How to Describe an Excellent Teacher

How to describe an Excellent Teacher

Remember when you were a kid and one of the first things you ever said about your future was something like, “When I grow up, I want to be a teacher!” Do you feel the same way today? Most people of today’s generation now wince at the thought of even getting a degree in teaching. Why? It’s because teachers today get the most blatant form of disrespect from students. Students are known to talk when unnecessary, argue, slander, and rebel against their educators and, in the most troubled kids, even threaten their teachers. I’m quite positive that even the best of teachers can shake most of these insults off, but the worst thing a student could ever say about a teacher is that they are the worst or in some cases, the stupidest person that that student has ever met. In the most devoted of teachers, a tic-tac sized comment like this has the impact of the detonation of an Atomic Bomb.

So how does one describe an excellent teacher? Well, obviously, an excellent teacher is one who doesn’t take the littlest of comments (accusations of racism, for example) to heart. But a person’s definition of an excellent teacher also depends on the person being asked to describe an excellent teacher. For example, one crucial opinion would be that of the average academic slacker. As we all know, this is a student who shows up at school late, falls asleep during class, typically has a C to D average in school, and doesn’t have an idea of how to live his or her life.

How would they define an excellent teacher? The slacker would probably say that the teacher shouldn’t use the same, plain-Jane teaching techniques that the typical teacher would use; teachers should try to teach from a student’s point of view. Teachers could, perhaps, give examples of a topic from movies. For example, if a teacher gives a lesson on Ancient Greek warfare, they could bring up the movie “300”. Not only will teaching this way improve attention in the classroom, but it will also improve the students’ comprehension of the subject by comparing it to something they’ve probably seen.

 But what if the problem doesn’t fall under the way they teach? Maybe the teacher is too quiet or, even worse… monotone. Then, the slacker would suggest the teacher be a little more energetic in their teaching; a great example of energy would be the energy that Ty Pennington uses on his show “Extreme Makeover:  Home Edition” or the speech styling of Offer “Vince” Shlomi, the spokesperson for ShamWow! and the Slap Chop.  

We’ve visited the opinion of a slacker, but how about academic champion? A self-proclaimed academic such as myself, would say the same thing that the slacker would, but an academic would prefer more challenging work; an excellent teacher challenges the mental capacity of their students’ minds by giving them work that enhances their analytical skills and comprehension. An excellent teacher would give their students work that could compare to that of Advanced Placement, but that is not half as steroidal.  For example, it would be an essay with a bit more of a broad explanation of what needs to be explained; something that even the most average of students can understand but it still needs to challenge their knowledge and skills.

Most teachers today, or the teachers that I have had in my past years as a student, wouldn’t typically be called ‘excellent’. However, if they will just listen to their students and take their suggestions, excluding suggestions like “no work” or just talking about stuff that isn’t on the curriculum, then schools everywhere will have the most excellent teachers because an excellent teacher is one who is willing to listen to their students.