Education is constantly evolving, but the traits of a good teacher remain consistent across campus.
“You can tell if they love the subject. If they’re passionate, it makes a difference. If they care about the student, you can tell they want the student to learn,” said Mikaela Kester, a sophomore studying art.
Passion is important, but it’s not the only thing students value.
“[I like] an interactive teacher. They speak humor. That’s the big thing. Monotone is boring,” said Torre Sleaker, a junior studying communication.
Most students agree that a teacher’s enthusiasm about a certain subject is often contagious. They’re love of the subject is evident.
“When the teacher is enthusiastic, that helps a lot. You feel more likely to be interested because they are so interested,” said Joanne Kennedy, a freshman studying English.
The way students learn and the way professors teach can change the atmosphere of a classroom as well.
Because students learn in different ways, it’s important to find professors who fit a student’s learning style.
“[It’s helpful] when the teacher doesn’t drone on, but gets interaction from the class. If he hates the subject, it will definitely reflect,” said Julia Mink, a freshman studying nursing. “Busywork is pointless and what you did in high school. A lot of homework is fine if it’s interesting and pertains to the subject.”
A teacher’s enthusiasm in the classroom can change a student’s view of the subject for some students.
“My American Foundations teacher enjoyed [it], which made me enjoy it, even though I didn’t love the subject,” Kennedy said.
That enthusiasm can be found in the way a professor teaches.
“[I like] someone who’s really passionate about what they teach. My religion teacher is really positive and knows so much about it, so I know I’m going to learn something about the gospel,” Kennedy said.
Many students also think a positive attitude and an effort to get to know students makes a difference. Kennedy said it’s easier to like a class when it’s a subject you’re interested in but a happy, enthusiastic teacher can make a great class.
Some students have advice on how to find a great teacher.
“[Look for] someone who actually cares for students and shows how work applies to their lives,” Sleaker said.