Sat 17 Sep, 2005 04:29 am
Good students make a good math teacher as well as good students made by a math teacher. It's the luck of the draw on the former and pluck of the dog on the latter. One thing that research has shown is that kindness, patience, etc. are much valued by students. Teachers who use negative terms to describe students' attitudes and abilities contribute to math anxiety and its resulting dysfunctions. By crafting language to support and challenge students instead of using low expections, one can increase performance. Students will pick this up from your subliminal attitude quickly. In other words, a type-Y math teacher will be better than a type-X one of the same mathematical ability. (McGregor, 1963)
From a career spanning 28 years in teaching (recently retired) I find this example to be the case for all subjects; not just math. The same simple, straightforward, basic sort of thinking is also useful and applicable to teaching history, geology, biology, English, French, music, art...any subject. Treat the student well and with understanding. Ruling with a stern tone and iron fist tends not so much to teach as it does to instill fear.
I have only been a math teacher for a few years. I think some qualities students love are fairness, compassion, a resolve to make sure the students "get it", a sense that the teacher is working hard for the students. There are a host of things that make a good teacher.
A book I'd recommend to anyone about to teach math or struggling with teaching is "How to Teach Mathematics" by Steven Krantz. Not that you're struggling or new, but in case someone is interested.
" What Makes A Good Math Teacher "
It is the ability to competently explain the subject at hand
in a manner that is comprehensible and memorable.
A good SPELLING teacher
is defined as one who teaches fonetic spelling.