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Kindness and humour are the characteristics of a great teacher, according to pupils

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Sep 7, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Is it time for teachers to show their lighter side?

    ’Kindness is the single most important quality students want in their teacher, according to a new survey.

    In a survey conducted last month, pupils identified the traits they looked for most in a great teacher. A kind nature was backed by 27 per cent; good listening skills were seen as important by 15 per cent; while organising fun lessons, or being funny, was rated top by 13 per cent and 10 per cent of children respectively, according to YouGov.

    Only 9 per cent of students thought being knowledgeable was important, with 3 per cent adding that not shouting was a virtue.

    The survey involved 586 children, aged 6-15, being questioned in the first week of August.’

    Find out what other traits pupils found important in their teachers:


    What do you think of the results of the survey? What do you think are the top five traits that teachers should possess?
    esther30 likes this.
  2. install

    install Star commenter

    1 Not to think of teaching as a popularity contest
    2 To be fair, consistent and motivational
    3 To give regular feedback
    4 To laugh in the right places at the right tim
    5 To ensure that behaviour issues are dealt with quickly so that poor behaviour does not kill learning
    dleaf12, EmilysDad, Moony and 9 others like this.
  3. Marshall

    Marshall Lead commenter

    I totally agree with install! Couldn't have said it better myself.
    install likes this.
  4. hhhh

    hhhh Lead commenter

    Pupils might well say this, but if you're kind and funny but know naff all about Maths, they might wish they'd had a more knowledgeable teacher come GCSE Maths exam day...
    bevdex, dleaf12, cac2008 and 3 others like this.
  5. maggie m

    maggie m Established commenter

    My last year 11 class told me they were pleased they had me in year 10 and 11 because although I nagged them a lot I knew what I was talking about.
  6. fluffy81212

    fluffy81212 New commenter

    I am just starting teacher training and as part of the prep I did a little SWOT analysis. When I ran out of strengths and weaknesses I asked my 9 year old son what he thought "what about me do you think might help me to be a good teacher?" He replied, "you are patieny and kind, and you can tell people what to do without being angry." When I asked what he thought I might find harder he said, "sometimes you might be a bit too patient." Kindness shows you care and reality is for some kids you might be the only one who does. Humour is a great way at getting people to retain information. There are a lot of other things that you need to do but it makes sense that they are important and that they are important to the kids we teach then it might just be that we can make our lives a bit easier by doing it!!
    camillagallop, Bumptious and install like this.
  7. Catgirl1964

    Catgirl1964 Occasional commenter

    For 'kindness' read lets us get away with anything, for 'humour' read laughs at my funny quips and when I have not done my homework and/or reached my target grade in tests. Kids' interpretation of the meaning of these words is very different to an adults.
    dleaf12, Bumptious, BTBAM and 3 others like this.
  8. koopatroopa

    koopatroopa Senior commenter

    What makes you think they don't?
    That's why they are the students and we are the teachers.
    TCSC47, bevdex, henrypm0 and 7 others like this.
  9. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Only 9 per cent of students thought being knowledgeable was important

    This explains an awful lot. It explains why most schools are getting away with employing the cheapest and most compliant, rather than the best teachers.

    It also explains why there are so many lazy, spoilt kids who insist on being tutored at home, rather than getting off their **** and travelling to a tutor. Clearly for 91% of them convenience is vastly more important than how good any tutor might be.
    henrypm0 likes this.
  10. yodaami2

    yodaami2 Lead commenter

    The teachers who are kind but can’t control their classes get walked all over, indeed sometimes abused mercilessly.
    loodle1, Moony, install and 1 other person like this.
  11. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    I remember at school we had a kind teacher who we could really relate to and we adored him. After 33 years in the classroom I can look back and realise that although we thought he was great at the time, actually what we learned from him was not very thorough or well planned. It was very much a 'What shall we do today?' and this was at a grammar school. OK, I never wrote a lesson plan for the last 25 years of my 33 year career but I was always aware of what I needed to do and was continually reflecting on how things could be made better if at all.
    Alice K and JosieWhitehead like this.
  12. Shedman

    Shedman Star commenter

    bevdex, dleaf12, cac2008 and 5 others like this.
  13. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    Kindness and humour may be good personal attributes, but this applies to anybody, but imparting knowledge in such a way as young people will learn from you is what they are at school for. When I look back at my own school days, I couldn't say that I found much kindness or humour coming from some of the teachers unfortunately. They were strict disciplinarians in my mind as were many teachers years ago - sad to say.
    Catgirl1964 and install like this.
  14. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I'm not sure that this applies everywhere but certainly in the classroom it might well be the case. I taught adults and perhaps this is different. They came to my classes because they chose to and there were no discipline problems, lucky for us.
    install likes this.
  15. sparklepig2002

    sparklepig2002 Star commenter

    I think it is very important to have a sense of humour-not only in the classroom but in life in general. My son had a horrendous year in year 5, as he had a harridan of a teacher who told him off for every little thing he did that she didn't like. Not a smile in sight all year.
    I'm not saying my son was an angel,he wasn't-he was a typical very bright, but lazy, bored boy. He went from loving school and being very keen and enthusiastic in year 4, to a bored, miserable, school refuser in year 5 as he felt that she was picking on him-which she was .
    When he went into year 6, he was still as mischievous , but his teacher dealt with his misdemeanours with a sense of humour, which my son related to, felt was fair and respected. The year 6 teacher turned my son back into a happy school participant, for which we were very grateful.

    Re being kind-it is not a sign of weakness, I would never be deliberately unkind to a child in my class. Being kind is a trait we should all display and set as an example to our students.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
  16. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    We had a teacher who knew us well and jollied us along with a mixture of humour, sarcasm and caring. He would organise trips for us and get us involved in things out of school. I always tried to model myself on him when I was in the classroom. I
    cac2008 and sparklepig2002 like this.
  17. moscowbore

    moscowbore Senior commenter

    Kindness and humour are powerful student motivators where applicable. They are not always applicable.
  18. JosieWhitehead

    JosieWhitehead Star commenter

    I can't think of any better way of putting this. Well done Install!!! Perfect!
    Moony, install and grumpydogwoman like this.
  19. scilady

    scilady New commenter

    Install has it spot on except the last...teaching a kid to behave at school is the PARENT'S job, or society if the parent is hopeless. It should be expected that classes do as they are asked. Poor behaviour along with workload loses teachers
    cac2008 and Mrsmumbles like this.
  20. Mrsmumbles

    Mrsmumbles Star commenter

    I can’t understand how anyone would consider that teachers didn’t have kindness and an a,aging sense of humour; they must be feeling pretty generous to still be in post. Staying working in an academy must require colossal amounts of good nature, possibly even self-deprecating humour. ‘You don’t have to be a caring altruist who laughs maniacally at the SLT to work here, but it helps!’
    blazer likes this.

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