Keystone Oaks School District News Article

What makes a good teacher?

Throughout any high school student’s career, they are constantly being pushed to be the best version of themselves and learn to always be impressive and successful. However, no one ever really makes teachers aware of things they may need to work on, they just have to figure it out on their own.

Being able to bring fun into the classroom is a big trait that many students appreciate and want their teacher to obtain.

“A teacher’s best quality is when they’re energetic, funny, and are able to teach by themselves, not just straight out of the book,” claimed freshman Sydney Stahl.

Besides just being able to bring fun into the classroom, being a good teacher means for them to attain other qualities as well. Some students, like junior Abby O’Farrell, have other opinions on what makes a great teacher.

“I believe that one of the best traits a teacher can have is the ability to understand that each student has a different learning pattern and is able to teach in a way that is helpful for each student.”

Some people learn at different paces, and it’s helpful when a teacher understands that. They need to have an honest care for their students and want to help each one gain information and succeed throughout their high school career. Science teacher Suzanne Deemer agrees with this.

“Everyone learns differently so I think the best approach is using a variety of methods. I try to cover all learning styles as much as possible.”

Sometimes, however, teachers don't live up to expectations and may have negative aspects of them.

“The worst traits for a teacher to have is constantly being strict and always teaching from the first minute of class to the last.  We're teenagers, not robots,” claimed junior Kain Bryan.

Students can also play a role in how a teacher goes about teaching their class. The students aren't the only ones who need a little fun brought into the classroom.

According to math teacher John McCarthy, “You need some students in your class that are outgoing, otherwise the class can be very boring. You need to find a way to have a little fun while you are teaching.”

Also, good students who want to be there and have the drive to succeed can make the class easier to teach, but Deemer can also see difficult students differently than some teachers might.

“Reaching a student who has zero interest in science and/or school can be very rewarding. I enjoy seeing their excitement when they learn how something that they take for granted or something that they thought was ‘too hard’ can be explained by science or they learn that they can do this thing that is ‘too hard.’”

One question that has been debated is whether or not a teacher should be challenging or easy going. It really just comes down to the student and what they prefer.

“It is better to have challenging teachers so then they push you to your limits and you really know how much you can hold. Plus, you get more out of it because you will learn more, but if a teacher is easy going then you may not have the opportunity to see your full potential.” said Stahl.

Some students have a different outlook on this question, such as senior Ryan Collins.

“Teachers have to have the right combination of the two because if you’re too challenging you could lose some kids on the way, but if you’re too easy going, people will take advantage of you. It’s just about finding the middle ground in between the two.”

Overall, for one to be a good teacher at Keystone Oaks High School, they need to have multiple traits. Not only do the students want good teachers, Principal Jason Kushak makes sure he looks for ones who will provide the best education for the students at Keystone Oaks, just like he received when he was in school.

“There were a mix of good and bad teachers that I had when I was growing up, but the good outweighed the bad. The good teachers made me want to become an educator to make a positive difference on students’ lives,” claimed Kushak.

When Kushak hires teachers for the school, he makes sure to look for qualities that are necessary for the students and will benefit the kids who attend Keystone Oaks.

“When hiring, I look for someone up to date with technology, who has a good work ethic, and who is willing to put the students above themselves.”

Despite numerous amounts of different teaching styles, every teacher has the same goal, which is to make sure their students are able to learn successfully.

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