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Nov 06, 2016 10:58 AM EST

5 Characteristics of the Best College Teachers

5 Characteristics of the Best College Teachers
There are teachers but there are the best teachers. They are those who break away from the mold and make a difference in the lives of their students.
(Photo : Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

In his book, "What the Best College Teachers Do," Ken Bain recounted his observations and interviews with 100 professors in various institutions and disciplines and observed that the best college teachers have certain characteristics in common. Here are five of those characteristics which make a teacher extraordinary above the rest of their colleagues.

They have a deep understanding of their discipline

Teachers who have been deemed extraordinary by their students are those who have a deep understanding of the history of their discipline. They are also open-minded about the fact that their beliefs can be questioned. Moreover, they also understand the process of learning and strive to present complex principles in the simplest way possible and foster those learnings through practice.

They prepare with the intended outcome of their lessons in mind

The best teachers always prepare their lessons using a richer line of inquiry which will result in their students having a richer encounter in learning. They always consider what their students can gain intellectually from their class. Then, they consider how they can help their students achieve.

They give up their sense of power over students

Another trait that makes a teacher outstanding is in the way they treat their students with equity and respect, even the under-performing ones. They also give them their ultimate trust despite the mistakes, rather than point their fingers and blame students for it. They are always their to inspire and guide them until they take responsibility for their learning.

They encourage their students to rethink their assumptions

The best teachers understand that students can learn more by encouraging students to practice critical thinking without fear that they will be criticized for it. They also allow students to fail and try again until they get it right. They also give their students freedom to collaborate with each other to find a better solution.

They understand that progress is not measured by a particular standard

Teachers are always on the lookout for progress; however, they do not measure progress using a certain standard. Instead, they find ways how to better evaluate a student's progress with their help.

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