The Impact of Good Teachers on Students

A teacher calling on a student in class, good teachers engage their students in the class work

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Good teachers are often regarded as the backbone of successful education. They play a crucial role in shaping students’ academic, personal, and social development, providing a foundation for lifelong learning. The influence of good teachers extends beyond the classroom, impacting students’ self-confidence, motivation, and success in various aspects of life. In this article, we will explore the impact of good teachers on students and contrast the outcomes that students achieve when they are in healthy environments that facilitate learning.

Good Teachers Foster Positive Learning Environments

Good teachers understand that students are more than just a collection of brains to be filled with information. They recognise the importance of nurturing positive learning environments that cater to the diverse needs of their students. In a healthy learning environment, students are encouraged to ask questions, share their thoughts and ideas, and collaborate with their peers. According to a study published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, students who feel connected to their teachers and classmates have higher levels of motivation, engagement, and academic achievement (Hughes et al., 2010).

Academic Success

Moreover, good teachers create a safe and welcoming space where students feel valued and respected, regardless of their cultural or socio-economic backgrounds. Research has shown that students who feel accepted and supported by their teachers are more likely to take risks and challenge themselves academically (Schneider et al., 2016). This positive learning environment fosters a growth mindset, where students are willing to embrace challenges and persist in the face of setbacks.

Good Teachers Encourage Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving

Good teachers understand that the purpose of education is not just to acquire knowledge but also to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. They encourage students to question the information they receive, analyze it critically, and draw their conclusions. This approach fosters creativity, innovation, and independent thinking, enabling students to apply their knowledge to real-world situations.

According to a report by the National Research Council, teaching strategies that promote active learning, such as problem-based learning and inquiry-based learning, have been found to improve students’ understanding and retention of information (National Research Council, 2000). Good teachers incorporate these strategies into their teaching, allowing students to explore topics in-depth, work collaboratively, and develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter.

Good Teachers Foster Positive Relationships with Students

Good teachers understand that their role extends beyond teaching subject matter. They are mentors, coaches, and role models who guide students through the challenges of academic and personal growth. Good teachers take the time to get to know their students, their strengths, weaknesses, interests, and passions. They use this information to tailor their teaching to the needs of each student, providing personalized learning experiences that foster engagement and success.

Research has shown that positive teacher-student relationships are associated with improved academic outcomes, higher levels of self-esteem, and better mental health (Reinke et al., 2012). Good teachers foster these relationships by creating opportunities for meaningful interactions with their students, such as one-on-one meetings, group activities, and extracurricular events. They listen actively, provide feedback, and offer guidance, encouraging their students to reach their full potential.

Contrasting Outcomes in Healthy Learning Environments

The outcomes that students achieve when they are in healthy learning environments that facilitate learning are significantly different from those in less supportive environments. Students in healthy learning environments are more likely to experience academic success, develop positive social and emotional skills, and engage in lifelong learning.

Academic Success

Students in healthy learning environments are more likely to achieve academic success. According to a study published in the American Educational Research Journal, students in positive school environments had higher test scores and grades and were less likely to drop out of school (Moore et al., 2014). 

It boils down to

Teachers are important for not only teaching students but also allowing students a space and opportunity to learn. Many students will score average academically regardless of their teachers when they are motivated and have direction in their studies. The problem is getting the students to that point where they can learn on their own. Not only that but wanting to learn more. Cultivating a love for learning is a key focus that a good teacher focuses on.

What can you as a parent do

Ensuring that your child’s teacher is good, caring, and serving the best interests of your child is essential for their academic and personal development. Here are some steps you can take to assess and understand your child’s teacher:

1. Regular Communication:
  • Maintain open and regular communication with the teacher. Attend parent-teacher conferences, school events, and any other opportunities to discuss your child’s progress.

  • Establish a positive and collaborative relationship with the teacher, fostering an environment where you can freely share concerns or ask questions.

  • 2. Observe Classroom Environment:
  • Visit the classroom if possible. This can give you insight into the teacher’s teaching style, the overall atmosphere, and how well your child is engaged in the learning process.

  • Take note of how the teacher interacts with students and whether there is a positive and respectful environment.

  • 3. Ask for Updates on Progress:

    Request regular updates on your child’s academic progress and behaviour in class. A good teacher should be able to provide specific details about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

    4. Student Feedback:
  • Speak to your child about their experiences in the classroom. Ask them about the teacher’s approach, communication style, and whether they feel comfortable asking for help.

  • Be attentive to any signs of stress or discomfort your child may express regarding the teacher.

  • 5. Look for Differentiated Instruction:

    A caring and effective teacher tailors their instruction to meet the needs of individual students. Inquire about how the teacher differentiates instruction to accommodate various learning styles and abilities.

    6. Professionalism and Ethical Behaviour:

    Ensure that the teacher demonstrates professionalism and ethical behaviour. This includes respecting confidentiality, treating all students fairly, and maintaining appropriate boundaries.

    7. Collaboration with Parents:

    A good teacher actively involves parents in their child’s education. They should be receptive to your input, address concerns promptly, and work collaboratively to support your child’s learning.

    8. Seek Feedback from Other Parents:

    Talk to other parents to gather their perspectives on the teacher. While individual experiences may vary, getting a sense of the overall consensus can provide valuable insights.

    9. Check Teacher Qualifications:

    Verify the teacher’s qualifications and certifications. This information is usually available through the school or district.

    10. Be Proactive:

    If you have concerns, address them proactively with the teacher. A good teacher will appreciate your involvement and work with you to address any issues.

    Remember that a child’s education is a partnership between parents and teachers. By staying engaged and observant, you can better ensure that your child is in the care of an effective and caring educator.

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