How to Check If Your Teacher Knows the Subject: Easy Hints

Young Teacher and Students

Have you ever thought what a big role our school, college or university and even piano or painting teachers play in our lives? I bet that despite everything you have already endured during all these years of study, there was or probably still is at least one truly great teacher who you cannot but respect with all your heart.

This is definitely someone who you remember warmly, like: “With his/her help writing my college essay turned to be a really easy thing!” (Well, that must be a heaven-born teacher.) This is someone with whom you can unconsciously try to compare other instructors you meet on your life way. Some of them may happen to correspond to your ideal, and so you find yourself liking them and the subjects they teach. However, what about the opposite situation, when you realize that the person in front of the blackboard just teaches nothing (or nonsense) to you and the rest of your group?

Actually, such issue isn’t as simple as it may seem at first sight. You go to your school or college every day to receive new knowledge and train your skills. Then who’s in charge of the fact that you and other students aren’t provided with anything the concepts of education and learning stand for? Where should you look for the problem and how to solve it?

We are here to discover the answers!

The Common Reaction and Its Side Effects

Before we start, it is important that you put aside your very personal preferences and insults (Heaven forbid them!) concerning your relationships with different teachers. Our aim is to approach the issue of professional teaching as impartially as possible, so that we could come up with the right ideas on what exactly identifies the teacher whom most of their students don’t really like. And here we are going to take a quick look at the most common arguments (some of them aren’t without a sense of rationality) which students can pose when it comes to commenting on their teacher’s performance.

Teacher in Empty Classroom

“He/She Is Boring”

That’s not the worst case, but still, I believe, every student has ever experienced hopeless boredom with a monotonously read lecture. The thing usually gets even more tedious when you understand that you need to know it all to write a test and pass an exam. However, the topic itself seems so dreary that your brain just refuses to send a signal to the muscles of your arm and fingers to make them pick up the pen and write down a few words after your teacher. What is more, when you come home and sit down to do your home assignment or revise for another test, only your wish not to fail in either of them will be able to make you search for some info.

On the one hand, the verdict is obvious: the inappropriate manner of holding a lecture can be considered as evidence of insufficient professionalism and low qualification of your teacher. And yet, it doesn’t mean that they don’t understand what they’re talking about.

“He/She Doesn’t Teach”

It also happens. I remember, at college I had one teacher who simply didn’t know how to make us learn the subject. That was nothing more nor less than chemistry – one of the most interesting and practical things you can study. However, I didn’t think so at the time. But for my parents’ help writing my college essays in chemistry would have turned into a nightmare. However it may sound, I should admit that everything I know today is the fruit of my own striving to understand what my parents tried to explain to me.

Teaching is art, and not just a duty. Having rich knowledge of the things which a teacher is in fact obliged to clarify to his or her students is only one of many other essential components of this art. The very talent of explaining complex things clearly and comprehensibly is a must-have in the teacher’s arsenal. At the same time, there are people who are born to be prominent scientists but who just cannot initiate young minds into the mysteries of science.

“He/She Doesn’t Seem to Know the Subject”

Finally, we have come to probably the most considerable issue of teaching. Yes, there are teachers/instructors who don’t know the things they are made to teach. Indeed, in most cases teachers who seem like they don’t understand what is written in their notes, were told by the school or college administration that they would teach this or that discipline, regardless of their personal wish to do it. Consequently, they have two ways out: either to admit that they aren’t good at the subject and try to learn it together with their students, or to “serve their time” in the class.

You can see that the situation is rather controversial and it appears that sometimes your teacher isn’t the one who you, students, should blame. “What should I do then? Is it possible that without my instructor’s so-called help writing my college essay and passing final exams will be less painful?”, you may ask. Alright, this is what we’re going to discuss below!

Deviating from the Topic: Can a Teacher Be Really Bad?

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Healthy and fair thinking needs good food. Our initial plan was to stay unbiased in order to develop the main thought of our discussion in a reasonable way, which could also lead us to the right conclusions and sound solutions. So, now we need to give the answer to the question whether any teacher can be considered bad at all, and if yes, then why he or she does deserve poor assessment. Our answer will influence on how much weight we’ll attach to the teacher’s part in resolving this issue and help us find the best compromises for students who have to face it as well.

  1. The first thing we should take into account is the fact that a person who has chosen to teach other people could be guided by absolutely clear understanding of his or her professional duties, and not just out of desperation.
  2. The person who has chosen to be a teacher must have really good knowledge and at least some of the required skills (the latter particularly concerns young inexperienced teachers). The thing is that this knowledge and these skills may refer to a very specific, very narrow field of study, while school and college programs include a lot of different aspects of one and the same sphere.
  3. “With his/her help writing my college essay has got even more terrible enigma for me! He/She provides us with puzzles and not with readable materials!” your group mates may exclaim with righteous indignation. Again, the sources your instructor offers to you can be treasures for him/her and just a set of words for you. So, it doesn’t mean that he/she has no idea about what the files he/she has sent to you contain.

Some Prior Conclusions

Considering the things mentioned above, you can see that knowledge has actually little to do with giving a fair positive or negative characteristic to your school teacher or college instructor. People who teach are knowledgeable by default. It’s more important to focus on their ability to communicate and interact with their students, understand what the students need and expect from them. That said, we can conclude that only a teacher who can’t bear students and doesn’t realize what on earth he or she is doing in the class.

By the way, have you read Roald Dahl’s “Matilda”? There is also a movie adapted from this children’s book. It’s about a little girl whose name is, as you have probably guessed, Matilda and who is a real wunderkind. The principal of the school she attends is Miss Trunchbull who does awful things to her little students and keeps telling them that she hates children. This is a good example of an unjustifiably bad teacher. So, if yours doesn’t behave like this Dahl’s character, you should acknowledge that you’re lucky.

Know How to Tell That This Subject Isn’t Your Teacher’s Cup of Tea

For now, it’s clear that if your instructor looks like he or she is floundering during the class, then this discipline just isn’t his or her thing. This “floundering” has many types, so to speak. Let’s see how you can make out what the matter really is when the atmosphere in the classroom doesn’t dispose you and your group mates towards learning and memorizing anything.

Your Teacher Feels Uneasy or Worried

Trembling voice and shaking hands aren’t that obligatory special effects, but they can also be the case. Definitely, you can tell whether let’s say a lecturer understands what they are saying by how confident they sound as well as by how often they recourse to their notes or some other materials. Usually such teacher doesn’t have what is called an eye-contact with his or her audience. You can notice, he or she is looking either at the ceiling or just through the lecture hall, therefore trying to avoid seeing your reaction to his or her words.

The Narration Is Rather One-Sided

It’s when you find yourself thinking something like: “Does he/she mean that with this very guidebook’s help writing my essay will become as easy as pie?” Probably, this very guidebook is really good for students, but it certainly doesn’t mean that it’s the only one in the whole world. It’s true that some teachers do refer to one or several selected scientists and their works not because what these geniuses were the first and the only ones to hit upon particular grand ideas, but simply because they don’t know or don’t want to search for other references.

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The Explanation Sounds Quite Poor

You can’t get rid of the feeling that you don’t understand everything the teacher is saying. It seems like it all is absolutely right but some details, so small and unremarkable, are still missing. Partly, poor explanation is connected with the issue mentioned above: the lack of information the lecturer used for preparation causes his or her inability to provide clear explanation of some difficult or ambiguous points.

The Audience Isn’t Encouraged to Ask Questions

The best instructors and professors at my college repeated that if a student had questions during the lecture/class or after it was over, it meant that no one wasted the time. The audience’s questions imply that students are interested in the topic raised, that the material and the manner in which it was presented prove to be thought-provoking. If your professor sincerely encourages the questions, then you can be sure he/she knows the subject or wants to share some opinions with you. On the other hand, an incompetent teacher won’t be able to initiate and support the discussion.

Your Homework Isn’t Clear for You

It’s obvious that when your instructor isn’t good at the subject, he or she doesn’t know what you, as a student, should do in order to learn it. So, your home assignment may seem very strange and unclear to you. Don’t hesitate to ask the instructor to clarify what exactly is required, and make sure that you do it politely.

Your Next Steps After the Truth Is Discovered

So, you have no doubts that “with this teacher’s help writing my essay won’t be that nice”. Let’s see what you need to do in such case.

  • First and foremost, you should understand that your teacher’s personal disinterest in the subject doesn’t make him or her a bad person. So, stay fair.
  • If you have questions, ask them after the class when there is nobody else in the room: the thing is that especially beginning teachers may feel shy and uncomfortable in front of the big audience of students. However, when there are only two of you, you can communicate in a much easier and more friendly way.
  • If you realize that you know something your teacher doesn’t know, share your knowledge with him or her. Again, you should make in a polite manner, without boasting. You’ll see, when the discussion is started, your group mates and teacher will get involved in it anyway. Besides, it can help all of you, including the teacher, share a good deal of information and make the class much interesting.
  • If nothing helps, you should acknowledge that you either have to study this subject yourself using the Internet, library and your self-motivation, or you can just give it all up and let the grass grow under your feet. The choice is yours.

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