Monday, February 26, 2007

What makes a good teacher

The other night in my late night class, the topic was education, a topic about which I have very strong opinions. I'm not sure that one of the students will return, actually. She opined that she thought that teachers should be married. I told her that I thought it was none of her business whether a teacher is married or not. She said that when she had been student a teacher and a classmate were married after the student graduated from high school. She said that it made her feel that teachers looked at students as more than just pupils. I said that if there were some kind of ethical problem there, then it was totally irresponsible behavior on the part of the teacher, and the teacher in question should be punished, but we don't expect our doctors, lawyers, carpenters, or any other profession to have mandated marriage rules. Why should teachers be any different? And even if they are married, does it prevent people from exhibiting inappropriate behavior? Not at all. Hope that wasn't too much for her.

One group did come up with a good list of characteristics of "good teachers.” Here that is.

  • good human being- listens ot others' opinions. has ears to listen and eyes to see
  • sense of humor, not too strict
  • treats students equally
  • teaches how to survive in society, social skills
  • be respected, keep promoses, answer questions
  • be interested in what makes a good teacher


EFL Geek said...

You should have brought up the fact that in the late 1800s to early 1900s female teachers were not allowed to be married. As soon as they were they quit teaching.

Daniel said...

That is a very good point, EFL Geek. That system, while not on the books anywhere, is still a defacto policy, though. Women often take time off to raise their children, and cannot return to their jobs without completing the certification process again. I had a student who returned to university to complete that process once again, passed the test and everything, only to be rejected because she was over the age limit.