Beautyful Minds wrote:
So what would you, as a parent, rather? A teacher with above-average but not stellar results, who is patient, dedicated and caring, or a teacher with stellar results, but is less caring, dedicated and patient with students?
Hmmm. I was thinking a little about your question there: stellar results vs dedication.
I'm not a parent (yet, lol), but I'm was a teacher in 2 separate secondary schools and now a private tutor. Having been a teacher in a school setting and now in a private setting, I think a good teacher is someone who has dedication and expertise in the subject he or she is teaching.
This doesn't necessarily mean stellar results, because someone who can achieve good results may not have the expertise to help other people achieve the same kind of results. The skills to help people improve in their studies is not the same set as the one to score in examinations.
So, coming back to the question, I believe a teacher with dedication will naturally have the initiative to hone his or her skills in teaching that subject. That skill may be picked up more easily by some teachers compared to others, but ultimately, it has to be learned and it is not innate.
We absolutely agree to your point, a lot of teaching is innate. In Malcolm Gladwell's "What the Dog saw", he actually touched on the fact that there is no reliable selection process in the US to get teachers, including assessing the results or what experience the teacher has. None except one, which is actually giving the class to teachers to manage.
We used to have a 1st class honours, dean list candidate from NUS but the moment he took over some classes, 7 out of 17 students quit. We realised that the problem was EQ.
A painful experience i must say. Now, we are obsessively careful with the selection of teachers. Even though all our teachers have stellar qualifications, we are even more particular about other soft skills.
From those failing experiences, we learnt that 1 criterion stood out as a good determinant - Passion. A teacher who is passionate about creating a positive impact on students will always be a good teacher. Always.
Not all good teachers are passionate, but all passionate teachers are good.