Thursday, February 23, 2012

What makes a good teacher?

From Chronicle of Higher Education:

"The way I look at it is, I've plowed the ground," he says. "Now they're susceptible the next time they see the material. And you'll give them an assignment, and that forces them to look at the material in a new way."

As he sees it, his job is less about being an expert imparting facts and figures, and more about being a salesman convincing students that his material is worth their attention. "The messenger, ironically enough, is more important than the message," he says. "If the messenger is excited and passionate about what they have to say, it leaves a good impression. It stimulates students to see what all this excitement is about."

The things that make a good teacher are difficult—if not impossible—to teach, he thinks. Which is why technology may be so attractive to some teaching reformers. Blogging, Twitter, and other digital tools involve step-by-step processes that can be taught.

<idle musing>
Yep. It's about the teacher-student and student-student interaction—which is why distance education isn't the same as an in-class experience. You can't replicate it—although it is getting better. And also why putting all the lecture notes online can never replace the actual class time.

I always saw my time teaching as a chance to get students excited about the subject. If they got excited, then they would pursue knowing more. Life is exciting! And there are so many neat things to learn about what God has created. If students get a glimpse of that, then they will want to learn. And that is what a teacher needs to convey... Just an
</idle musing>

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