Most adults can remember at least one teacher that made a real impression on them, whether by encouraging future study and personal growth or inspiring them toward a particular goal. Unfortunately, many adults can also remember at least one teacher who had a more negative effect on their development, attitude and self-esteem. Being a good teacher means being able to successfully communicate concepts, help students understand and incorporate them in practical applications, and motivate students to finish their assigned tasks and study for tests. A great teacher, however, is a much more rare and difficult-to-define individual.
What makes a teacher great can vary wildly, however, there are certain characteristics and habits that all great teachers exhibit. For instance, a great teacher can not only motivate students to learn a concept; they will instead instill a desire in their students to explore on their own. While good teachers can get their students to read and discuss Shakespeare, great teachers can get their students to look for deeper meanings, or autonomously investigate similar authors. Good teachers can make students care about what they are learning, while a truly great teacher makes students wonder what else they could learn about.
Great teachers are interested in more than just a child’s test scores and attendance; they are focused on each student’s self-esteem and personal growth. They have a passion for their particular subjects and they are able to impart that passion to those they teach. They understand that they are not simply providing information; they are the doors to a wider perspective and comprehension, without which the concept of learning becomes simple memorization.