The impact a good teacher has on a student should not be underestimated. An effective teacher does more than just help a student succeed in their learning for a particular subject or school year – they can also have a life-long impact and can set a student up for success in the long term. Here’s our list of what makes a good teacher:
The best teachers are passionate about teaching. John Hattie, Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne explained that a good teacher has a keen passion for teaching and learning. A teacher’s passion is contagious; it rubs off on students and inspires them to develop a love of learning. Passion motivates teachers to give their best. It drives them to develop their craft and to persevere when difficulties arise.
Although it may sometimes be challenging, teachers want to help their students understand a subject. Passion inspires them to embrace this challenge and helps develop a willingness to seek out different approaches and find solutions to problems that come up.
2. Knowledge of the subject
Good teachers have a strong grasp of their chosen subject. Knowledgeable teachers have a wider stock of subject material to turn to, allowing them to tailor their lessons to individual students and help them learn more effectively.
These teachers don’t just rely on their existing knowledge, they also strive to stay on top of the latest research in their field. They have thorough and up-to-date expertise in their subject area and a deep understanding of how students learn particular subjects.
3. Communication skills
Not only do great teachers have strong subject knowledge, they also have the ability to convey this knowledge to their students in a way that is understandable and engaging. They utilise verbal and non-verbal communication and maximise visual learning aids, writing, imagery, body language and the organisation of ideas to help their students comprehend concepts and ideas.
Good communication involves explaining assignments and clarifying expectations. When students fully understand what is expected of them, it’s much easier for them to deliver to expectations.
4. Student engagement
Great teachers are able to engage students and encourage them to look at issues from different perspectives. They ask ‘why’ and lead their students to challenge their own ideas and mindsets.
These teachers frequently ask questions to ensure students are following lessons. They engage the whole class instead of allowing a few students to dominate the class discussion. They keep students motivated and switched on using varied and lively approaches.
Good teachers are able to form strong relationships with their students and help them see that they care about them as people. These teachers are skilled in developing trust. They are warm, accessible and go the extra mile by making themselves available to students and parents that need them.
Professor Andrew Martin from UNSW tells us that research highlights the substantial role that teacher-student relationships play in facilitating students’ motivation and engagement. The extent to which students are receptive to what a teacher says or does, relies heavily on the relationship the teacher has developed with the students. Good teachers develop:
- An interpersonal relationship (the student connects with who the teacher is as a person)
- A substantive relationship (the student connects with what the teacher says and the tasks assigned)
- A pedagogical relationship (the student connects with how the teacher communicates the subject matter and assigns the task to be accomplished).
For over a hundred years Trinity Grammar School has educated boys in mind, body and spirit, and we are constantly evolving our teaching methods to ensure our boys receive the best education possible. Fuelled by a pastorally aware culture with exceptionally high levels of individual student attention, we aim to know, understand and nurture every student to help them realise their potential, passions and purpose in life. Our teachers make a significant contribution to our school community and culture.
To learn more about the Trinity difference and to discover why we’re one of the best independent schools in Sydney, download our prospectus.