The Ideal Teacher
Every day, we interact with hundreds of people from the people we pass in the hallway, to our friends, teammates, coaches, parents and family. But there is really no comparison to the interaction and relationship students experience with their teachers.
A teacher teaches, but in reality there’s a lot more to it than just that. A teacher is also a mentor and a friend, and for that reason a good teacher embodies characteristics such as being approachable, being a good communicator, and being relatable. We’ve all had that one student-teacher relationship that we will never forget. A positive experience where over the course of 180 days and those 7,200 precious minutes, you have the opportunity to learn what the other is about. However, let’s be honest: such a positive experience with a teacher is a rarity.
But some of the best teachers are the ones you develop a connection with. But what qualifies as a good teacher? One of the most important qualities that a good teacher embodies is approachability. In order to be approachable, the teacher must be personable. Students can’t be intimidated by a teacher, otherwise they will hesitate to ask questions and request extra help. If students are intimidated and refuse to ask questions, the majority of students won’t be successful in the class.
In order to be seen as approachable, teachers can smile, be friendly, open, and flexible. By doing so, students will become comfortable letting their guard down and asking for help. However, although approachability is important, there is a line between being a teacher and a pal, and the line must not be crossed. In addition to being approachable, a teacher has to be a good communicator. This goes both ways. The teacher needs to be able to communicate well and listen to meet the needs of their students.
In the positive relationship, a student should feel comfortable talking to the teacher and they should be able to communicate effectively, to not only the students, but also the parents and families. Finally, a good teacher is relatable. A good teacher is one who goes out of his or her way to find a way to relate to each student, and this is where students really develop that positive student-teacher relationship. It’s hard to find common interests with every single student, but the teachers that have the ability to find a way to connect with each student are those who are the best. Being relatable establishes that common ground and sets up all the other qualities that make a great teacher.