Sidebar: Characteristics of an effective teacher
Both students and master teachers agree on the characteristics of an effective teacher.
A good teacher:
- Is positive
- Models good behavior
- Shows interest in student and subject
- Is relaxed, not arrogant or defensive
- Carefully listens
- Is empathic
- Is genuine
- Appears to enjoy teaching
- Has a sense of self-confidence
- Is approachable
A good teacher:
- Answers questions or admits to not knowing
- Holds students accountable for their actions
- Talks at the students’ level
- Is well-prepared
- Asks thought provoking questions
- Uses examples, analogies, or metaphors that relate the material to the students’ world
- Makes the objectives of the course and each session clear.
- Presents viewpoints different from their own
- Can pace the class
- Encourages independent thought and critical thinking
- Knows if the class is following the material and takes action when the class is not
- Is concerned about the quality of their teaching
- Draws upon the students’ prior knowledge and skills in order to shape the class and help students learn
- Keeley, S. M., & And Others. (1995). Coping with student resistance to critical thinking: What the psychotherapy literature can tell us. College Teaching, v43(n4), p140
- Kearney, P., & And Others. (1991). College teacher misbehaviors: What students don't like about what teachers say and do. Communication Quarterly, v39(n4), p309.
- McFarland, D. A. (2001). Student resistance: How the formal and informal organization of classrooms facilitate everyday forms of student defiance. AJS, 107, 612-678.
- Petty, G. (2006). Evidence-based teaching. Nelson Thornes Publishing; London