This week I have had an incredibly interesting discussion regarding personalities. How do people become personalities and which is the role of others personalities in this process? I’ve noticed that the word “teacher” appears pretty often, and the next question was, why teachers that are living in the same country and are working based on the same manuals, in the same type of classrooms, in the same cultural environment are having different impacts on their students? I often observe how adults refer to some teachers as at key personalities in their life and at some as they would never exist for them.
So, what makes the difference between a good teacher and an extraordinary one?
I dare to say that it is the personality of your teacher that makes the difference. I know that some of you will say that it is not true, as the role of a teacher in class is to guide the learning process and nothing more. But those thousands of lessons I experienced in my life first as a pupil, then as a student and now as a teacher taught me that there is something more than just a good prepared plan of a lesson, there is something more than just methods of transmitting the information, and there is something more than just guiding the process. It is about the relationships between the involved parts.
A student must trust his teacher and the teacher must know how to create a safe environment for his student. A student must be determined to learn and the teacher must know how to keep his student motivated and engaged in the learning process. A student must respect his teacher and the teacher must respect his student. If something is missing then those two are not compatible.
I had good teachers, but from all of them, I will always remember my literature teacher, a remarkable woman, smart, beautiful, unique, she had her own way of being, back then probably I would not be able to say what was so special about her, but now I know, her personality was inspiring. She made the difference between “I learn to take a good grade” and “I learn because I want to become better”. She gave me something more than just information, she made me want to acquire, to explore, to grow in the classroom and outside of it. I understand that a teacher cannot establish this connection with all his students, and still, it feels great to have a good example, someone that is more than just at his duty, someone that truly cares, someone that you like and you would like to follow. Some many years had to pass so I would understand what is the secret of this profession, the teachers’ personality is crucial as we learn from people, and we cannot learn from people we do not like.