What makes a teacher?

What makes a teacher?


Do you remember any of your teachers? Who? What did he/she teach? How? Where, in which moment of your life were you? Where you a toddler? A school kid? Or maybe a rebel teen? An aspiring young adult? Perhaps a tired grown-up looking for a new horizon of knowledge? A wise old man/woman trying to keep up with the challenges of modern life?

I keep questioning things as a part of my reasoning and critical thinking processes. This is who I am, might I be annoyingly specific at times. One the one hand I WANT to know, and on the other hand, I KNOW already some things.

Since I started working with teachers, as a teacher, and not only, one question reappeared recurrently in mind, just like a vulture who is flying in circles to find its prey. What makes a teacher truly be… A TEACHER?

For sure not a bottle of Teacher’s, although once in while it might seem like the appropriate strategy in the face of multistressful situations. But then WHAT? I have read so many job descriptions that by now you would think I know exactly what makes a teacher. In reality, the duties and responsibilities of a teacher, moreover meeting them, does not necessarily make a teacher.

Do you believe that your students will bring you up fondly when conversing with their friends over time, because you did such a great job meeting all your deadlines and you were such a responsible teacher? You have to have been GREAT to become a memory for your students, and this greatness can go back and forth.

You can either be GREATly challenged as a human being & professional and communicate this unwillingly to all your students, making them loath your guts, or GREATly appreciated for your wits, jokes, humanity & intelligence that you seem to pass on to anyone you teach with so much gracefulness and ease.

What makes a (wo)man will most certainly make a teacher! Humbleness, humanity, humour, hospitality, honour. What breaks a (wo)man will break a teacher! In terms of breaking, the possibilities are endless, as we turn out to be creative not only in the good, but also in “the bad, the ugly and the evil”.

Far and foremost, I strongly think that decency should be a pre-requisite for anyone who wishes to travel on the rocky path of teachinghood. But what does decency exactly mean?

Does it refer to appearance? Partly…
Does it encompass a specific way of viewing life, people and children, most of all? Naturally!
Does it have anything to do with the ways in which you head towards your goals and objectives? Of course!

I love teaching because it always gives me the opportunity of hearing fresh ideas from growing brains!
I love teaching because it’s a team sport. It’s no fun if you do it all by yourself, just you with “your” children!
I love teaching because I learn from children everything that I’m missing!

Love it too, but keep an open and sincere mind on whether you have what it takes to be a teacher, and not just another teacher, but THE teacher. The one your students will remember over time with nostalgia and a smile on their face. A GREAT TEACHER!


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