How To Be A Good Teacher

How To Be A Good Teacher

This video is sponsored by Skillshare. Click the link in the description for more information. A
discussion of how to be a good teacher sounds a little narrow – and probably not very
relevant to most of us. Few of us want to be a school teacher, instructing children
in some narrow academic subject or other, which is what we overwhelmingly associate
with the word ‘teacher’, the person in a rather frayed jacket in front of the class,
the type who bored us rigid for long stretches of our early years. However, teaching is far
from being something that we only need to learn if we’re contemplating a career in
education. Considered properly, teaching – by which we mean, the vital business of getting
an important idea from one mind into another – is one of the most crucial life skills
that any of us ever requires. It’s vital in any relationship, office or family we’ll ever belong to. Every one of us, whatever our
occupation, needs to become a good teacher, for our lives constantly require us to deliver
crucial information with grace and effectiveness into the deep minds of others. We can admit, quite candidly that most of us have probably started off by being quite
bad teachers. This is nothing to be ashamed of, like most things, teaching can, and must
be learnt. What, then, are some of the prerequisites of the good teacher? Here is a start to the
list: 1. The good teacher never blames another person for not already knowing. It seems paradoxical
– once it is pointed out. But the truth is we often get very annoyed by the fact that
another person doesn’t know something yet – even though we have never actually told
them what it might be. Certain ideas can seem so important to us, we simply can’t imagine
that others don’t already know them. We suspect they may be deliberately upsetting
us by pretending not to have a clue. This attitude makes it unlikely that what we actually
have to teach will make its way successfully into the unfortunate other person’s head.
Good teaching starts with the idea that ignorance is not a defect of the individual we’re
instructing: it’s the consequence of never having been properly taught. So the fault,
rightly, really only ever belongs with the people who haven’t done enough to get the
needed ideas into others’ heads: in other words, with you. 2. Good teachers don’t
get angry The more we need other people to know something, the less we may be able to
secure the calm frame of mind which is indispensable if we are to have a chance of conveying it
to them effectively. The possibility that they won’t quickly understand something
that matters immensely to us can drive us into an agitated fury, which is the very worst
state in which to conduct any lesson. By the time we’ve started to insult our so-called
pupil, to call them a blockhead or a fool, the lesson is quite plainly over. No one has
ever learnt anything under conditions of humiliation. Paradoxically, the best sort of teachers can bear the possibility that what they have to
teach will not be understood. It is this slightly detached, slightly pessimistic approach that
stands the best chance of generating the relaxed frame of mind essential to successful pedagogy.
3. Good teachers can admit they don’t know lots of things It’s pretty humiliating to
be in the learning position. Someone else has information you don’t. That can be so
irritating, the person learning may shut their ears and hate the alleged superiority of the
one in the teaching role. That’s why another fundamental skill of the good teacher is to
admit that they are, in most areas of life, pretty ignorant and stupid. This might seem
to undermine their authority. Far from it; it creates an atmosphere of goodwill and modesty
which puts the pupil at ease. They might not know this particular thing that’s being
taught but they are, overall, not inferior to the teacher – and so they can dare to
face up to their ignorance in a given area and submit to the discipline of having it
nicely corrected. 4. Good teachers pick their moments As bad teachers, we tend automatically
to try to teach a lesson at the moment the problem arises, rather than selecting a time
when it is most likely to be attended to properly. Crises aren’t the best times for a lesson.
We might have to wait a long time, three days after an argument for example, in order to
pick just the opportune occasion to deal with its underlying dynamics. When our partner
is stacking the dishwasher and humming a song might be wisest moment cheerfully and innocently
to refer back to something that truly maddened us a little while back, but over which we
were – at the time – sagely silent. As we’re beginning to see, the more desperate
we feel inside, the less likely we are to get through to others effectively. It is deeply
unfortunate that we typically end up addressing the most delicate and complex teaching tasks
just when we feel most irritated and distressed. We suffer from a panicked feeling that if
we don’t jump on this right now, an issue is going to go on and on unchecked forever.
Precisely not. We should be more confident that not jumping on an issue is what is in
fact going to allow us to fix it properly a little way down the line. 5. Good Teachers
are also Good Students. Good teachers know that everyone has a lot to learn and everyone
has something important to impart to others. We should never get incensed if someone is
trying to teach us something and snap back, ‘I wanted you to like me just as I am’.
Only a perfect being would be committed to staying just as they are. For all the rest
of us, good learning and teaching are the only ways we’ll ever be able to progress
and grow and that’s why we should welcome them as the gifts they truly are. We partnered with Skillshare today as it is a fantastic starting point for anyone looking to learn new skills, and they have given us an amazing offer to pass on to you. A premium membership gives you unlimited access to all courses and usually starts at around $10 a month. But the first 1000 people to sign up at the first link in the description will get their first two months for 99 cents. If you haven’t heard of Skillshare before it’s home to thousands of classes in Graphic Design, Animation, Web Development, Music, Photography, Design and more. You can start learning how to do just about anything. In two months you could easily learn the skills you need to start a new hobby or business. Is there a project that you have been dreaming of completing but just aren’t sure if you have the skills to do it? Why not start right now and sign up to Skillshare using the link below. You have nothing to lose and potentially valuable life skills to gain. And you would be helping out our channel too. Take a look at the link for more information.


  1. Do you think it is important to be a good teacher? Let us know in the comments below. Thank you to our sponsor again Skillshare for todays video, this is the last chance to get their offer so be sure to click the first link in the description if you are interested.

  2. Did you know that you could become a better teacher. Teaching is a skill rigth? Like everything in life we can learn teach is an art but how do we improve it. In this video i teach you a simple way to improve your skill of that matter. Do the exercice and go teach rigth after with this in the back of your mind. What's different? Peace

  3. Now the real teachers are all gone, the Irish Christian Brothers of the 1940s and 50s (and 60s when they were brought out of retirement due to the teacher shortage), they knew the only was to teach a boy was to thrash knowledge into them, and having been brought up by the Brothers, my father used the same instructional methods on me, nearly killing me on one occasion. This probably explains the current crop of "leaders" who are roughly of my generation, essentially brutalised by their parents and education.

  4. It's also important to note that it is ok if your student doesn't understand everything at once. Sometimes, explaining things that are not completely correct is just the first stepping stone to explain a broader, more complex subject.

  5. 1. Never blame another for not knowing.
    2. Don't get angry – slightly detached and slightly pessimistic approach. What you have to teach might not be understood.
    3. Can admit you don't know lots of things.
    4. Pick your moments.
    5. Be a good student.

  6. Good teachers lead by example, have a variety of teaching methods for different learning styles, and make learning a positive experience.

  7. nice video. maybe you could take a look at the way you kept putting a white woman in a victimized (by a black man) position and why for example it wasn't an option for you to have the opposite racial makeup of said interactions.

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