What Makes A Good Teacher?

I hope reading the title of this post immediately puts a picture in your mind of that special teacher who opened your eyes, who connected with you, who drew out of you something you didn’t know was there, who made you do/think more than you believed possible.  I’ve been reading The Courage to Teach to motivate me as I transition to my role as teacher.  Here are some quotes to ponder.

This book builds on a simple premise: good teaching cannot be reduced to technique; good teaching comes from the identity and integrity of the teacher. [my emphasis]

Good teachers join
    »  self and
    »  subject and
    »  students
in the fabric of life. 

Good teachers possess a capacity for connectedness.  They are able to weave a complex web of connections among themselves, their subjects, and their students so that students can learn to weave a world for themselves.  [Yes, yes!  I want to grow life long learners.]

As good teachers weave the fabric that joins them with students and subjects, the heart is the loom on which the threads are tied, the tension is held, the shuttle flies, and the fabric is stretched tight.  Small wonder, then, that teaching tugs at the heart, opens the heart, even breaks the heart–and the more one loves teaching, the more heartbreaking it can be.

The courage to teach is the courage to keep one’s heart open in those very moments when the heart is asked to hold more than it is able so that teacher and students and subject can be woven into the fabric of community that learning and living require.


5 thoughts on “What Makes A Good Teacher?

  1. Great insight! I had lunch with my friend who taught for years and years. She told me the secret to good teaching was maintaining a sense of humor the kids could recognize. She actually went out and did a somersault on the back lawn in front of everyone so that they would do their grammar lesson. It worked! Her students adored her and she was the toughest teacher in the school. “Life long learners”. I love that phrase! hugs in SC

  2. One question: you say you are transitioning to your role as teacher. Am I confused? I thought you’ve been teaching your sons for quite a few years?! This is a really nice quote and I like what he says a lot.

  3. Oh, gosh, what an idiot I am! I’ve been on for the summer and you’ve been off! Can you tell my brain is overloaded right now?  Just two finals next week and I’m done for a few weeks–phew!

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