Opinion: What makes a good teacher

Gracie Warda, Online Editor in Chief

Who is your favorite teacher of all time? Is it the quirky science teacher, who always seems to give great advice? Or maybe it is the kind art teacher, who is always willing to lend a helping hand. No matter who it is, there are some teachers who are simply great at their job, and there are a few reasons why. 

As a senior in high school, I have had my fair share of different teachers. They were not all great, but each one of them helped me answer an important question: What makes a good teacher?

The first key ingredient to making a great teacher is their personality. Not everyone is fit to be a teacher, and especially not at all grade levels. A high school science teacher will no doubt have a different personality than a kindergarten teacher; yet, there are a few characteristics that they should share.  A teacher needs to be kind, patient, caring, helpful, social and more. The list of ideal personality traits is long— but vital— to the success of any teacher. 

Next, teachers can’t be greedy. There can’t be many teachers in the world who are doing it for the money, so any good teacher is doing it because they enjoy it. Not to mention that their profession is based on caring about and helping others, eliminating any and all possibility for greediness. 

That being said, good teachers genuinely care about their students. They do not care about students’ test scores because it reflects on them and their job, but they care about the well-being of all of their students. 

Even though they need to be caring, good teachers cannot make choices based on favorites. Of course, it is natural (and okay) for teachers to have favorites— not all personalities will mesh well, and school is a social environment for teachers just as much as it is for students. However, those favorites cannot be prioritized above other students. 

I recognize that this is a long list, and I know that there are more, but teaching is a huge job. The education system attempts to hire the best teachers it can, but bad ones inevitably slip through the cracks. Teachers have a lot of responsibility on their shoulders, and the good ones use that responsibility to change the lives of their students for the better.