The Chronicle of Higher Education
March 16th, 2015
American higher education seems to be experiencing a kind of teaching renaissance. Articles on the subject proliferate on this site and others, suggesting a renewed interest and commitment to the subject across academe.
As a faculty member for almost 30 years, I have been inspired and
motivated by all of the online chatter. It’s made me think about the
great teachers I’ve known — and I’ve known many, from kindergarten
through graduate school and beyond. Several taught in my department when
I served as chair, and I had the pleasure of observing them at work.
Those experiences have led me to conclude that, when we boil down all
the metrics, we’re left with four qualities that all powerful teachers
possess. I’m not just talking about adequate, effective, or even good
teachers. I’m talking about the ones who most move us, who have made the
most difference in our lives, and whom we most wish to emulate. Perhaps
we can’t all be that kind of teacher, but I suspect many of us at least
aspire to be.