Cummiskey’s Corner: What makes a Teacher “Good”?


by Nelson Cummiskey


There are many different types of teachers — and many different types of students that are compatible with those teachers. There are, however, some common characteristics that put some teachers above others in the eyes of the students.

North Springs sophomore Makayla Den says that one teacher she looks up to is Mrs. King. She says, “She always is positive and in good spirits. That especially helped because [my class] was [during] first period.” She explained that Mrs. King is always challenging her students, which is important because engaging students is the best way to keep them interested in the class and doing well.

When asked who his favorite teacher is, Senior Daniel Lopez said it was Mr. Henderson. He explained that Mr. Henderson is really funny and “chill,” which helped establish a connection that made it easier to learn and stay active in the class. In fact, Daniel says that they “roast each other,” which shows how comfortable someone can be around their teacher.

A freshmen, Pierce Canning, says that one of his favorite teachers is Mrs. Olson. He states that she is really “low-key” and “chill,” but she still gets her students to do their work. He also says hat some teachers get a bad reputation because their students just don’t care and that rubs off on them. Pierce also says that teachers with glasses look smarter, so he listens to them more.

One of the teachers mentioned above, Mrs. Olson, said that a key component to teaching is being able to relate the content of the class to students’ lives. She stated that the emphasis then becomes more about learning rather than the teaching. “A good teacher creates a positive environment for the students as well as relationships with them by being kind, flexible, and respectful,” she says. This way the student’s aren’t scared to talk to a teacher and ask for help if they need it.

When asked what makes for good teaching, Mr. Henderson says that a teacher needs to have “high standards, lots of patience, a good sense of humor, and, most importantly, a passion for [their] subject matter and for teaching.” All these traits really help a student connect with their teacher and keeps students engaged with the material. He also said that his teaching methods developed from what his own teacher did while he was in high school and college.

When asked what advice he would give to other teachers, Henderson said, “Know[ing] your subject thoroughly, know[ing] how to communicate your subject to kids who don’t seem to care, having empathy, being humorous, and being passionate.”

Because students learn in different ways, there is no set teaching guide or “life hack” to being a great teacher, but these are several qualities that teachers can rely on to  influence their students in a positive way and reach an optimal level of learning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s