First of all, he must convince the students that they are capable of doing great things. A good teacher must encourage his students in all that he does as well as motivate them to positive change. All students are valuable in the eyes of God and must be valued by the good teacher. The students in your classroom are all talented and you must teach them to develop those talents. A good teacher will constantly tell the students that they can understand the material and do all that he can to help them understand it. The best example that a teacher can use for explaining that students are talented and can do it is his own personal example.
Secondly, a good teacher knows that he must invest in the students’ good character. In fact, investing in their good character is far greater than the knowledge imparted to them. Good character is far more valuable than the “grades” that students receive. Good character changes a person’s life for the good far more than good grades. A student of good character will learn to respect authority, starting with the teacher. Respecting authority, as well as respecting others in general will take a student much further in life than just good grades alone. A good teacher does not have to beg for respect because he invests in the students’ good character and they will reward him with respect. A student who attains good character based on a good teacher investing in him will respect, and work hard to learn the material. Also, the student will influence and motivate the other students to do the same. A good teacher does not teach his students “what” to think; instead, he teaches his students “how” to think for themselves. Good character does not come about as a result of being discouraged, so a good teacher encourages his students at all times. He does not challenge his students to compete with and against each other. Instead, he challenges them to compete with themselves.
An ideal teacher is a person of integrity. He does not teach others to have integrity if he does not have it himself. Everyone knows that people learn more from a person’s own personal example than just from the person’s words alone. No one likes to hear, “do as I say but not as I do”, correct? You may teach great things but if you are not an example of integrity then your words are very weak and will not have much of an impact. An ideal teacher has authority when his actions coincide with his words. Students watch everything that you do and will notice if you are a person of integrity or not.
An ideal teacher is a constant learner himself. He continues in the process of his own personal education. A good teacher is a good student himself. He is a great example for his students. He encourages them to work hard to learn and develop. I have noticed many teachers get caught up in the worries and struggles of life and no longer make time to learn. A teacher who stops learning is limited in his abilities and progress. His level of the material may be greater than that of his students yet this attitude will not go unnoticed by the students. The students will follow the teacher’s example, the tone that he sets for them.
An ideal teacher will see value in each and every one of his students. He is not the world’s greatest critic, criticizing both students and other teachers. The expression, “the end justifies the means” is not part of a good teacher’s methods. Even if a student does not quite measure up to the teacher’s expectation, this is not an excuse to stop investing in him or her. Because of his respect for his students, he will invest in each and every one of them.
An ideal teacher collaborates well with his colleagues, especially those who are inexperienced. He does not criticize his colleague’s lack of experience. He is not in competition with his colleagues either. I am so thankful that I have had good teachers who have been an example for me taking me under their wing when I was inexperienced, as well as continuing to teach me day by day.
Written by Alexander Curbet – candidate for teacher of the year, 2012-2013 in Moldova.