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What Makes a Good Professor a Great Professor?

By Sana E Zahra

Jeffrey Hoops is an Assistant Professor of Accounting, and teaches tax and accounting courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Photo courtesy of Tyler Tarae
Jeffrey Hoops is an Assistant Professor of Accounting, and teaches tax and accounting courses at the undergraduate and graduate level. Photo courtesy of Tyler Tarae

Staff Writer

Have you ever sat in a class and questioned to yourself why the class amused you? Or why it seemed so boring? Was it because of the subject or was it because of the professor? Well, I believe that no matter how much you dislike a subject, if your professor interacts with the class and shows his or her passion for teaching, you will end up loving the class. John Henrik Clarke once said, “A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience’s attention, then he can teach his lesson.”

How many of us walk into a class, find a professor so enthusiastic about the subject, and decide to drop the class? Generally, none! When we see that a professor is enjoying every moment of the class, we also enjoy attending the class. Good teaching involves passion. The professor should not only be able to motivate students, but also be able to teach them the content.

Professors that are enthusiastic about their work will make sure their students learn in a way that is memorable and relevant. A good professor would care for his or her passion and will convey that passion to the students. Charles Kuralt once said, “Good teachers know how to bring out the best in students.”

Teaching certainly does not mean opening up a textbook and trying to force the students to absorb all the information. A good professor is someone who understands the students; who understands that the only way the students can learn something is if you walk them through it little by little.

“It’s best for the professor to interact with the students because [they] will feel more comfortable knowing that their professor is able to understand them and help them through anything. Also, this will make the students want to enjoy learning and not wasting their tuition money.” Awais Chaudhary, a senior Psychology major, said. Certainly, the best way of teaching is to understand the students’ abilities. The professor should be able to nurture his students through this, develop their mind and enhance their talent.

Sometimes, going through examples is not always the best way of explaining and that’s where interacting comes in action. When a professor interacts with the class, it gives the students a chance to speak out and ask for help openly. “When professors get the students involved, it helps each student express themselves and learn more. They learn more because when they give their opinions, the professor can elaborate the opinion/answer and help explain,” Alexandra Botie, a junior accounting major, said.

Knowledge is a gift we will carry with us our entire lives. Therefore, no student should sit in class and waste his or her time. Instead, you should focus and if you feel like there is something the professor is doing wrong and you don’t understand, don’t be shy and ask. Letting the professor know what works best for you can sometimes make the professor rethink his teaching style. Last but not the least, Guy Kawasaki once said, “If you have to put someone on a pedestal, put teachers. They are society’s heroes.”

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