I recently quoted from an article on The Guardian, “The best teachers instill a hunger to learn, and not just in their pupils.” Mike Boyle wrote to me saying that “As a facilitator and advisor for nearly 20 years I have run a small workshop on leadership role models and used one simple question: “Describe the best teacher you have ever had”.” He says that “without fail these comments always come up:
- Hard but fair
- A coach
- Highest integrity
He adds “the description is never any different and yet so many teachers fall short of this.”
- Passion – they love what they do, which is why they do it so well. It’s hard to teach. Doug Lemov might argue the latter.
- Dynamic – they’re constantly changing and adapting to their environment. They try new teaching methods and they’re flexible with different types of students.
- Curiosity – they have a constant drive for improvement – in their students, as well as themselves.
- Engaging – their work is driven by energy and enthusiasm. Each day they put on a show in front of an audience.
- Substance – they know the material they’re teaching inside and out. They understand how to make it interesting to learn.
- Discipline – they’re hard, but fair. ‘A velvet hand in an iron glove’ is a nice way to put it.
- Listen – they listen and they reflect. They have integrity.
- Work ethic – they have it and it just won’t quit.
Think back to some of the best teachers that you had – what made them so special?