April 3, 2011 by Marcin.Wilczek
Our creative survey author, Joy, has decided to conduct yet another one among the students of our school. This time she asked them about the traits of a teacher they’d label as perfect. And, boy, are the results surprising…
EDIT: One of the biggest sins of modern journalism is jumping the bandwagon when it’s still running. Turns out I’m not quite yet immune to it, and I’ve prematurely analyzed the results of a survey that’s still live (and kicking). That said, first thing tomorrow morning, I’m taking a fresh look at the then final results. Stay tuned!
It seems that the survey I have originally analyzed is completely out of date, and I am looking at the final results right now. Tell you the truth, a lot has changed – although the top spot has managed to stay undefeated. With 36 votes, the top character trait of any teacher is wit, with which I can probably agree. After all, a witty teacher makes every lesson more interesting, and as a result, more comprehensible to the students.
Second place, on the other hand, has gone to understanding(31 votes). Again, an understanding teacher will probably help his/her students achieve more than one that follows the book word-for-word.
Third, with a score of 26, was awarded to teachers that are ‘nice’ or ‘polite’, and, once more, these characteristics tend to do more good in the classroom than harm. After all, who likes to spend 45 minutes in an environment similar to a military boot camp? And how does said boot-camp atmosphere facilitate the learning process?
Then our poll group collectively decided that an ideal teacher should be ‘talkative'(24 votes), probably because a quiet teacher is of no help in the classroom whatsoever.
Now one could go about analyzing these results word for word, but they are readily available here. What is important about these new findings is their correspondence to what we, adults, probably consider the ideal teacher. No more bribability, sickliness completely out of the competition – a perfect teacher should first teach (although ‘competence’ was not even an option), and then create a friendly atmosphere in the classroom. Although, these two requirements can, of course, trade places in the hierarchy.
Do I agree with this state of affairs? I guess I do – even though my own experiences tell me that it is sometimes impossible to be both a friend and a teacher at the same time. But perfection, although unattainable, is a goal well worth aiming at.
P.S. A big ‘thank you’ to Joy for carrying out the arduous work of designing the survey and collecting votes.
BTW, if you are still curious about the old analysis – read it here.