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Being a Good Teacher

When I decided to become a teacher, my choice caused a lot of raised eyebrows. To say that my parents and friends were surprised means to put it in a very mild way. The matter is that I have always been a very apt student with a huge learning potential, but with a significant complication: I was considered by my teachers to be bad-tempered, noisy and difficult to deal with, while I considered them to be boring, mediocre and very often unprofessional. So, my career path choice seemed really very strange. When my father asked me about the reasons, I simply explained that I wanted to be a good teacher.

The fact that I have had so many difficulties communicating with educational professionals made me feel that there was something deeply wrong with their attitude to students. When I first experienced that feeling, I started looking for an answer to the question about what being a good teacher means to me. The characteristics which seemed desirable were numerous: professionalism, kindness, tolerance, ability to set a rapport, etc. However, there were two points which seemed absolutely crucial. First, a good teacher is supposed to be able to teach his/her students to be afraid of making mistakes, as it is a necessary part of learning and skipping it means that the skill will never be mastered. Second, a teacher does not have to be a walking encyclopedia, but a person who is able to show the students how to learn, where to find the information and how to evaluate it critically.

These two points make a good teacher who will be able to combine different spheres of the profession being a knowledge provider, an entertainer, a supporter, an authority and a friend. And this is the person I have been trying to become for six years now.

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