Throughout my life I have been taught by a number of teachers, all of whom have had some form of influence on me whether it be positive or negative. However, through this intellectual journey I have discovered many qualities that have distinguished these great teachers from the rest.
A great teacher has certain qualities that distinguish him/her from the other teachers. He/she shows qualities such as patience, kindness, flexibility, resourcefulness, tolerance and open-mindedness. He/she also has a good sense of humour and is honest, humble, enthusiastic and most importantly enjoys teaching. A great teacher always smiles at his/her pupils and dedicates him/herself to the job. One special quality that I have most often found in a great teacher is that they are able to be my friend. I do not know anyone better to trust and gain knowledge from than a friend. A friend is often a person that you remember for the rest of your life. However, I also believe that there must remain a balance between representing an authority or a friend so that the student shows respect. Some of the best teachers that I have been taught by have shown almost like a motherly or fatherly love towards their students. This attribute, in particular, is something that makes a really great teacher. One of my most memorable teachers was from grade five, named Mrs. Chinnevai. At one point during that year I remember having a very difficult time dealing with the death of my grandpa and she was able to comfort me and talk to me at a time when I needed it most. Whenever I just needed to talk to her she made herself available and that made me feel like she really cared about me and that my feelings mattered to her. For me, a good teacher is someone who teaches not only with their mind but also with their heart. This is a person who truly cares about his/her pupils and their interests, wishes and feelings and is also someone that a student can confide in times of sadness or of joy. It is great for a teacher to be able to get to know each one of his/her students personally in order to help them with their problems.
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Aside from representing kindness and love, a great teacher can find the right way of teaching between his/her passion for the subject and the interests of the class. This is the type of teacher who is able to challenge his/her students to become all that they can be which, in turn, helps to build confidence and self-esteem in students. He/she is not only able to teach textbook materials but also the truth about what is happening outside in the real world. In grade eight, while living in Alberta there was one teacher in particular who stood out from the others. Her name was Mrs. Maclean and she gave me the encouragement and confidence that I needed to succeed. Her believing in me at times when I did not even believe in myself made my want to strive to be the best person that I could be. She taught me that I could do anything if I just set my mind to it and those words had a great impact in motivating me.
There are many qualities that distinguish one teacher from another. However, each individual has his or her own opinion of what a great teacher is to them. For me, those qualities are a passion for teaching, being able to form a friendship with students as well as caring for them. I believe that education does not continue after school but continues throughout life and I am sure that throughout my life I will come across many more great teachers.
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