The Netherlands Best Teachers - Picking the Right Educator
23 June 2013
What to look for in a teacher, trainer or professor? They are an essential part of education, yet society does not value (and pay) teachers enough to lure them away from better paying jobs in other industries. Consequently, the quality of educators can vary greatly, even in the western world. We will help you find The Netherlands Best Teachers
The Early Days
When going through elementary or highschool, we don't get a chance to select our own teachers - at least in most countries. It's a pity, since the right teacher can make a world of a difference in whether or not we enjoy learning a subject or not. We all have memories of our favorite teachers who made a class inspiring and interesting, and the horrible teachers who made us dread even going to school. On the other hand, not being able to select our own educators teaches us a valueable life lesson early on - you don't always have a choice in life, and often must learn to live with outside circumstances, and the discipline and rules introduced by others.
The Perks of Growing Up
Luckily, when we go off to college or university, and are old enough to make our own conscious decisions, (larger) schools will often give us the opportunity to choose our own educators. The same goes for courses and trainings we may sign up for later in life, including language courses, driving lessons or sports trainings. It's best to take advantage of this option, and research who will be passing on their knowledge to us.
Anyone who has spent some time in a classroom has an opinion about their teacher. Whether it’s positive or negative, the opinions come from the mindset of the student and their goals as they enter the course. There is no perfect teacher or perfect method and style of teaching, because with every student there’s a unique combination of traits and skills that are desired from the teacher.
There are various styles of teaching that go from very free and open to very strict and linear, and everything in between. For the majority of teachers the rule of thumb is that the teaching style reflects their personality, specialties, interests and work ethic, but this is certainly not always the case.
First of all, do some online research to learn about the background and beliefs of a potential teacher, or try to gather information from current students on how they perceive the particular educator. Check out the possibilities for attending a lecture or class, before enrolling - this will give you an opportunity to get in direct contact with the students and get some real life feedback, as well as a chance to meet the teacher or professor in person, to have a chat. Remember to ask ahead of time if this will be possible. Ask yourself what the essential “deal makers & breakers” are and what you can tolerate and live with, keeping in mind that no teacher is perfect but this will help you find The Netherlands best teachers, and the best teachers anywhere!
Ask your teacher what his/her perspective is on those essentials. For example:
- How is homework treated? Are you forced to do it a certain way?
- Will you need to note or present what you have learned after every lesson or does the teacher leave it all up to you to keep up and stay organized?
- What are the rules when missing classes in case of personal problems, sickness and emergencies? Some courses will simply kick you out after 2-3 missed classes.
- Is the teacher willing to give advice and help outside of class hours? Will he/she put in extra effort to assist you with problematic concepts or lessons?
The body language and tone of voice of the teacher or professor when answering your questions is hugely important. First of all, does it all match the answers given? If not, you’ve probably gotten the desirable answers that the teacher thinks will ease your mind and let him/her off the hook. Does the educator sound irritated or agitated by your questions? Do they make sarcastic or humorous remarks? Are they hesitant to answer any questions, and suggest you just sign up and see for yourself? All replies should be examined carefully.
Asking a few simple questions should give you an idea whether the teacher is open minded or has a sense of humor. Clearly, professors are not comedians and are not there to entertain you, but you would be surprised how much more you can learn from a person who you actually like, and feel relaxed around!
Comfort is the Key
If it does all seem to fall into place, things are looking good. This is especially true, if the conversation compared to how you would like to be addressed and treated. Feeling comfortable in class around the teacher and asking questions is key to actually learning what is being taught, because it keeps your mind focused and open to learn and retain new things.
The Netherlands Best Teachers
When considering if a new teacher is right for you, think back to any teachers you liked (hopefully there is at least one or two!) and how much more you learned from them compared to the teachers you disliked. That’s what it all comes down to when looking for a teacher: feeling comfortable, inspired and of course, being able to learn from them!
Do you remember a specific teacher who made a great positive or negative impact on your education or even life? Feel free to share your story below...