Teaching is something that all of us do in our daily lives, some work in teaching, others train people, those who have children teach on a daily basis and there are always situations where we need to introduce people to new knowledge. Being a good teacher is not something that everyone can do and being a great teacher is something that only a few can do, you must have patience and a great methodology to master the art of imparting knowledge.
Much has been written about teaching methods, how they have changed over the years and how one can become a better educator. People like author and educationist Douglas Reeves have filled thousands of pages on the importance of education and the skills required to be a great teacher. So what is it then, that separates good teachers from great teachers?
The ultimate weapon that a teacher needs to have in their arsenal is the ability to engage, if you cannot captivate those who you are teaching then the information which you are trying to give them will fall on deaf ears. For students and learners, they need to be able to give you their full attention and in order to do so you, great teachers must have a teaching style that engages everyone. An engaging style is about being creative, being inclusive when teaching and being able teach things in a way that relates to those who are learning.
In order to be a great teacher, you must be able to gain the respect of those whom you are teaching, without their respect they are less likely to listen to what you are teaching. Respect goes both ways and in order to gain it and keep it, you must be able to give it, when people feel respected, they are more likely to return that respect and this mutual respect gives you a great platform to educate.
Great teachers not only expect high standards consistently, but let their students know exactly what those standards are and more importantly, how they can achieve them. When it comes to the standards that you should expect, you need to strike a fine balance. If you’re standards are too high, and unattainable then you can leave your learners downhearted when the don’t reach them. If your standards are too low, then they will be easily achievable and you won’t be able to inspire your students to aim high.
Great teachers have an ability to adapt their teaching style depending on who they are teaching, everyone learns in different ways and the best teachers are able to spot this and tailor their methods to get the best from each and everyone that they are teaching. In the same way that people learn in different ways, everyone also learns at different speeds and the mark of a great teacher is to be flexible enough to allow students to do so whilst helping each one along the way.