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What Makes A Good Teacher?


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In The UK we're starting to turn away from testing as it is very good for finding out who can do well under pressure but not as good as work assessment during term time, to find out who is really thorough and good at what they are doing but avoid the limelight because they crack up under stress, yet flourish when allowed to get on with personal experiment (introverted geeks versus confident extroverts).

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This is a subject very dear to my heart, and I really appreciate most of what folks have to say (I missed the flame war...)

I LOVE teaching, and this really helps me be a good teacher. But... I only teach part time (for now) and I only teach university students (who mostly want to be there). So I have it pretty easy. I will continue studies but teaching at Tertiary level is very attractive to me right now.

I also teach stuff I love. I was inspiring students as a student - they'd never met anyone so excited about things like fungi and bacteria before. Currently I'm helping with a genetics class and so I sneak in to genetics lectures and get better at what I do, i get engaged with it first. I read and and do it and dream of what I could do with it...

I couldn't work within the restrictive nonsense primary and secondary educators have to go through, I am just really lucky, my Supervisor gave me a shot, and the feedback from the students kept me there. Good teachers love teaching. 

The background in standup comedy helps as well. I can pull a laugh or a shock, get their attention, and I can rant like a man possessed with passion and flair on subjects like the war zone that is the interactions between plant pathogens and their hosts. Coming in by air. Covert ops, hackers and spies, sentries being taken out, armored vehicles, explosions, camouflage and mimicry, friendly fire... it's war!

 

But did I mention love?

 

A man could set himself up in science, could model an enzyme, could make a mint. But there in the lab toiling away to get his, to secure this or that working from fear of poverty or judgement or some vain imitation of purpose. To invent to amaze oneself look at the world the vast swathe of problems begging for minds to address the complexity of issues. There is so much to be learned and discovered to help each other and in the process save ourselves from the tedium, the sheer drudgery of our petty personal grievances. Expand forever your mind with learning and love; till just being is purposeful, inspiring.

I live with awe. And sometimes a couple of wines  :innocent:

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This is a subject very dear to my heart, and I really appreciate most of what folks have to say (I missed the flame war...)

 

I LOVE teaching, and this really helps me be a good teacher. But... I only teach part time (for now) and I only teach university students (who mostly want to be there). So I have it pretty easy. I will continue studies but teaching at Tertiary level is very attractive to me right now.

 

I also teach stuff I love. I was inspiring students as a student - they'd never met anyone so excited about things like fungi and bacteria before. Currently I'm helping with a genetics class and so I sneak in to genetics lectures and get better at what I do, i get engaged with it first. I read and and do it and dream of what I could do with it...

 

I couldn't work within the restrictive nonsense primary and secondary educators have to go through, I am just really lucky, my Supervisor gave me a shot, and the feedback from the students kept me there. Good teachers love teaching. 

 

The background in standup comedy helps as well. I can pull a laugh or a shock, get their attention, and I can rant like a man possessed with passion and flair on subjects like the war zone that is the interactions between plant pathogens and their hosts. Coming in by air. Covert ops, hackers and spies, sentries being taken out, armored vehicles, explosions, camouflage and mimicry, friendly fire... it's war!

 

But did I mention love?

 

A man could set himself up in science, could model an enzyme, could make a mint. But there in the lab toiling away to get his, to secure this or that working from fear of poverty or judgement or some vain imitation of purpose. To invent to amaze oneself look at the world the vast swathe of problems begging for minds to address the complexity of issues. There is so much to be learned and discovered to help each other and in the process save ourselves from the tedium, the sheer drudgery of our petty personal grievances. Expand forever your mind with learning and love; till just being is purposeful, inspiring.

 

I live with awe. And sometimes a couple of wines  :innocent:

Good post.  My reason for being is the discovery of something new about the human condition that I can pass onto others as well as learn from them (To be a teacher and learner both).

 

'Asterix and The Big Fight' by Goscinny and Uderzo, epitomizes this attitude for me, in the scenes where Freudix and Getafix exchange potions that turn them different colours, which they find hilarious (both had been hit on the head by rocks thrown by Obelix, so were not in their right minds). 

 

I didn't miss the flame war and I'm sorry for that, for reasons I posted on that sub-thread.

Edited by pagetheoracle
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Thanks! :thumbs_up

 

That link is to the Delphi School in Clearwater, FL. I’ve mixed feelings about these schools, because they are based on the works of L. Ron Hubbard, and connected to the Church of Scientology – mixed, because I think L. Ron was a very smart fellow, and have much enjoyed his science fiction, but find many Scientology practices deeply pseudoscientific. I expect one of the Delphi Schools would provide a high-quality primary education, especially literacy and writing, but worry that it might include pernicious indoctrination in Scientology. I also notice from browsing their website that their high school math and science programs offer only minimal math and science programs, substantially less than those of the public primary and secondary schools where I live (Montgomery County, MD).

 

I’ve mixed feeling, and almost no direct knowledge, about educational ideas and initiative promoted by the Church of Scientology in general. On one hand, it seems no worse, and generally better than that promoted by more mainstream churches. Perhaps a sound education is not affected by unsound beliefs of those promoting it. On the other hand, I find some things about Scientology alarmingly cultish, and would have qualms about affording a Scientologist too much and undivided influence on a child, or on some adults.

 

:thumbs_up These ideas seem excellent to me, and much in agreement with my personal ideas and intuitions about education.

I was in Scientology for a while and I'd agree about mixed feelings by me and others I've known that left or were kicked out.  One thing I can say is that there idea of modelling something in clay to better understand it is not something I'm sure works from my own experience but maybe it would help others as one lad claimed.  Having said that I think education should include practical skills for life and not just academic ones as we live in an objective world as well as think about it subjectively.  I personally think it is crazy that in The UK somebody is judged on their application for a practical job by their interview technique, rather than hands on demonstrations (People who are glib tongues make good salesman but does that fix an engine leak?). 

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I was in Scientology for less than a year until they kicked me out (Not alone in this it seems as I met a friend who'd had the same experience and seen several sites dealing with the issues involved).  From experience I'd say that it is the enthusiasm of the hungry that leads them to fandom and spreading the word over other people's dead bodies.

Or the need too sell vacuum cleaners.

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 I personally think it is crazy that in The UK somebody is judged on their application for a practical job by their interview technique, rather than hands on demonstrations.

I think you were meaning practical in the sense of carpenter, mechanic, etc. However, whenever I was looking for someone to work as an instructor I always made sure that I had an opportunity to see them instruct. To do otherwise borders on insanity.

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You're right of course.  The practicality in this case is nursing as that was what my wife was doing just before she retired.  I think there are two kinds of people - those who are very confident about what they do and who can bluff their way through if they don't know and those who are full of doubt in themselves but continually learn things in detail because of this but don't come across well for this reason (critical of everything they say and think):  Simplified but you get the gist I'm sure - genius nerds versus good sales people.

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I have a lot to say about this, but it essentially boils down to some interesting ideas I've had for awhile now. Teacher's I have come to find are good when they teach by example, and extend their metaphors, in addition to staying classical. But, my personal idea, which is probably the same thing said in another light, is that a good teacher, and anyone for that matter, is someone who is both precise and accurate with their role. They are accurate in that they are teachers teaching things well, and not teaching other not so teachery things, and precise, in that they just do the right things when they are supposed to do them. Essentially, they pay full attention to their role as teachers.

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