What the pupils say about teachers

23rd June 2000 at 01:00
Forget the expensive consultants, pupils say they know what makes a good teacher.

Cara Dunkling, aged 15, Ricards Lodge school, Wimbledon, London: "Teachers need to be tactful so that if you mess up your coursework, they don't say you're stupid. If they try to be too superior and have no respect for you, then you see them as an adult and not as a teacher. Teachers should never have favourites because then the whole class turns against them."

Christopher Lindsey, 8, Freezywater St George's Church of England school, Enfield: "Teachers should be funny and kind so that pupils aren't scared of them.

"But they should also be firm so that children do the work. They should like boys and girls the same and never under-rate people just because they have bad handwriting. A good teacher is one who can make jokes because this will make children happy at school."

Luke Ridley, 13, Tower House preparatory school, south-west London: "A good teacher can keep their class in order, actually teaches something, is funny, doesn't make empty threats and uses all kinds of media - preferably not involving pens and paper - to get their point over, so you're not endlessly writing."

Aaron Witter, 13, Queen Elizabeth's boys school, Barnet: "A good teacher is full of enthusiasm. He or she should set the appropriate amount of work and give a suitablelength of time for it to be completed. Teachers should help those with lesser ability and extend the work for the pupils who work at a faster pace.

"Many teachers raise their voice too frequently and this makes pupils resent them. A large number of teachers punish everybody for the crimes of the more disruptive pupils. A quality teacher would assess the situation carefully and give only the culprits a worthy punishment."

Chantalle Beckford-Tackoir, 14, Henrietta Barnett school, Hampstead Garden Suburb, London: "A good teacher encourages students to achieve their highest potential, shows understanding, and respects individuality, while conveying fairness and consistency.

"A good teacher must also have the ability to make the subject easily understood. But to be thoroughly appreciated and admired a teacher must possess a sense of humour. A teacher with these qualities will be unforgettable."

Kiri Crequer, 15, Ricards Lodge school, Wimbledon: "A good teacher can control the class, that's the most important thing, otherwise you won't do the work. The best teacher works well with individuals and discusses things with you. He or she checks that everyone has understood. Some teachers are too nice, too lenient. I like strict teachers. If you see other people not doing their work, then you are not going to do it either."

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