Teachers 4

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I’m about to become a teacher. How can I be a good one?

The best teachers I remember from school had three things in common:

(1) They had high standards. Like three year olds testing their parents, students will test teachers to see if they can get away with low-quality work or bad behavior. They won’t respect the teachers who don’t call them on it.

(2) They liked us. Like dogs, kids can tell very accurately whether or not someone wishes them well. I think a lot of our teachers either never liked kids much, or got burned out and started not to like them. It’s hard to be a good teacher once that happens. I can’t think of one teacher in all the schools I went to who managed to be good despite disliking students.

(3) They were interested in the subject. Most of the public school teachers I had weren’t really interested in what they taught. Enthusiasm is contagious, and so is boredom.

— Paul Graham

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2011.04.05 Tuesday ACHK