KidsHealth KidsPoll®: What Makes Good Teachers and Students
What makes a great teacher? What makes a great student? Just in time for back to school, Nemours’ KidsHealth.org, the most-visited website for children’s health and development, polled more than 9,000 kids and teens and 3,600 teachers to find out what each group had to say.
The poll, administered in spring and summer 2012, found that kids and teens say these are the top three qualities that make a good teacher:
1. The teacher explains things well and makes the subject interesting. (33%)
2. The teacher is funny and has a lot of personality. (25%)
3. The teacher is interested in what students have to say. (9%)
Other answers rated highly, depending on the age of the student. About 3,000 high school students took the poll and 13% said they appreciate teachers who go beyond the classroom and help with stuff other than classwork, like career planning. About 6,000 elementary school students took the poll and 25% said they like a teacher who is patient, understanding, and willing to answer questions.
The poll also gave teachers a say, asking “What makes a great student?” Teachers said these were the top 3 qualities in kids and teens:
1. The student is willing to try his/her best every day. (26%)
2. The student is willing to ask questions when he/she doesn’t understand. (14%)
3. The student is polite and respectful to the teacher. (14%)
Teachers also praised students who are positive, organized, and kind to other students. Kids may like funny teachers, but do teachers like students with a sense of humor? Only 7% said yes, and they included a condition: They like students who are funny, but not disruptive.
KidsHealth.org offers students these tips for creating great relationships with teachers:
• Work hard every day by completing homework and participating in class.
• Ask questions whenever you don’t understand something. If you feel shy during class, ask after class or set up a time to meet.
• Be polite and respectful all the time. That means “please” and “thank you.”
• Follow class rules, such as listening when another student is talking, taking turns, or raising a hand instead of shouting out.
For more information about student-teacher relationships, homework help, and going back to school, visit the KidsHealth’s Homework Help Center.