Am I a good Teacher?

I tend to be a bit arrogant.
No, no, don’t be hesitant, tell me.

I know it.

I do not suffer fools gladly. I am happy to help anyone overcome a problem, but if I give someone an answer, I expect them to remember the solution. I don’t like repeating the whole thing again, and certainly not for a third time.
Except with the kids.

I’ve found that I can repeat myself almost ad infinitum with my pupils. If they’ve got a problem, I’ll try again and again to explain it in different terms and examples. I very rarely show any annoyance (one exception was one nice but slow lad, who had to have the concept of a formula in a spreadsheet explained about 11 times. I did sigh in exasperation on the 12th request, and immediately felt guilty. It wasn’t the kid’s fault, I obviously hadn’t explained it adequately.

But am I a good teacher?
I don’t know.

According to Anne Tolley, a good teacher is one who gets good results in NCEA .
But what about B**, the nice but slow student in my 11 Computing class. He tries really hard, he doesn’t really muck about (no more than any other 15-year-old. If you think “yeah, right”, can you remember what you were like at 15? I know that I wagged off a couple of hours to play snooker when I was 15, plus nipping behind the cycle sheds for a quick, guilty, superbly satisfying cigarette.
B** will succeed, but it will take him longer than the norm. Every kid is an individual, who need individual approaches and learning plans. Will they achieve more than they would do without me?
I don’t know.
I hope so.
I hope that I make a difference, but I cannot really prove it.

I remember a few years ago, an American research institute put some indestructible computers in some extremely deprived areas in a major Indian city. No instruction manual, just a touch sensitive screen. Within 6 months most of the kids who were using it were literate, some were een programming the computer, so by their methodology, no teachers were needed.

Teachers get continuously observed, by our students, and occasionally by our peers. But it is difficult to get accurate feedback, so we don’t really know if we’re a good teacher, an indifferent teacher or a completely useless bastard.

I enjoy teaching, I enjoy getting to know the kids, but I DON”T KNOW IF I’M ANY GOOD.

Have a nice day.

The following has absolutely nothing to do with teaching, but it’s a cool picture.


About Kiwidoug

Teacher, father, computer geek, science fiction fan, DIY aficionado, older..older..older.. every day
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5 Responses to Am I a good Teacher?

  1. Richard (of RBB) says:

    You are a good teacher. Relax.

  2. Basket Maker says:

    I think been a good teacher comes from experience. I feel like a lost sheep right now and will be observed tomorrow and tomorrow by two different teachers. But that is it for the whole term, are they cramming it in at the last moment? What do you think?

    • Kiwidoug says:

      Good Luck Basket Maker, Speaking as a Head of Department, it’s almost certainly trying to fit in the observation before the end of term.

      Unless you’ve been kicking the kids again?

  3. The Curmudgeon says:

    I used to miss classes to play snooker but I was 17 not 15. Shame on you.

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