What makes or breaks a teacher?

Christian Berger, Staff Writer

“It’s not my fault; the teacher just can’t teach.”

Whether it be after a bad grade or a hard lesson, I myself am guilty of uttering this age-old excuse, and you would be hard-pressed to find students who haven’t. But what criteria must be met for a teacher to be classified as “good”?

Some students feel that teachers must act as mentors, not just relayers of information. Junior Sophie Chance thinks that being able to relate to students is key.

“Teachers like Madame Uriarte and Mrs. Sexton are well-liked around campus for a reason,” Chance Said. “They connect with you as a high school student, not just another adult or co-worker. They focus on you as an individual rather than the class as a whole.”

Chance is absolutely right. As a high schooler, I face constant pressure from having to balance my school work, extracurriculars, and community service. There are times I feel as if nobody understands, or even cares, for that matter. Having a mentor as accessible as a teacher is a  that many students value. I’m not saying that teachers need to be friends with their students, but I firmly believe that relatability defines a quality educator.

Junior Alex Woodruff believes that a class is much more engaged when the teacher connects the information to real-life situations.

“[Good teachers] don’t just focus on their topic; they bring in current events and life lessons that relate to the material,” Woodruff said.

I personally learn and comprehend much more when teachers tie the material back to our world today, putting everything in perspective.

“I think a good teacher knows their subject very well,” counselor Dave Solomon said. “Ideally, they would have some experience in that field; either they majored in that subject, or possibly worked in a related position.”

    Overall, a student’s definition of a quality teacher is complicated. Everyone has different needs and learning styles. However, I think most can agree that teachers should understand what our lives are like as high schoolers, with important tasks and responsibilities being thrown at us almost every minute.