What makes an inspiring teacher?

…..That’s my question to you all?

Guess who I had lunch with this week? The ex poet Laureate Andrew Motion! I was at the Boarding Schools Conference in Oxfordshire, with a super group of heads and guest speakers when he joined our table. I was thrilled, as his keynote presentation was THE one I had earmarked to listen to about ‘Inspiring People, Inspiring Places.’

His talk did get me thinking… ‘What are the main features for an Inspiring Teacher?’ Do you have to be dynamic, charismatic, passionate, unconventional, approachable, and loud? What is it that makes them inspirational? A love for their subject? The way they deliver it? How do Heads nurture and keep inspirational teachers in their schools? Do Independent schools cater better for inspirational teachers? Do you need a certain type of teacher to inspire pupils in primary and secondary schools? Do schools recruit for a certain qualities in a teacher to match their pupil’s requirements?

And then I realised whilst listening to Andrew and how his story on how he became interested in poetry that it’s not all to do with the teacher and the subject. It’s all about your students. If you really ‘know’ your students, their dreams, their fears, and their aspirations and you engage with them and find out exactly what makes them tick, then every teacher can be inspiring. It’s not about being charismatic and loud and ‘star teacher’ of the school. Quiet and unassuming staff can just as easily be inspirational, where they may take the time to guide and support the classes. As Kevin Roberts CEO Worldwide of Saatchi and Saatchi said in his presentation ‘Great teachers point the children, not lead them’. But do you think teachers really have the time to take time out and understand our pupils?

Tell me what makes an inspirational teacher? Are you one? Do you know one? Do you think teachers really have the time to do this? Eteach are really keen to hear your views on this….

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