What makes a teacher remarkable?

During the Kick-Off event on Juli 1, 2016, the visitors used Socrative Student to answer three questions. The posts of July 2 on 'Documentaries that matter' and 'What games make you keep playing?' gave an overview of the answers to the first two questions.


The third question asked the Kick-Off event vistors to think back of a teacher that they considered "very good". They explained why they thought this was a good teacher. The answers of the 21 vistors had many elements in common.

Credibility and knowledge are obvious, basic elements, yet many answers indicated that a great teacher 'bridges personal experience to academic theory'. This probably links to the element of credibility; the ability to demonstrate the practical value of theory. It requires story-telling skills, something that many respondents mentioned: the great teachers they remembered were all excellent and convincing story-tellers in some way. They 'make the subject come alive'.

Another key element of a great teacher, that almost all respondents mentioned was 'engaging'. The first step is to take students serious, independent of their age and experience. The next one is to engage by provoking their curiosity or trigger responses. This could be a geology teacher, taking students on a field trip in the mountains, pointing at the soil and asking "what the hell happened here 100.000 years ago?". Or someone that moderates a good debate among the students, highlighting different points of view, without taking sides, yet still bringing it all together using facts, knowledge and experience.

Finally, in addition to the knowledge and skills, many people mention something about the attitude that makes a great teacher. It has to be positive, supportive, open and dedicated. Someone who 'rejoices in the success of the students' has a key factor in being an excellent teacher, according to one answer. Being open as well as challenging, is another description.

"They connect with the students, they inspire you [...] and make the subject come alive", "you can argue a point with them, without feeling they are looking down on you for daring to challenge what they think."


It may be self-evident, yet all of the above is also about adaptability. Thank you very much, all participants to the Transmissible Kick-off, for providing such a valuable feedback and advice.



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