Posts Tagged ‘effective teachers’

Characteristics of Effective Teachers

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012


Close your eyes for a moment and try to remember the most effective teachers you ever had. What made those teachers so great? Conversely, do you remember any teachers who made you more confused, who after listening to them, you actually understood less? It’s important to understand this if you are a homeschool parent, because you are the most important teacher for your children, often their only teacher while they live at home.

For me, my poetry professor in college was my favorite teacher of all time. To be honest, he sometimes would make loud sudden movements that would scare me half out of my wits. But he loved his subject. He savored those poems like a dripping, juicy steak. He made me want to read more, and his insights were fresh and personal, because he himself interacted with the material he was teaching. He was excited about it, and his enthusiasm was contagious.

I had a grammar teacher in college who was extremely confusing. I already understood and loved grammar, and I got 100% on all the exams. But everyone else in the class failed because her explanations were convoluted, unclear, and tedious. I think she must have been unprepared. Maybe she didn’t understand grammar. Her monotone voice was difficult to listen to, and she seemed angry. After being in her class, I began to dislike grammar.

Before I became a certified teacher, I listed what I loved about good teachers, and what I disliked about ineffective teachers. I decided that I would avoid the bad parts and become the best teacher I could, for the sake of bringing joy to my students. You can do the same thing as a homeschool mom. Why not bring joy to your children instead of exasperation? Every homeschool mom can be a great teacher.

Ineffective Teachers

  • didn’t care about what they were teaching
  • didn’t look at the subject ahead of time to see the most effective way to present something
  • impatient with students
  • talked down to students in an angry tone
  • vague, ambiguous, unclear
  • did not interact personally with the material

Effective Teachers

  • genuinely excited about the topic they were teaching
  • talked to my level instead of talking down to me
  • brought the subject to life, made me want to know more
  • attention to detail
  • creative
  • mentally stimulating
  • could spend hours with them, talking about one subject
  • time went by fast; wanted to stay longer to hear more