Growing up, all of us had our favorite teachers – the ones who were really good at what they did, the ones who put in that extra effort to make a difference, the ones who were kind and considerate with a parental attitude, the ones who were guidance counselors and friends more than teachers; we remember them at various points in our lives and reminisce fondly about them, especially if we believe that they had the ideal qualities that make a good teacher. Every subject has its own requirements when it comes to teaching, and science teachers stand out from the crowd if:
- They are able to raise the curiosity level of their students: Science is all about discovery and innovation, and unless you’re curious about how and why things work, unless you feel the urge to push through and discover what else can be done or if things can be done differently, science is going to be just another subject for you. A good science teacher should be able to inculcate a sense of curiosity in their students; they must know how to get them to wonder about all that exists and think about what could exist if they persist in making a difference.
- They are flexible in their teaching methods: A science teacher must use teaching methods that bring out the desire to learn in their students. Some of these methods may be unorthodox no doubt, but they’re very effective – a visit to the museum to see dinosaur skeletons instead of a theory class that is more boring than illustrative, a class held outdoors to demonstrate the laws of Physics instead of just making their students memorize them, or asking students to explain science the way they see it instead of just following the fixed curriculum – these are methods that are bound to increase students’ interest in science.
- They use material outside of the textbook to illustrate facts: The best science teachers use practical demonstrations or examples in everyday life to illustrate and explain scientific facts. It’s easier to make kids understand how a siphon works when you have a working model that shows how it works; it’s more interesting to mix chemicals together to show the reaction they cause rather than just writing down equations on the board; and it makes more sense to use everyday examples to explain science rather than just reading out theories and rules from the textbook.
- They are able to tap the potential of students: Good teachers know the potential of every child in their class; they don’t talk to the walls or mumble to the blackboard – rather, they make sure that everyone is involved in the classroom. That quiet kid in the corner may be a genius, but his shyness may mask his brilliance. When everyone is involved in the interactions that go on in the class, it allows even those who are reticent to shine and show their mettle. An ideal science teacher ensures that the quiet geniuses of the class have their hour in the spotlight.
Science is a subject that’s interesting and intriguing, and the teacher who can encapsulate this and project it in a classroom adds value to any school.