Born and raised in Germany, Hannah started learning English as a Second Language in elementary school, and French in middle school. After completing her Master’s in Education, ESL, and History at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, she moved to the United States to become a teacher at the Milwaukee German Immersion School.
At some point or another you have probably asked yourself, “Am I a good teacher?” or “How do I become the best teacher ever?” Maybe you even put one of these questions into your search engine a couple of seconds ago :)?
Well, first of all, I want to say, “Yes, you are a great teacher and close to being the best teacher ever!” Because I truly believe that only good teachers, those who really care about their students, would ever type a sentence like that into Google. When I was teaching, I’d ask myself that all the time, especially in the beginning of my career: “Am I doing it right?”, “Are my students learning enough?”, “Are the parents happy with what I do?”, “Will my kids do well on tests?” These thoughts kept creeping up on me, often in the middle of the night. For many teachers, these questions and insecurities have only increased during this pandemic, with teaching styles having to change and adjust overnight.
- Are you the best teacher ever?
- What makes a good teacher a good teacher?
- Best teacher ever - The results
1. Are you the best teacher ever?It’s hard to measure who is the best teacher ever or what makes someone the best teacher. It’s often a very subjective measure. You can be your students’ favorite teacher one day, and then the next day, they think you are the worst! We definitely have a lot of power as teachers. One well-planned lesson can change our students’ perspectives and interests forever, fascinating them for decades to come and fostering a love and passion for learning. But, a poorly planned and conducted lesson can scar our students for life, making them detest and reject a subject or topic forever. Whether amazing teachers get an award for being the “Educator of the Year” or a handwritten card that says “Best Teacher Ever”, they all deserve to be celebrated and recognized for their hard work and dedication.
2. What makes a good teacher a good teacher?
Trying to measure what makes a good teacher or even THE BEST isn’t easy, but I compiled some general tips and tricks into a little infographic. Take a look, answer these questions truthfully, and you will see where you stand in the “Best Teacher Ever” Category. And don’t worry, I’m not leaving you alone with those results. Whatever the outcome of this little quiz is, I also wrote a guide on how to be a better teacher with tips and tricks for each step.
3. Best teacher ever - The results
Here is a short interpretation of the results, based on the answers you gave in the above quiz. To find out more about how you can improve each step, continue reading here.
YOU ARE DOING AN AMAZING JOB:
Congratulations! You answered most of these questions with “Yes,” which means you are already an amazing teacher! Keep up the good work and don’t stop improving, evolving, trying new things, and putting your students first! There are so many materials, ideas, and solutions out there, and only after you try them will you know if they work for you and your students. Keep collaborating with your colleagues and exchanging ideas! Your students will be forever grateful!
YOU ARE DOING GREAT:
Well done! You have a lot of good qualities already and the fact that you took this test shows that you are truly interested in doing more! To improve, go back and look at your “No” responses. To become an even better language teacher, focus on one of those areas at a time. Reach out to a colleague and ask for help, go online and find a new strategy you can try with your students, or find a professional development opportunity or conference to attend to connect with other language teachers and find out more about the latest trends in foreign language teaching.
YOU CAN STILL IMPROVE:
Hey, don’t be disappointed. You took this test. You asked the right questions, and now you have the chance to work on yourself. That’s the first step. So pat yourself on the back and don’t give up. Go back through the little infographic again. Read your way through the “Yes” part to get to “You are a great teacher.” While you don’t (and can’t) work on everything at the same time, choose something that you think you can easily improve.
Regardless of where you landed and how much or little work you have left in becoming the best teacher ever, I'd like to share some of my favorite teacher quotes with you as inspiration:
“The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.”
― William Arthur Ward
“Those who know, do. Those that understand, teach.”
“In learning you will teach, and in teaching you will learn.”
― Phil Collins
“I never teach my pupils, I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.”
― Albert Einstein
I am sure there are many more great teacher quotes out there. Which one is your favorite? I’m hoping we can collect inspiring quotes for all of us. And they don’t have to be from famous people! I am sure most of you have come up with an amazing motto for your teaching, so let us hear (read) it!