To teach well is a skill that many people do not have. That doesn’t make those people stupid or anything else negative, it’s just a skill that not all people have or they’re not in tune with. I don’t like the world natural—like he’s a natural teacher, that kind a thing but I suppose that we all have skills that come easier for us or differently put, come more natural for us but there are learned skills one can understand to be a great teacher.
So, what makes a good teacher? Now that’s a question that’s been asked a million times! I believe desire is a major cornerstone but the correct type of desire. If one wants to be a teacher because of ego, power, or to be superior over others, they’re apt to be mediocre, poor or downright lousy teachers. And the fact is there are many teachers who teach for the wrong reason.
If someone feels good about teaching where their self-image is enhanced I say that’s great. Because the fact of the matter is that we all want to be good and empowered and that is not a bad thing at all. But there is a huge difference between a healthy ego approach to teaching and one that drifts or actually steamrolls over others. So, if teaching makes someone feel good about themselves, even great about themselves, that’s excellent. However, the most important part of teaching is not for the teacher feeling better but for the student feeling better, or put differently, for the betterment of the STUDENT. And if one has the desire to make THEM the best that they can be that teacher has the foundation of being a great teacher.
Some will say that every teacher wants the best for their students. If that were only true we’d have many more good teachers and many less students complaining about boring classes that they trudge through because they have to. Talk to high school or college students and ask them how many bad teachers they’ve had. I think you’d be surprised as to what you’d hear.
Some teachers want to indoctrinate their students into their personal ways of belief and doing. Whether politically, socially or just generally to be more like them. And that ladies and gentleman is terrible and can never make for a great teacher. When teachers impart in this manner much of the reason is because of the teacher’s ego or personal hang ups. And the main problem with that equation is that they are not really teaching for the student, but teaching for themselves.
The improvement of the students’ knowledge base should be the sole reason to teach anyone. A good teacher needs to look into the eyes of their students and completely leave agendas and unwholesome egos at the door and concentrate on NOTHING more than the imparting of knowledge and facts of a subject matter. And for someone who thinks that this way of teaching may be dry or may be boring instruction, on the contrary, it is deep, real and the best way to start to have deep and meaningful interaction.
Now, to best teach this way or actually to best teach any way, one has to motivate or engage the student. This is a must. And how does one do this? Again, look in their eyes, their psyche, and touch them. How? See what sparks them. See what helps them? Everyone wants to be sparked to be more alive. Everyone wants to be touched and helped in their day-to-day grind. Everyone. It is a teacher’s duty to do this. If not, a teacher will be mediocre at best. And every new group of students under a teachers charge needs to be assessed and truly touched.
When one teaches without unwholesome ego or personal agenda teaching becomes grand. One gets closer with students. It becomes deeply real. This approach also opens up the very real door to having fun in the learning environment. Students begin to feel that you are there for them and not for some personal agenda. You are there to help them be BETTER not be a puppet for you or the administration. You are helping their lives become better. Men in combat, students in schools, athletes in rough and tough activities such the as martial arts will follow you and go with you to the end of a long and dusty road if they know and believe that you are honestly there for them.
Learn your craft or subject matter to excellence. Touch, spark and help your students be better. Be there ONLY for them. If you do these things not only will you enjoy teaching much more you will excel at imparting knowledge and your students will enjoy having you as their teacher. You will be on the way to being a great teacher.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
- Black Lives Really Mattering and My Friend the Boxer - September 7, 2017
- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017