What Do Great Teachers Do Differently?


Quick Answer

Compared to less-effective teachers, excellent educators have stronger organizational skills, provide enhanced clarity to students, take an analytic and synthetic approach to instruction, display dynamism and enthusiasm, and have more productive instructor-group and instructor-individual interactions. Less-effective teachers tend to not establish relevance of the subject matter to students' lives, fail to provide variety in their instruction, lecture and teach without clear learning objectives and have less respect for the students.

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Full Answer

Good teachers explain content clearly and are well prepared for class. They make difficult topics easy to understand and frequently use examples, details, analogies, metaphors and various modes to make the material memorable. They are analytic and synthesize the material. Good teachers have command of the material and give students a sense of the field's past, present and possible future. By contrasting the various theories, they present viewpoints other than their own. Excellent teaching demands a dynamic and enthusiastic personality. Teachers who are energetic, clearly enjoy teaching and convey their love for the subject matter to the students, and they tend to gain and keep the students' attention and interest. Effective instructor-group interaction is also key to good teaching. The abilities to direct and pace class interactions and know when the class is following along with the lesson are critical. Excellent teachers are also seen by students as fair evaluators and approachable.

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