For most of my adult life I have been a teacher of one form or another.
I got my first taste as a teacher in high school to get some recognition I needed for graduation.
Surprisingly, I enjoyed it a lot and have been addicted to it ever since.
I suppose that’s one of the reasons I made Japan my home. Here teachers are referred to as “sensei” (that means teacher), which is also used for doctors.
Imagine. Me, on par with a doctor … wow.
In contrast, in the West we say things like “those who cannot teach”.
While a teacher may not need to perform life and death surgeries, they go a long way in shaping the minds of their students and helping them reach their potential.
I realized pretty quickly that teaching comes with a great deal of responsibility.
In my case, most of the students I teach have made the choice to study on their own, so I keep asking myself how can I take them to the next level?
Whether English, principles of success, time management, marketing or finance, I am always looking for new ideas and forms of presentation.
The title of this article asks two questions:
- What is a good teacher worth?
- How do you find one?
But before I answer these, let me first ask an even more important question: what makes a teacher good?
Here are the qualities I came up with from my own experiences and those of my friends:
- Admit mistakes
- Learn all the time
- Never satisfied
- Industrial fair
- Open to new ideas
Most of these should go without saying, but I would like to address a few. In my experience, the best teachers are humble. They are always ready to admit they made a mistake. That doesn’t mean they won’t give up without a fight, but they want their students to challenge them. The smarter my students get, the smarter I get.
Unfortunately, too many teachers see admission of mistakes as a sign of weakness. Nothing is further from the truth. Students respect teachers who are “men enough” to admit they are wrong.
Another item on the list is something that many parents have a problem with these days, and that’s strict. Personally, I think the better we get, the stricter our teachers have to be, otherwise we won’t learn.
I push my customers hard. I know what to expect from them and if their work is below their own standard then I point it out.
Good teachers never expect less than the best from their students, and most of the time they get it.
After all, I believe that teachers should be learners too, because people learn best by setting an example. Seeing a teacher constantly trying to improve is inspiring for their students.
So back to the two questions I asked. What is a good teacher worth?
It all depends. For me, a good teacher (and I mean really good) is priceless, because it is not always easy to find someone who exactly suits you.
Fortunately, we have access to some of the greatest minds in the world today in the form of books, audio lectures, and DVDs.
I have no qualms about spending $ 1,000 on a good DVD training kit. It’s not uncommon to spend $ 5,000 on a 4-day seminar from the likes of Tony Robbins, Jack Canfield, and Robert Kiyosaki, or other experts in their field. Just think of one thing: the better you get, the more you have to spend to find good teachers.
People often think that a good teacher needs to be right with you. I haven’t found this to be the case, but if you are lucky enough to know a good teacher then stick with him.
To find your prince (or princess), you have to kiss a lot of frogs, and the same goes for teachers.
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great places to look around. I am sure that someone in your network knows a good swimming coach, a good English teacher, or a good math teacher.
Experts in marketing, business management, website design, and the like may be harder to find, but you are sure to find someone who fits you and your needs if you stick with it.
When it comes to finding a good teacher, one piece of advice: don’t try to get it cheap.
Good teachers are good for a reason; they work hard to be the best. They invest a lot of money trying to improve and deserve to be rewarded for helping you achieve your dreams.