What makes a good teacher

By Razib Khan | June 23, 2006 4:08 pm

What makes a good teacher? That’s what SEED is asking this week. Here’s my top 10….

10) Patience
9) Lack of ego (putting the focus on the student)
8) Enthusiasm
7) Social sensitivity (know the audience you are aiming at, whether it be the children of religious fundamentalists, 8 year olds or over-30 GED candidates)
6) Experience teaching
5) Broadness of personal experience
4) Top notch verbal skills
3) Training in the field which they are teaching (this is a serious issue in many high schools)
2) Creative, flexible lesson plans
…and the number #1 variable in making a “good” teacher
Smart and passionate students
The last factor is something we all implicitly understand, there are far fewer inspirational movies made about brilliant teachers from elite prep academies and magnet schools than those about teachers in socially dysfunctional areas. This is, fundamentally, one of my main beefs with high stakes testing, teachers are dealt different hands and told to perform as if the raw material was all the same.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Ask a ScienceBlogger
  • http://akinokure.blogspot.com Agnostic

    I started writing a comment, but it got out of hand, so I wrote it up into a post at my blog, http://akinokure.blogspot.com/
    Short & sweet of it: teachers need to understand the findings of the past 100 years of psychometrics.

  • gc

    “The power of instruction is seldom of much efficacy except in those happy dispositions where it is almost superfluous.”
    — Gibbon
    (as quoted by R. P. Feynman)

  • http://threadsafe.blogspot.com tc

    A good teacher should understand what is happening in the kids’ minds when she teaches them (however she does it).

  • Alma

    I am a science teacher.
    I think to be a good teacher needs:
    – commitment
    -to be prepared and use different methods to encourage the students
    -to make very intereting for student and to make them know about the important of learning science
    -to arrange lab-activities, projects
    -to arrange field trip etc.


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About Razib Khan

I have degrees in biology and biochemistry, a passion for genetics, history, and philosophy, and shrimp is my favorite food. In relation to nationality I'm a American Northwesterner, in politics I'm a reactionary, and as for religion I have none (I'm an atheist). If you want to know more, see the links at http://www.razib.com


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