What Good Teachers Do
They teach. They encourage. They challenge. They don’t try to overwhelm you or make you feel stupid. They’re mainly about making sure that you learn what you need to know.
I am totally tired right now from studying, but I had a good final exam today. That’s what made me think about good teachers.
The exam was thorough but not really hard. No particularly tricky questions. They were all straight-ahead: Do you know what we studied this semester, or not? If you know it, you do well. If you don’t know it, you don’t do well.
That’s not to say that the exam wasn’t a lot of work. It was. And there was one question where I might have messed up the last part. But whether I do well or badly (I expect to do well), I can’t say that the test wasn’t fair. It was fair. And it was clear, and it made me want to learn more. Isn’t that what education should really be about?
We are incredibly lucky at our school to have professors who care about us and take an interest in helping us succeed. Who explain things. Who answer even the stupidest questions with clarity and encouragement.
Another exam looms tomorrow. It will be fair, too. And tough. I know the professor because I’ve taken a class from her before. She’s close enough that I once went to her just to talk about a personal problem that had nothing to do with class.
And I can’t believe it, but I’ve been so consumed by studying for finals that I forgot we had a last homework assignment in her class. She sent me a gentle reminder, so before the exam I’ll get it done and turned in.
I’m going to study some more and then I have to get some sleep. I hope that you are having a great, exciting, and fun week! I am, too, even if I don’t sound like it. 🙂
Copyright 2010 by Rinth de Shadley.