THE BLOG

What My Students Think Makes a Great Teacher

03/03/2014 06:47 pm ET | Updated May 03, 2014

In my years as an educator, I have spent the majority of my time with teenagers between the ages of 13 and 18, and I have come to one certainty: teenagers say some of the most profound, and most entertaining, things you could ever imagine. A day doesn't go by that my students don't enlighten me with their genuine innocence or entertain me with their youthful ignorance. For that reason, I believe there is so much we, as adults, can learn from today's youth. So, I decided to not only empower my students, but give them a forum where they can freely, and without judgment, share their thoughts, views and opinions on the topics that are current and are being discussed in the mainstream media. Be prepared, because I can never predict what they may think or say.

So, here is what my students think makes a great teacher.

"What makes a great teacher is being kind. The teacher should also be enthusiastic when teaching... If a teacher doesn't believe in what he or she is saying, then the students won't either. A great teacher is also patient and cares about the students well-being." -- Jada, 10th grade

"There are so many types of teachers out there that you don't know who's great, decent or plain horrible. In my opinion, as long as they can get lessons into our heads without making us fall asleep they're good enough." -- Sarah, 10th grade

"When I think back to my favorite teachers, they always had specific traits that made them great. You have to understand the age you teach and be able to relate to them. I think that's most important, and you also have to give off good vibes." -- Gabby, 10th grade

"In my opinion, I believe that being a open and down to earth person can make a great teacher. Teachers are meant to be great, and a great friend. They're like superheroes, and they are always there for you." -- Brandon, 10th grade

"A great teacher is someone that cares for his or her students. A great teacher also keeps the students interested no matter what. Lastly, the teacher explains things very clearly." -- Cathleen, 10th grade

"Some characteristics that I think make a great teacher is someone who cares about their students. If they care about their students, they will do whatever they can to ensure their students receive a good education." -- Arber, 10th grade

"A great teacher is a teacher who loves kids of all ages. A teacher who is willing to give students time out of their personal time to help their students do better." -- Erika, 10th grade

"A good teacher to me is someone who is really dedicated to his or her students. Someone who can make learning fun and someone who can be funny and focused at the same time." -- Laurelle, 10th grade

"Some things that make a great teacher are coming to work every day looking forward to teaching. Another is that they actually care about their students." -- Nervens, 10th grade

"A great teacher is someone who is able to manage a class and get their work done, but still have fun. They're compassionate, driven, understanding, helpful and patient." -- Vernice, 10th grade

"Being dedicated to your students, actually listening to their feedback, being creative, and, most importantly, have respect for them." -- Toni, 10th grade