I REFER to the report "What makes a good teacher?" last Sunday. I think what makes a good teacher is a good salary.
Teachers, like other workers, work for money and the better they are paid, the more passion they will have for the job.
A teacher has his or her own needs plus those of their families, and these needs must be satisfied before the teacher can be effective in the classroom.
I could never identify with the school of thought that teachers are social workers who would go overboard to inspire and motivate their students, even to the point of establishing a personal relationship with them and their families.
A teacher is simply the medium between the book and the students. The relationship between the teacher and his or her students is a professional one, not a social or a friendly one. Teachers who want to be respected must keep their distance and their privacy.
A trained teacher has at his or her disposal all the tools to conduct lessons and to make sure that students learn.
With a trained teacher there is no possibility of the students not learning or failing an exam.
A true teacher is serious, disciplined, just and firm. A good teacher commands the respect of his or her students and has no problem completing the syllabus.
My final observation is that a good teacher cannot be a teacher for long.
He or she will want to progress the same way students progress. And so after five or 10 years of teaching a good teacher will want to become a head teacher, a head of department and perhaps even a principal.
By Marisa Demori, Kuala Lumpur
Source: New Straits Times Letters to the Editors 24 June 2012