Students and Staff Weigh in on What Makes a Good Teacher

 

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Jay Peterson helping junior Tatyahnna Scott with her work. Peterson believes that it’s important to have a connection with his students.

Teachers play a huge role in students day-to-day lives. Students spend about one-third of their time at school being taught and influenced by their teachers.


Many teachers have vastly different teaching methods. While some like being practical and really letting their students work with the materials, others prefer to work with the theories behind each topic and get into great detail about the subject.


“Everybody has a different idea of what a good teacher should be,” said biology teacher Valerie Long, “I think a good teacher is a teacher who is concerned with their students academically and also with their social and emotional development.”


Long has been a teacher for 20 years and mostly teaches ninth graders. She thinks that being a good student is a lot like being a good athlete; you have to practice and be committed even though you may not like it all the time.

“The number one thing that makes a good teacher is how much do you care about your students. There’s an old saying: People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said government and world history teacher Jay Peterson, “I think you could be an incredibly intelligent teacher with lots of content knowledge, but you’re only going to get through to a small percentage of students if you don’t demonstrate how much you care about them and their particular success.”

Jayne A. Downey conducted research about student-teacher relationships and how they affect at-risk students. In his research paper he concluded, “Students need teachers to build strong interpersonal relationships with them, focusing on strengths of the students while maintaining high and realistic expectations for success.” Many students here at Norrix agree with him.

“A good teacher should be fun and also strict for the students safety, but for the most part they should make learning fun. The difference a good teacher can make is that they can make a student want to actually come to the class and put some effort into the class and hopefully pass,” said freshman Chris May.

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“A good teacher has to be chill and understand that a lot of teenagers deal with lot of  stress outside of school and maybe be flexible when it comes to homework,” said sophomore Michael Lara-Sanchez.

May likes a teacher that offers their help and cares about their students. He believes that for a teacher to be able to do their job well, students need to help them. When students are being attentive and respectful to teachers, the teachers can focus on teaching the subject and help those who need it instead of focusing on sending kids out.

“I never go into a classroom expecting that many people are going to automatically love my subject,” said social studies teacher James Johnson, “It’s realistic that probably half the class doesn’t like the stuff that I’m about to teach, and so I don’t ask them to make it their favorite class just to give me their attention and do their best.”

Johnson cares a lot about being a good teacher and making sure that his students are comfortable in the classroom. “A good teacher cares about the job and especially the students. Our primary job is to help people learn so that kind of guides everything we should be doing. We should have high standards for our students but at the same time try to get to know our students so we can have a connection,” said Johnson.

For teachers to help students be successful, students need to help them too. Students need to put in their best effort and not be disruptive in class. If students and teachers work together to create a harmonic teaching environment then the chance of kids succeeding will increase.

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“A good teacher is accessible to help their students and knows a lot about the topic they are teaching. They have to be friendly, so students like coming to class,” said sophomore Finn Brent.

 

 

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