Notre Dame Prep English Teacher, Mrs.Wright, is in her natural element helping juniors with their Crucible essays. (NDP Staff Photo/Helena McGinn)
Teachers are what make the world go around. They provide education to the future of society and sometimes even a friend. They give children a purpose and drive them to succeed in life.
Notre Dame Prep Junior, Jade Weaver, gave her opinion on what makes a good teacher. “A good teacher is someone who cares more about your well being than your grades and assignments. They are also someone who will do anything to get you to your goals,” Weaver said.
People, more specifically students, are always setting goals for themselves. At the beginning of most school years, teachers will ask students what their goals are for the year. Many answer, “I want all A’s,” or “I want to have good grades.” It is almost never, “I want to make new friends or get to know my teacher better.”
Students want teachers to be their friends. “The best teachers tend to be approachable, as opposed to sour and forbidding,” The Chronicle wrote. Talking to a teacher should not make students anxious or nervous, it should be like talking to a family member or best friend.
Teachers should be encouraged to reach out to their students and get to know them better. All humans make mistakes. Maybe if teachers knew their students, it could help them understand the mistakes and help the student grow in the future.
The Chronicle wrote an article giving advice to teachers. Teachers should have confidence in their work, grading, and decisions. “The root cause of bad teaching is a fundamental lack of self-confidence, leading teachers to overcompensate by being unreasonably demanding, aloof, or condescending to students,” The Chronicle said.
NDP English teacher, Mary Jane Wright, shared her input on teachers. “In general, a good teacher pushes a student to grow and holds a student accountable for the consequences of their choices,” Wright said. The best teachers push students to their full extent instead of holding them back.
Teaching and learning is like weight lifting. “If you go to the gym and all you ever do is lift two pound weights, you cannot grow. Your muscles get no stronger and that is what we are doing here. We are doing harder things so you can grow,” Wright said.
Teachers are always trying their best to teach and get the information across. Though, there is always room for improvement. “One thing teachers do poorly is when they do not explain their instructions clearly and expect you to understand the work,” Weaver said.
NDP junior, Jade Weaver, is in her first period English class editing her essay and working extremely hard. (NDP Staff Photo/Helena McGinn)
Although teachers need to be the student’s friend, they also need to keep authority in mind. “I think one thing that some teachers do is kind of get confused between making things too easy for students so that they are happy all of the time. You are doing them a disservice by handing them that two pound weight,” Wright said.
Here is some advice for teachers: “My advice would be to have high expectations for your students and to help them get better. Don’t confuse their complaints with your value as a teacher,” Wright said. There has to be a balance between amusement and hard work.
Teachers also need to keep in mind that students are smarter than they might think. “Students can do difficult things. I think other teachers give in too easy when kids complain or whine,” Wright said.
Not only can teachers hold high standards, but they can also be understanding. “One thing teachers could improve on is understanding that students do not just have one class to focus on. Students have a lot on their plate and need teachers to be flexible,” Weaver said.
The bottom line is that teachers are important. Being the best teacher one can be is not a chore, it is a blessing. With a mix of confidence, high standards, kindness, and understanding, they can succeed as much as their students.