The Traits of a Good Teacher

Paige Richey, Photojournalist

The teachers you get can make or break an entire school year. Everyone wants to get the right teacher, but what really makes a teacher a good one? This answer varies a bit from student to student, as some people put a higher value on specific traits than others, but all in all most students seem to have a similar view on what traits make a great teacher.

Students definitely don’t want to be in a class if even the teacher doesn’t seem like they want to be there. It shows when a teacher is genuinely excited about teaching, or if they would rather do anything other than be there to teach right now. An enthusiastic teacher can really engage his or her students no matter what the subject is. Fiona Hsu (10) says, “teachers should try to make the lesson fun and fascinating, and they should also interact with their students to make it as interesting as possible.” Not only does this make the whole experience more entertaining, but students actually learn more and get more out of the class overall.

Don’t confuse being a exciting and fun teacher with being laid back though. Although much like this, being laid back is a good thing when it’s in moderation. No one enjoys when a teacher seems to put following the rules above actually getting something out of the class. This can actually start to result in a negative effect, because if students don’t enjoy their class, then they won’t learn the subject as well. Jessica Gutierrez (10) states “when a teacher is too strict it doesn’t benefit the class at all. Not having any control isn’t good either, but there is definitely a happy medium.”

A teacher should be able to have fun occasionally but still keep things under control. Even students don’t want a teacher that doesn’t have control of the classroom. Being a little laid back is good, but too much and the classroom is chaos. This kind of disorder makes it hard to do the main thing that school is for, which is to actually learn something. Mary Liu (10) agrees saying, “the best teachers are funny, but will also be serious when they need to be.” Good teachers need to be able to do their job effectively and teach their students. Making the lesson fun and interactive helps people to learn the material, and it builds a certain amount of respect for a subject, instead of a resentment.

It seems like students have a good grasp of what they want in a teacher. Unlike what some might believe, their only concerns aren’t getting the fun teacher that lets them do whatever they want. In fact, what students consider to be a good teacher is in line with what teachers consider to be a good teacher as well. Richard Cadra (staff) says, “the best teachers not only know their subject material well, but they are also able to teach in an engaging and interactive way. They need to know their students well and find effective ways to reach everyone in the class.” Students sometimes get a bad reputation for wanting the easy teacher, but a large portion of them care about their education. The previously stated values that students have almost directly line up with actual teachers.