in the country to change one thing about their teaching, what would it be?
I’ll tell you my answer. It would be to make all of their lessons more student centered and less teacher centered. Get the kids involved! Get them leaning forward in their seats. Get them excited.
I’ve had two student teachers (who are awesome educators!) and of course have observed and been in many classes and the biggest problem I see is that many teachers basically practice the same model of teaching that was used when I was in school.
This usual model is: Lecture, notes, worksheet, test, and repeat. I’ve never really found this to be truly effective in any classroom. Now, I’ve had teachers who are amazing story tellers and they involve the class in an interactive discussion about the topic, but I don’t consider that lecture. Also I realize that sometimes you have to do some direct instruction, but the days of standing in front of the class and giving notes for an entire period should be over.