Many people are what their teacher made them. The lawyer remembers that when chemistry became too hard, the literature-in-English teacher was very warm and engaging and her classes were always interesting. The medical doctor also remembers that there was absolutely no hope of passing physics if the teacher had not gone beyond the call of duty to breakdown the laws of thermodynamics.  On the other hand, some people remember the teacher who ruined any hope of ever learning maths. Truly, we are what our teachers make us. But what makes a great teacher? We can think of many things from a-z but in this piece, we will stick with 5cs:


1.    Committed: This means “to be pledged or bound to a certain course or policy. No teacher can go far without a sense of commitment to ensure the well-being and excellent performance of his students. This first ‘c’ is the most important of all because a committed teacher will do all that is in his or her power to bring out the best in every student.

Synonyms: a committed teacher is also dedicated, devoted, loyal, betrothed, and bound to his students.

2.    Curious: To be curious is “to be eager to know or learn something”. Next to being committed and in fact as a consequence of being committed, the real teacher is extremely curious for knowledge. If there is a new way to explain titration in chemistry, he knows it.   He does not rehash the same lesson note, examples and assignment that she used five years ago. He is on top of his game. This means that beyond being a teacher, she can be called an industry expert.
He is eager to learn whatever is new, including education-related technology. He reads the best blogs created for teachers and attends seminars and maintains an enviable library. Thus, students know him as the person to go to if you need to know anything. By the way, this teacher will check out and attend ‘Edumark Creative Teacher’ seminars. We are just telling you o.

Synonyms: a curious teacher is also investigative, inquisitive, questioning, searching, and inquiring. Please note that this does not mean the teacher is nosy and meddlesome into the private affairs of his students. The real teacher does NOT make a student’s matter the topic of discussion in the staff room.

3.    Creative: Creativity is often thrown around randomly but what does it really mean? To be Creative refers to “resulting from originality of thought or imaginative process”.  It involves “the use of the imagination or original ideas to create something”. The real teacher is creative. Period. But this type of creativity depends on adequate knowledge which is why the real teacher is curious. The real teacher knows that she can use a game of scrabble to teach simple arithmetic and spellings at the same time. The creative teacher can look at a dull class and promptly run an exciting 5-minute spelling bee test to juggle up things. The creative teacher can even draw lessons from popular movies and events; there is no limit to what a creative teacher can do with her students.
The creative mind of a real teacher sees beyond the present level of any student such that from her, her students catch brilliant, hopeful dreams of themselves.

Synonyms: To be creative also means to be innovative, imaginative, original, visionary, and stimulating.

4.    Challenging: All the first 3 points are aimed at one thing: to challenge your students to be better than they ever thought possible, to push them beyond their comfort zones, and to spur them to think outside the confines of their environment. Challenging students is an art that only real teachers take their time to learn because it involves a lot of patience and (sometimes) frustration. Many times, the students will not understand why you do what you do and they may label you ‘that wicked teacher’ but by and by, knowledge dawns on a sincere heart.

Synonyms: a challenging teacher is also demanding, taxing, exacting, provoking and daring.
5.    Caring: Like it is commonly said, “your students don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” A caring attitude is what prevents a challenging teacher from becoming a monster. A caring attitude is the underlying factor between every labour that the real teacher invests in his students. He can understand when a struggling student is trying really hard but is not just cutting it. He can empathise and he can encourage. A real teacher is not brash.

Synonym: a caring teacher is affectionate (within proper boundaries), helpful, sympathetic, compassionate and considerate. Students can tell when a teacher cares and when he really can’t be bothered so you can’t fake it with them.

So, there you have it: 5Cs to help you become the best teacher you can be.

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SchoolTips & More Magazine is a bi-monthly parenting and educational publication by Edumark Consult. The magazine feaures interesting articles and interviews on parenting and education with a view to enhancing the total development of a child.

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