The Ideal Teacher

Posted: November 23, 2010 in The Teacher
Tags: , , , ,

One of the great things about international schools is the diversity of the community. This is especially true here at NIST.

With the turn of year fast approaching it is the time that many schools start to look ahead and think about the kind of teacher that would best fit into their community.

Last week we asked the students what ideal mix of attributes would be for a teacher.

Now this week we are asking parents what characteristics would make the ideal teacher for their child or children.

Please leave your comment on this post (click on the “speech bubble” at the top right of this story to get there)


  1. Jeanette Baekmark says:

    The ideal teacher embraces feedback from students on any issue and is welcoming an open discussion on equal terms with students on constructive ways ahead – for both the student as well as the teacher. This will further the student’s capacity to deal with authorties in a democratic way, later in life.

  2. Mark Thomas says:

    I don’t know if I can describe what an “ideal” teacher is, but I think the best teachers share some of the following qualities:

    Passionate about their work, and able to transfer a passion for life-long learning to their students.

    They have to have lots of patience, because as any parent knows dealing with one or two children all day long, let alone a classroom full of them, requires lots and lots of patience.

    Creativity in order to make learning as challenging, interesting and fun as possible for their students, who can be distracted from learning in so many different ways these days.

    And finally empathy — being able to understand and relate to how tough it can sometimes be to be a child growing up in this world, and able to help children overcome some of the problems they face.

  3. Nancy Claxton says:

    The ideal teacher places the success of their students as their topmost priority. All the tasks that they do in their work is directly aligned with helping his/her students to achieve academically and emotionally. Teachers and parents working together in sync help to develop each child to their full potential.

  4. Natasha says:

    An Ideal teacher is the one who loves to teach, has patience, loves children, is kind compassionate and the one who communicates. Like the teachers you have in NIST. Teachers mean the world to my children. Both my kids are new to NIST and Bangkok and the only thing that made us get adapted to this new city is the school. Thank you teachers.

  5. I like good teachers says:

    An ideal teacher would be a teacher who enjoys teaching and learning from his/her students.
    A teacher who is effective teacher and makes learning enjoyable,
    A teacher who helps students achieve their max by acknowledging their strength and working alongside them on their weakness!!
    A teacher who knows and remembers everyday the effect he/she has in the future of their students and cares enough to leave good impression.
    An ideal teacher always has a high achievement of grades or result!!

  6. Sam Sherratt says:

    As a teacher myself, it is quite difficult to answer this question!

    What I am hoping for in the teachers that work with my kids is the following:

    – Teachers who empower my children by helping them see possibilities
    – Teachers who make my children believe in themselves by understanding themselves
    – Teachers who help me open my children’s eyes to the world, to become people who look out of the window, notice details and ask questions about what they see
    – Teachers who help my children to become human beings, not just people.

  7. John says:

    Parents — and sometimes grandparents — are children’s first teachers. Like parents who love their children unconditionally, good school teachers love their students. These men and women foster a love of learning and develop character in their students through their intellectual and moral example. They help to further the early lessons begun at home, helping students to become more independent, responsible and organized as they mature. Good teachers are competent in their academic field and are deserving of our respect and that of our children for all that they do for them. The teachers are actually taking our place in the education of our children outside the home, and for this reason every day should be like Thanksgiving — giving thanks for these people who stand for us and give so much of themselves for our children’s benefit. I could name many good teachers at NIST, one of whom I would recommend should be cloned for the benefit of even more children.

  8. Jen says:

    An ideal teacher should have lots of patience.
    An ideal teacher should know his students’ weaknesses and strengths.
    An ideal teacher should find ways to improve those weaknesses and strengths.
    An ideal teacher should be able to find ways to encourage and motivate each child’s learning.
    An ideal teacher never stop learning and broaden one’s knowledge.
    An ideal teacher should be a good role model for his/her students.

  9. PAMIN says:

    A good teacher is someone who teaches but a ideal teacher is someone who understands the students… when u understand the student[s] its much easier to teach so they can absorb much better. In todays world. a teacher is more than a teacher, u have to know and be his [ student] friend sometimes so the student can confide and co-ordinate with each other. One more important for an ideal teacher is that he [she] shud make the students feel as team and make them be part of the same team mentally. so they can help each other and the captian [ advisor] is the teacher himself.

  10. Reto says:

    The ideal teacher is able to motivate the students in a way they do not even realize they are learning. He will probably teach at a speed that is at the class average plus 10 percent in order not to annoy the faster students nor to lose the slower students.
    The ideal teacher is patient and passionate about the topics he is teaching. The ideal teacher will not just present a topic, but link to examples for the real world that shows the students that they are learning for life and not just the classroom.
    The ideal teacher will be able to recognize special talent in the classroom and give further assignments. The ideal teacher will also be able to inspire the slower students and give them a feeling they belong to the class as well as the stars.

  11. Mike says:

    An ideal teacher considers the relationship between him /herself and the student above anything else. He/she is an encourager. My worst experiences in school were with teachers who put me down and never found anything good in who I was or what I was doing. My best teachers were those whom I sensed really cared about me as a person, not just as a student. Good teachers are also those who are willing to admit that they too have made mistakes and are willing to apologize to students.

  12. Pornthida Padthong says:

    An ideal teacher to me is like a copy cat of a good parent. They require the same quality basically to begin with which is an unconditioned giving to help a child grow to the fullest potential.

    To be able to give unconditionally, it must start with love and understanding. An iedal teacher has to understand the students and have a real passion to help develop the students.

    A few more characteristics that I can think of:-
    – be a good coach
    – be supportive
    – be open and a good listener
    – give honest feedback
    – be creative and encourage the students to think out of the box
    – be aware of the students’ strengths & weaknesses and help them strengthen their capacities and reduce their weaknesses
    – be a role model and inspirational
    – be engaged and committed
    – be sensible and be true to students

    Am I asking for too much??

  13. Nina says:

    I agree with all of the above adjectives describing an ideal teacher. I remember doing a workshop on what the best leader should be like (in this case within the scouting federation of Sweden), and all the participating leaders came up with a long and intelligent list of traits that a good leader should have. But nobody had mentioned the one single most important trait, according to the scout themselves – nice.

    So having learned my lesson from that time, I say that an ideal teacher is nice!

  14. Sara says:

    A good teacher is one that is patient, makes learning interesting and fun, caring and always in a good mood (that bit I am sure is hard).
    He/she must really know his/her stuff, and then be able to adapt his or her style to the individual student.
    Must also allow kids to explore and experiment with knowledge, seeing the usefulness of the stuff learned, instead of just downloading theory and make kids memorize facts.

  15. Kate says:

    I don’t know if someone could be “ideal” but what I would expect in “a teacher” is someone who is responsible, trustworthy. He/She should be a super parent plus a vision. A teacher should be able to guide his/her student to experience what the book couldn’t. Knowledge is the goal but social and life experience is what nowaday parent would expect from school.

    A good teacher reads the books.
    A GREAT teacher reads his students.

  16. Biliana says:

    Ideally tones of harisma! Ability to make the eyes of the kids in front of her, sparkle with excitement and eagerness to learn. Able to explain complex issuies in simple, diverse and magical manner. Has lots of compation for the kids, love and affection and is not affraid to show it.

  17. Biliana says:

    That was an easy one! Would you like to know anything else. Will be happy to help! Thanks for asking.

  18. Leigh SK says:

    Express a sense of really caring within the context of structure and discipline. Understanding the different learning styles and needs of each student and being very approachable. NIST is good at this.

  19. Grace Kawakami says:

    My ideal teacher is a teacher who understands students weaknesses inside and outside the classroom. Encourage the student to overcome and find ways to solve one`s difficulties. Lots of patience not only for the students but for the parents as well.

  20. J says:

    The ideal teacher is one who measurably facilitates mastery of any given material for any given student at a ideal rate of speed, consistently over time and irrespective of the child, of the material, or of any of a set of comparable metrics used to demonstrate that mastery has occurred.

  21. Mette Rodtnes says:

    I agree of many of the above comments, and have just a single issue that would like to emphasize. It is an important responsibility for a teacher to be a learner him- og herself, and to be very clear in exhibiting his or her own learning. Students should not think that teachers are in possesion of all knowledge, and in a state of having reached a point where they are filled up with all the knowledge they need.

    We talk about life-long learning and teachers should be rolemodels for the students as learners. We need our children to acquire knowledge throughout their lives, and they need to understand that learning is not only for students in schools – it is for all of us. Teachers too! As teachers should be passionate about their subjects, to transfer this passion to students, they also need to be passionate about learning. So, a good teacher is also a good learner!

  22. parentofthree says:

    an ideal teacher has self confidence, is passionate about education, can ‘read’ pupils well and meet them where they are at, and inspire/motivate them to fulfill their goals.

    an ideal teacher has a good sense of humour.

  23. MJ Hogg (ZIS parent) says:

    The ideal teacher? Passionate love of learning, and of passing this love on. Able to reach every kid in the class, no matter what personality type (read the book ‘here’s how to reach me’ – useful in every walk of life). Able to coach the kids in tackling their problems with each other and the world, able to encourage inclusiveness and to nuture the seeds of that value thoughtout the child’s development years. Working with – and coaching the unqualified-in-education- parents to help each child excel at whatever they are good at. To be always positive in their criticism so that the confidence of the child blossoms and grows and that the next time the work is turned in, it is better and better than the last. And the ideal teacher retires knowing he or she changed the lives of the kids he or she taught for the better.

  24. ccc (ZIS parent) says:

    An ideal teacher is someone who excels at passing on their past experiences together with their current knowledge for the benefit of future generations. She/he should be a creative thinker who is able to be fluid like water yet solid like ice.

    Besides imparting knowledge in the most creative ways, an ideal teacher should be able to inspire students to take on good values that are true and noble, to be outward looking (and not self-centred), to be a giver and not a taker, a person who looks beyond material things and makes their objective in life to make the world a better place for all. To be able to inspire students to be all that, a teacher first would need to have those qualities and values themself and be able to work closely together with parents to instil such values.

    With kids spending half their day at school, half the responsibilty in raising a child is in the hands of the teacher and this should not be taken lightly. Teaching is not ‘just a job’ but a responsibility in ensuring a better future for our world.

  25. jamiewaring says:

    A teacher’s main role is to inspire the student to seek knowledge, not information but something more profound and real in the form of self knowledge. As such the teacher will increasingly balance the need for the student to look within themselves and objectively for answers. More than technical ability the teacher should have a good level of life experience and self knowledge and through their influence and presence a level of security and emotional strength is transmitted to the student.
    I would like to see the best teachers awarded with the best pay commensurate with top industry positions. Unfortunately I think the influence and the affect a real teacher has is not truly appreciated in our current society.

  26. Biba Waring says:

    I don’t know about an ideal teacher but I think a good teacher for me will have to be a
    A teacher who truly loves to teach and learn from his students on how to better himself
    A teacher who displays the love!! love of teaching, love of learning, love of nature, love of others and the importance of love!! ( and yes I know this is parents duty but teachers and parents have such influence on children that we should also share the teaching of love by our actions and not words) hence love of teaching!
    A teacher who is always empowering and encouraging regardless ones limitation
    A teacher who takes the time to know all of the child and not just the school work
    A teacher who makes learning fun adventurous
    A teacher who sees the ability of his students and guides them to explore their ability
    A teacher that who is passionate about all of his students and not display favoritism
    A teacher whose name will always be remembered for the way he impacted your life

    Enough said for now but let me finish by saying that, I think it high time that teachers should be paid the highest!!! Higher than any other profession as they hold the KEY to the future!!!

  27. jaswrites says:


    I am a student, but if anyone does not mind, I would like to share thoughts on an ideal teacher.


    The teacher should have one thing above all else first: Passion. Passion to teach. Passion to share knowledge with students. Passion for what a teacher teaches. A passion to learn, too, even though he/she is a teacher.
    An ideal teacher would not only give knowledge to a student: he or she would taech how to apply it in life too. What good is memorizing physics equations for me if I do not know how I can use them to invent new things? Which brings myself to the point that a teacher must always encourage innovation. He or she must encourage new ideas and thoughts. An ideal teacher would never care about grades. Instead, he or she would care about teaching the students and what they recieve of it.
    Any teacher can teach a child knowledge. Any teacher can teach a child simple equations or words and tell him/her to memorize them. Similar to a circus lion, who is taught by a trainer to jump through rings of fire and on chairs. But we call such lions “Well trained”, not “well educated”.

    “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire”, William Butler Yeats, poet, once wrote. An ideal teacher would know this.

    Benjamin Franklin said of the man educated by a simple modern teacher, “He was so learned that he could name a horse in nine languages; so ignorant that he bought a cow to ride on”. Rather, a good educater teaches the value of education and its applications. Contrary to linear methods, a good educater encourages cross-discipline thinking.

    A good educater encourages learning and obtaining knowledge through imagination, creativity, innovation, and passion. In hands of a student, education pursued with imagination is a golden experience. It is during learning that the mind is most active and exploring. A student learns best when this imagination is encouraged. Who knows what new things the student can discover? Thus, imagination leads to innovation. It was probably due to Edison’s mother’s encouragement to not stop using his active mind that gave Edison the genius to make more than 1093 patents. How truly Albert Einstein said that “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world”. A good educater makes education not a “have to” but rather a “want to”. Students obtaining good education have a desire to learn awakened inside them. We do best what we love to do. This is the purpose of passion in education.
    A good teacher provides much opportunity. He/she promotes not what the world already is; rather, tells of what the world can be. He/she entails meaning of the life-long process of learning. Rather than simply stating and informing, he/she teaches and inspires. How rightly remarked John Dewey, educational reformer, on how education should be:
    “Education is growth. Education is, not a preparation for life; education is life itself”.

    • wkirkwood says:

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts – you are more than welcome to join the discussion. It is really interesting to see/read everyone’s thoughts on this topic. We are currently looking at the connections between people’s comments and we will write a post in the new year highlighting the points that we raised.



  28. […] discussion about what characteristics parents look for in a teacher was very interesting. We really […]

  29. […] discussion about what characteristics parents look for in a teacher was very interesting. We really […]

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