What Makes a Good Higher Education Teacher?

In the April 3, 2015 edition of the Chronicle of Higher Education, a commentary entitled “Four Properties of Powerful Teachers” by Rob Jenkins caught my eye. The piece talked about a teaching renaissance in higher education – a welcome reformation to commitment, a desire to give and share, to teach. I would venture to say good teachers have been around for thousands of years – how many times in history do we find groups of people gathered round a person listening, thinking, absorbing. The ‘teacher’ transformed their lives.

What makes a good teacher?

They have personality meaning they are approachable, demanding but understanding, funny or fun loving, comfortable with who they are and creative. As a student you want to be there in that learning environment.

They have a presence about them – whether it be because they know their subject, they are comfortable in their task or have a desire to share what they know. There is an excitement about revealing the content and inviting others to join them. Good teachers are also not threatened when you zoom past them to uncover a new angle.

Good teachers are prepared – there is nothing like having confidence because all your ducks are in a row. There is a confidence in having ‘been there and done that’. The article refers to being prepared with degrees – what about the teachers who are ‘on the job’, doing it everyday and sharing that knowledge at night at the local college. Many adjunct professors possess these qualities or properties as the title of the article reflects – sharing their experiences and expertise.

The last characteristic of good teachers is passion – a passion for teaching, for the content, for the underlying philosophy of the impact of your ‘course’ or ‘class’ on the world. Passion is what drives us to achieve, to be an entrepreneur, to step out, to draw outside the box, to discover. Great teachers, great leaders, impacting the greater good of society, changing or enlarging how we look at the world. Don’t we hear “Follow me”, walk in my shoes?

What is the impact of teaching?

10, 20, 30 years from now you remember a word, a concept, a philosophy that changed your life – forever. Can we learn how to be a good teacher? Do you want to make a difference?  Education – teaching/learning – is a totally interactive experience. If you are not interacting with someone or something, does it make a difference? Translate to business, life stages, relationships, – the end game is the same! You have been transformed.

How does this relate to Rich Gross Solutions, Inc.? Our philosophy is focused on assisting you in becoming the best organization you can be. It is about connecting to the communities you serve, transforming lives, building relationships, becoming partners, engaging others in the vision and mission of your organization. We are prepared, have a presence and the passion for what we do. The personality…we leave that up to you!

Higher Education Teachers

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