When I started writing this post I was thinking about the English language teachers who have influenced my life both professionally and personally. I wrote down a couple of names but then I realized my teaching persona has been shaped by teachers of other subjects as well. No matter what they teach, their role is crucial because teachers lead students through the arduous journey of learning. Thus, I drew up a list of features my best teachers shared.
- They have a comprehensive knowledge of the subject they teach. They are always ready to learn more and develop their skills.
- They repeat a positive refrain. “Well done”, “Smile at life and life will smile at you”, etc. are examples of expressions my favourite teachers would often repeat during their lessons.
- They move. An influential teacher does not sit down all the time. They change their position to monitor students and get their attention.
- They tell anecdotes. Teachers are educators and students can learn from their life experiences.
- They smile. There is nothing better than learning with happy, cheerful teachers.
- They wear particular accessories or clothes. It does not mean they are fashionable. They have the habit of wearing a special item you will always associate with them.
- They care about students as people. They respect their students and they provide them with everything they need (including pens, pencils and tissues).
- They make students learn from their mistakes. Being strict about mistakes or telling off students for making one will not prevent them from making it again. Influential teachers encourage students and use their mistakes to teach them.
- They are themselves.They do not pretend to be someone else, their attitude is the same inside and outside the classroom.
- They are not scared of being judged by their students. Influential teachers are democratic. They let their students give feedback about their teaching performance in order to improve themselves.
To sum up, influential teachers are those who keep stuck in your mind because with them you learnt more. Never say influential teachers are just teachers because it is like saying Clark Kent is just Superman.