In a conversation with friends about teacher, i mean best teacher, one friend asked, “What are the characteristics of an effective and best teacher?” I read quite a few excellent remarks that describe what such a teacher does to be effective. I couldn’t help thinking about some of my best teachers.I had an amazing Social studies teacher in my school. He was on fire every class period and his enthusiasm was contagious. My social studies teacher was an effective teacher because he provided experiences that created long-term memories. I hope no one will deny with my words that best teachers don’t teach because what i am thinking is that the best characteristic of an effective teacher is that they don’t teach. You will say that is outrageous. How can an effective teacher teach without teaching?
My experience is that good teachers care about students. Good teachers know the content and know how to explain it. Good teachers expect and demand high levels of performance of students. Good teachers are great performers and storytellers that rivet their students’ attention.
All of this is good but great teachers engineer learning experiences that maneuver the students into the driver’s seat and then the teachers get out of the way. Students learn best by personally experiencing learning that is physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual.
A great teacher will keep the students wanting to come to school just to see what interesting things they will explore and discover each day. We call this inquiry.
But unfortunately what do we find in every public school and university? Teachers talking, talking and talking while students listen, daydream and doze. We call this lecture.
The word “teacher” implies the flow of knowledge and skills from one person to another. Whether it be a lecture, or a power point, it involves talking at the students.
While that is commonly viewed as the quickest and easiest way to impart knowledge and skills, we all realize that it is not the most effective.
Returning to my original premise: great teachers do not teach. They stack the deck so that students have a reason to learn and in the process can’t help but learn mainly by teaching themselves. This knowledge then becomes permanent and cherished rather than illusory and irrelevant.
In my view these are the main characteristic which make a teacher the best teacher for the students and I must mention here that my social studies teacher was blessed with all these characteristics.
Last but not the least, I am very thankful to you Respected Sir. Ahmed Karim for the care,time and knowledge given by you to me and you are my all time favorite and best teacher
May Imam of the time bless you with Good health and long life.
Your Asif Sakhi.