A teacher should possess the following qualities to be considered a good teacher – many of these tips apply equally to parents:
- Care: He should care for students. If he doesn’t care for students, no matter how good he may be in his subject, the transfer of knowledge will never be efficient.
- Humble: He should be ready to learn from anyone, including his students.
- Tolerance: He should be unfazed by criticism and constantly try to improve himself.
Of course, every teacher has their own individual teaching style, but he should follow these basic principles:
- Encourage questions: I believe that good questioning is half of knowledge – questions nurture independent thinking, improve understanding and they give an idea of the level of understanding of students.
- Engage the audience: A teacher should be able to engage students by creating an interest in the subject. It goes without saying that he should be well prepared for the class to accomplish this.
- Teach based on audience: A teacher should take time to understand the level of audience and teach accordingly. A teacher may know a lot, but he should teach only as much as the audience is able to understand e.g. if you teach algebra at primary school, the children might be impressed that you know a lot, but they won’t learn anything.
- Simplify: He should be able to explain difficult concepts simply.
- Assignments and exams: Suitable assignments and exams must be given to the students that encourage understanding rather than rote memorisation. Grading (checking) of the exam should again encourage understanding rather than getting the answer perfectly correct.
- Approachable: Students should be able to approach the teacher with questions or concerns. They should not be scared to even say a word to their teacher.
- Fair: Teacher should be impartial to everyone, including people he knows.
- Strict: Teachers should be strong enough to take difficult decisions for the long-term benefit of his students.
- Honesty: This is one principle in which I firmly believe. No person can know the answer to every question. So, one should be honest and bold enough to say “I don’t know.”