Found this short article via Twitter thx 2 @Tessedel @MindShiftKQED
Some teachers I clearly hated and others I idolized. Let's see. Up to this date I thought abhorred my Spanish Lit teacher - we all did, right? She was always well prepared, no doubt about that. She went through the subject methodically and maybe a tad too mechanically at times. She had little patience, but then again who could blame her - most of us were not nice stuff, absolute jerks. Interesting. I consider myself a rather good educator, but have also taught classes in that same way, fallen prey to corrosive teenage attitude.
Just yesterday I had to teach an English Lit class and only then did I discover the usefulness, and magic btw, of the whole thing. Analyzing literary work is a complete workout for the mind! Now I realize one of the reasons I'm good at analyzing situations in order to produce solutions. Maybe Lit class should be marketed in a whole different light, more like a critical thinking class, maybe as even a part of the sciences! I will have to apologize to my Spanish Lit teacher if a I ever see her again. I think I'll look her up in FB after I'm done with this.
Many teachers are assessed through test results, but you and I know all that tests do is check on your RAM (temporary memory) - many of us stuff our brains the night before the test and do all right, yes? Most tests check on how well we memorized, not understood, what was taught in class. Not fair to judge performance through testing.
Did we really learn something? Well, this is a tough question, and very possibly has to do with the fact that many of us, and because of career choices, never get to use much of what we learned in school. Math (past arithmetic), literature and computers will be of little practical use for the vast majority, or so we think; we often find ourselves wondering why we were taught all those things we never used - we don't see how they are practical. Then again I'm sure we all have fiends who became programmers or engineers, and for them that seemingly "useless" knowledge was most likely not enough - they all wished they'd had more of that back in school.
Human beings are not naturally a hard-working kind, thus our tendency to avoid the sciences and the resulting and extraordinary overflow of lawyers and scary lack of engineers in the market. Engineers have a tough job - in a way they are gods living the 7 days of creation on a perpetual basis; they are in charge of creating things that never existed and fix those in existence to keep the world running. The problem is most of us don't know our career path from early on in life - it seems necessary to teach everyone all the basic skills just in case. Don't say your teacher was bad cause you "never learned anything" from them - u did, u just didn't get to use it, but might now be wishing you did as you wait for that new job placement.
If teachers do what they must: follow the curriculum, prep the lesson and deliver it without killing anyone in the process, I'd say they're fine. The problem is no one remembers "fine" and we all love "awesome". Ask anyone which teacher they still remember today and only a handful of names, from all 12+ years of schooling, will pop up. Take me for example. I remember Ms Considine cause she was pretty, Mr Byron cause he was cool - we played in the same band, Mr Mc Cann cause he'd been a member of the Hell's Angels! Mr Saboeiro, biology teacher, always funny and connecting subject with actual life, and because he was married to a woman 20 years his junior (good for him - ha ha). Mr Lilac, my algebra teacher looked like Charles Chaplin and taught an interesting class; I simply dd not get math back then. And, oh yes, one other biology teacher, Mr Crosby - he I remember; though, cause he had 7 kids, which is something that always struck me as unusual. It was both funny and bizarre seeing him, his wife and kids, pass us by, in Indian line, on kid dirtier than the next one. I have 3 kids - It must have been tough to keep 7 in order. Cheers to all u Great teachers wherever u are :)
From all I've said I guess I would say the best teacher is one that: teaches what he must, is funny, is in some way distinct from the rest (appearance, personality or background), and is your pal (if u need him to be).
Test yourself and see who you consider a good teacher, and why. Pass me a line to let me know how it went :)