What makes a good teacher? A message from my 22 year old self

Clearing out some files the other day I stumbled across the reflective piece at the base of this post which I'd been asked to write for one of my first PGCE assignments. It is interesting in that I was writing it only 4 years after having left school myself. I had yet to teach a single lesson.
Despite being so wet behind the ears, back then I identified two things that I thought made a good teacher:
  1. The best teachers are 'masters of their subject'. They lead by example; practice what they preach. Their academic record is one of excellence in their chosen field.
  2. The best teachers are utterly committed to teaching in its broadest sense. For them it is not something that they do in the absence of anything better coming along. It defines them. For these teachers teaching is a 'way of life, not just a job'. They are prepared to 'go the extra mile to help those in their charge'. They are fully involved in extra-curricular activities even when this means long additional hours 'for little or no reward'.
I'm a little longer in the tooth now but my youthful self, unencumbered by thousands of hours of experience, got it pretty much spot on.


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