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[Weekly Inspiration] What Makes a Good Teacher Great?

[Weekly Inspiration] What Makes a Good Teacher Great?

Researchers often ponder the question: What makes a good teacher great? Azul Terronez, an author and former educator, has repeatedly asked students the same question for over 20 years. He has collected 26,000 responses from students and has noticed a few patterns that have emerged from his research. Watch him share his findings in his powerful TedTalk:

Check out eight highlights from Terronez’s findings:

  1. Great teachers eat apples. Terronez identified this common answer to symbolize that great teachers are open to receive gifts from students. The apple stands as a symbol for the relationship and trust that is shared between teachers and students.
  2. Great teachers are “chill.” A great teacher doesn’t take themselves too seriously. Terronez found that many students like a teacher who is calm in all situations and doesn’t get overwhelmed easily.
  3. Great teachers think like kids but act like adults. Students often want teachers to think like them and to be able to understand what their thoughts are like and how they’re feeling. Students often convey their feelings to adults in subtle ways, and great teachers are able to pick up on that.
  4. Great teachers love to teach and learn. Students like to see their teachers learn in front of them. A teacher who demonstrates the journey that is learning is valuable to students.
  5. Great teachers connect learning to real life. Terronez found that great teachers don’t just live in their classrooms, they’re out in the world! Students appreciate teachers who demonstrate their knowledge in a way that resonates and makes sense to students.
  6. Great teachers understand that students have a life outside of school. Every student experiences their own set of struggles and adversities outside of the classroom, and great teachers acknowledge those problems.
  7. Great teachers help students if they notice a struggle. Great teachers don’t assume the ability of their students. Rather, they push students to succeed and help them when they’re stuck.
  8. Great teachers sing. Great teachers make themselves humble before their students and take risks.

As you gear up for another year, it may be worth taking a minute to ponder a few of these. Are you the “great teacher” your students want and need?