Monday, April 2, 2012

The Good Teacher

by Janielle Beh on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 7:54am ·

I am fascinated by the way different teachers teach. I make these observations and I learn SO much. Especially from good teachers. But what makes a good teacher? It doesn't quite surprise me to realize that all the good teachers that I've had have been my music teachers. And above all, both my dad and mum. What makes them all so influential in my life and learning and progress?

So, observations.

~ A good teacher compliments me on my strong points. A careless teacher never does - he does not see any strong points, or bothers to see past the student's weaknesses.

~ A good teacher recognizes a pupil's strengths and encourages it. I believe this is the key to some teachers being more 'inspirational' than others. By seeing and pointing out the strong points, the teacher helps the student see that they indeed have untapped POTENTIAL within them that CAN be released. That is IF, they do what must be done: practice, hard work, being meticulousness, etc etc.

This then leads to INTRINSIC MOTIVATION. My dad was the first person to tell me about this. And he's probably the first person to inspire it within me. When a teacher cultivates intrinsic motivation, the pupil realizes that this is WORTH PURSUING because they actually have that fire within them to fuel their pursuit.

~ A good teacher has something to share. Nothing can be more dull and disengaging than the teacher who is merely there to state facts and rules and enforce a fixed 'method'. On the contrary, nothing can be more exciting and inspiring and engaging than the teacher who teaches from his own experience, with CONVICTION, based on truth, on confident knowledge and expertise. The 'textbook' teacher is a dysfunctional teacher, pretty much.

~ A good teacher sets a HIGH STANDARD. There will be no room at all for carelessness or glossing over things. This doesn't mean at all that no grace is given for mistakes and weakness. It simply means that the teacher will not tolerate any half-heartedness. The goal is not to be pedantic, but to KNOW the music INTIMATELY. The pupil is expected to give his best because he CAN. And that links back to the teacher recognizing the student's strengths and drawing it out.

~ A good teacher has a balance between compliment and criticism. He does not put down a student nor does he praise excessively. Never EVER give an obligatory compliment. It is false, it is half-hearted, and the student knows that it is worthless and even possibly degrading. Instead, point out the good that's already present, in the context that there is room for improvement!

~ A good teacher knows when to be honest, but he does not criticise for the sake of it. He merely points weaknesses out with the noble intention that I will OVERCOME them soon enough. That is IF, I pay close attention, practice and work hard, listen and not gloss over anything.

~ A good teacher teaches by example. Learning is about sharing. In the case of music, it is about sharing music just as much as it's about following directives.

No comments:

The Visitors