• Laurie Swigart

WHAT MAKES A GOOD TEACHER?

Scott Thomson,Executive Director Emeritus, National Association of Secondary School Principals


Research indicates that the best teachers possess two fundamental attributes: 1. They know the subject matter being taught, and 2. They enjoy children as human beings and love to work with children and youth. They enjoy the company of young people.


While these two attributes form the foundation of great teaching, there are also several personality traits that make teachers successful. These include enthusiasm (for learning and for learning activities), clear teaching objectives or sense of direction for their teaching, organizational and management skills (good teaching just doesn't happen spontaneously), and a solid sense of fairness and honesty. (young people can sense a phony a mile away and also have a strong sense of fairness).


Teachers of elementary and secondary school students have a slightly different focus and exhibit somewhat different classroom behavior. For children, the teacher must be attentive and nurturing and patient and caring almost to the point of parenthood. Teachers of adolescents must not be quite so "close" as teenagers do not appreciate coddling! Rather, teachers of adolescents provide guidance and advice about choices and most of all, point out the consequences of decisions both beneficial and harmful. Teachers attempt to get students to make mature judgments on their own and to understand the consequences of

poor and of good decision making. Personal responsibility for older students becomes more important than with elementary school students who generally live and learn in a more protected environment.


Of course each teacher is unique and their "connection" with students, so important to motivating students, is often made in unique ways. These techniques are often described as a "bag of tricks" but really are superb professional insight, often gained through long experience, about what gets kids excited about learning in a particular content field or at a specific grade level.


Finally, students are moving targets, they are growing and changing constantly. Fourteen-year-old Susan in September is not fourteen-year-old Susan in June. So teachers must be flexible enough to sense the many developing changes in individual students and respond in a way that challenges but also supports them as they grow and mature.


Yes, teaching is demanding work requiring an alert mind and a high energy level!

1 view0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

WHAT THEATRE GRADS NEED TO KNOW

by Kent Lantaff. STAGE DIRECTIONS. October 1996 What do theatrical employers believe actors need to learn from actor training programs? We asked a sampling of those who do the hiring in the theatre --

WHAT ME, JUGGLE?

by Nym M. K. Nevarez. DRAMATICS. May, 1993. Have you ever watched a juggler throwing knives or bowling balls or flaming torches into the air, and wondered, "How does he do that?" Actually, it's a lot

The Creative Personality

Creative individuals are remarkable for their ability to adapt to almost any situation and to make do with whatever is at hand to reach their goals. By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, published on July 01, 1

Contact the Director

Laurie Swigart ~Director, Designer, & Webmaster ~laurie@dreamcoat.org715-781-5760

Copyright (c) 1997-2020 Theatre on a Shoestring. All rights reserved.

DISCLAIMER: THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING is not responsible for information, images, or links on related sites. All pages that contain links to other sites do so to assist visitors in finding useful and related material. We are not responsible for other sites' content or links.

 

DISCLAIMER: THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING did not willfully use any copyrighted material for the publication of this website. We apologize for any oversight in the acknowledgement of the copyright of the respective object. The copyright for any material created by THEATRE ON A SHOESTRING is reserved.