What Is A Good Teacher?
John Piper’s article The Marks of a Spiritual Leader (written in 1995) is well-worth reading slowly and carefully, especially for those entrusted with spiritual leadership.
Here’s a section where he seeks to give some of the essential characteristics of a good teacher.
- A good teacher asks himself the hardest questions, works through to answers, and then frames provocative questions for his learners to stimulate their thinking.
- A good teacher analyzes his subject matter into parts and sees relationships and discovers the unity of the whole.
- A good teacher knows the problems learners will have with his subject matter and encourages them and gets them over the humps of discouragement.
- A good teacher foresees objections and thinks them through so that he can answer them intelligently.
- A good teacher can put himself in the place of a variety of learners and therefore explain hard things in terms that are clear from their standpoint.
- A good teacher is concrete, not abstract; specific, not general; precise, not vague; vulnerable, not evasive.
- A good teacher always asks, “So what?” and tries to see how discoveries shape our whole system of thought. He tries to relate discoveries to life and tries to avoid compartmentalizing.
- The goal of a good teacher is the transformation of all of life and thought into a Christ-honoring unity.