Open Thread: What Makes a Good Math Teacher?

Jose VilsonEducation, Jose



Here are a few good questions for everyone. At the behest of brran, I’ve decided to start an open thread about math teachers. As the title says, what makes a good math teacher?

As someone who considers himself a good math teacher, I often wonder what takes a teacher from good to great, or even from adequate to good. What are your criterion for good math teaching? I think this thread may be useful for those of us in math education, and those of us who love math (or even hate math).

Here are some questions to get your mind going:

  • What was your favorite math subject? (Anything from k-college is wanted)
  • Who was your favorite math teacher?
  • Why did you like them so much?
  • Was it about the academics or about the feelings you got from that person?
  • Is there a particular math concept that you enjoyed?
  • Did you love or hate math?
  • If you hated math for most of your life, why is that? What would have improved your experience?

OK, your turn. Throw out your craziest, sensationalist, or even mild ideas about these questions. The floor is yours. If you’re a math teacher / educator, think about your own teaching and whether you think you’re a good math teacher.

Jose, who wants you to use whatever method you please to answer this question.