View Full Version : What makes a great teacher?

29th April 2001, 04:31
I recently found this list quoted in a textbook used in a local (school) teacher training course. The original source is an article written by Charles Boag for The Bulletin (an Australian news magazine), 18 July 1989. Boag consulted academics, administrators, teachers, parents and students in researching his article.

Great teachers:
1. Enthuse students - 'The big one, with near-unanimity among bureaucrats, academics, teachers, parents and students.'
2. Treat them as individuals -
3. Know the subject -
4. Are loving, warm -
5. Teach to learn - (teach students how to learn)
6. Empathise with students
7. Relate to others -
8. Are firm, fair, flexible -
9. Are organised - (having an overall idea of what you are teaching and working through it as a naturally developing plan)
10. Prepare students for life -
11. Manage the classroom -
12. Have high self-esteem -
13. Have a sense of humour - (don't take themselves too seriously)
14. Need to be a complete person - (have interests outside the classroom, the experience of which can be related in their teaching)
15. Take risks - (dare to try something new)

The comments in brackets are in my own words, but are based on the accompanying discussion from my source. Although the original article related specifically to schoolteachers, I feel the list is appropriate to teachers in other contexts as well.

Chris from CT
30th April 2001, 22:54
I absolutely agree that the list can be for many other types of teachers and/or rolemodels.

I had recently attended a seminar by Bruce Juchnik hanshi. What he had said would coincide with the statement about having a sense of humour and not taking themselves too seriously. Juchnik hanshi said, "Don't take yourself too seriously, but take "what you do" seriously.

Take Care

Chris from CT
30th April 2001, 22:59
I appologize for the double post.

Take care :)

11th May 2001, 09:02
I agree heartily with the above posts. I think my teacher
is a great teacher, but under some exceptional circumstances
he departs from the above principles. In general, he is very much point 4, but at one time the he gave one (female) dojou member a very hard time (screaming at her, demanding better performance, citizising every, even the smallest mistake) for weaks during training. She was usually at the verge of tears during the training, but he was allways very nice to her afterwards. Once he explained his rationale: "She is such a charming beauty that at least I have to give her a hard time, because nobody else will. Else she will never grow up ...."

Be organised: My sensei (Iai) thinks that the proper spririt of Iai cannot be attained any more because suprise attacks with live danger do not exist anymore. His substitue: For every Embu/Demonstration he makes a detailed schedule so that everybody knows what he has to do. Then he will change the schedule (waza, time etc) in the last moment. You will be usally sent out

1.two minutes before you were scheduled

2. were chatting with somebody else and

3. have your sword not at hand.

It is not as good as life danger, but believe me, as far as the suprise moment is concerned, he has achieved a very high brand. First I thought he is disorganied. After the third embu, a certain pattern emerged.... not all deshi have yet caught up:).

12th May 2001, 11:54
G'day, Ross!

Nice to see you. I admit, as a former ESL teacher (TESOL), number three was a challenge for me, the teacher (it's amazing what one does NOT know of one's own native language, and what one needs to know of those of the students).

It definitely carries over in the dojo. I fully admit a few of my students know more on the subject than I do, and even on technique sometimes. But it should be every teacher's goal to build a better person, in the confines of the dojo, etc., and certainly a decent understanding of the basics so when one goes from the student, to the fighter, to the teacher, one has the ability to make as many mistakes, and understand what is needed for over-all improvement, and to know how to correct it.

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You may not live long enough to make them all yourself." -- Jigoro Kano