Way back in school, our teachers had some standard dialogues. One of them was that we were lucky to have them. That no one would bother to actually teach us properly after we left school. That no one would even care. And they were right. Now that I’m in college, finding a truly good teacher has become a rarity. So much, in fact, that the definition of a good teacher has changed in my mind.
Now, anyone who bothers to take the effort to make us understand the subject is a good teacher in my eyes, whether they know the subject or not. So here I am, trying to redefine the meaning of a truly wonderful teacher, in my mind and yours, with the few I have as a reference.
As an engineering student, I think a good teacher is one who inspires his (or her) students to think. Teaching the subject is all well and good, but what use is that if all we can do is vomit it out in the paper and forget about it? There is so much knowledge to be gained from everything that we take for granted in our daily life, if only we ask “Why?”. But the bright curiosity we all had about everything as kids diminished as we realized that our questions aren’t really answered. We now need someone to encourage us to ask questions, even if they are silly because the best encouragement is a good answer.
Another quality I would look for in a teacher is an eagerness to learn and readiness to accept his (or her) mistakes. If teachers don’t know the answer to our doubts, we, as students, expect them to try to find the answer and get back to us. But the teachers who actually do so are rare gems. As college students, we’re mature adults who have a strong opinion of what’s right and what’s wrong and take it upon ourselves to judge teachers. The ones who pass our harsh judgements are the true diamonds in a world of coal.
Most importantly, for any student, a good teacher is one who cares. He (or she) is one who is there when we have problems, ready to comfort us or push us as the need dictates. Mature as we are, we still look to our teachers for help and guidance in our home away from home (college) and if they’re not there for us, who will be?
That said, I want to thank all my school teachers for encouraging me at every point in school and caring about me. They were the pedestals I based this article on, who made me like writing in the first place, who encouraged me to follow my dreams.
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