The courses I’ve taken in PID have expanded my way of thinking about teaching and delivery in general, so I definitely think I would have answered this question differently prior to being enrolled in this program.
Teaching is one of the hardest jobs out there (in my opinion) and I think the best teachers are truly and genuinely invested in the success of their students, and actually CARE about learning. I have had many instructors who are obviously phoning it in for a pay cheque, or riding out their last few years before retirement. But I’ve had some who really engaged with their classes, were creative and involved, and were invested in the outcome of what they were teaching.
I would consider other important attributes to be:
- Tons of energy: it can be a very exhausting job
- An optimistic outlook: sometimes you can get dragged down by negative nellies and numerous external factors
- Compassionate: you have to be able to connect with people for them to trust you and want to learn from you
- Creativity: you need to keep the job interesting for yourself to stay engaged – students will pick up on it immediately if you’re disinterested in the material or method you’re delivering
- Current in the field: the field of education is changing rapidly – too rapidly in some ways to actually stay current, but good teachers are aware of trends and tools relevant to what they are doing that will improve their teaching
I am not currently an instructor – I manage them at a college – but I have stood in front of a classroom enough times in the past as a trainer and looked at myself through this lens, and have known intuitively when I wasn’t my best self for my students. When I was too distracted or tired or frustrated at the politics that were driving the agenda for my classroom that weren’t in the best interests of my students. I have bottomless admiration and respect for teachers, because I don’t think I’m cut out to do that work.