What Makes A Good Teacher?


Sophie Downs, Staffer

The dictionary’s definition of a teacher is someone who communicates information to others, however there are a plethora of other important qualities and characteristics they can portray to help create a comfortable and inclusive learning environment for everyone. But what are some of these things?

Mariner Highschool’s mission is to have all the students graduate prepared for,” post-secondary pathways, careers, and civic engagement.” Students are more likely to succeed based on regulations set in place. As research has shown, there are 6 conditions in which support academic success. Four out of the six can be reinforced by teachers.

But what is a teacher to the people of Mariner? “A teacher is someone who opens the world up to you,” says Baranec. Learning something new every day is not only important, but incredibly beneficial; especially to developing teenagers.

Columbia University of New York City did a brain study that revealed how teenagers learn differently. In conclusion, teenagers don’t have better memory, but a different way of remembering things; and it’s so important that a good teacher understands and is willing to accommodate that.

Teacher Mr.Knutsen says, “A teacher is a patient, interested, knowledgeable, communicator of information. A good teacher is willing to be challenged while challenging others.” Patience is key when trying to effectively teach someone something.  Richard James Rogers wrote an article about the importance of being open and patient as a teacher. It helps the student feel valued and listened to, which will increase motivation to learn.

Another thing students seem to agree to value is a teacher’s understanding. “We never know where students are coming from, where they were this morning or the night before. So I keep that in mind if a student doesn’t turn in work, less about me and more about the kids.” Stated Mr.Knutsen. “I get frustrated when a teacher calls me out in front of everyone for not doing homework that I couldn’t.” Says Baranec.

A study done on students’ ability to complete homework has shown that 1 in 5 students won’t be able to complete a homework assignment due to lack of supplies, confidence, or home life. Every student interviewed at Mariner agreed that being listened to instead of shoved off when it comes to homework makes a major impact on their relationships with the teacher. Feeling cared for and genuinely listened to creates a sense of comfortability amongst students. When a teacher is openly willing to listen, understand, and negotiate, a student is much more likely to engage in class, ask questions, and work to improve. Confidence is key.

Baranec said, “I work best in an environment where I can practice new things with instruction and confirmation. Not at home by myself through a screen.”