Mr Ideal, or Mr Wright?

My favourite teacher was a bloke called Mr Wright. He was my grade 5 teacher. I have always gone through my life with this image of him being my favourite or ideal teacher and now that I am actually put in a position to talk about why he is my ideal teacher I find myself battling a little bit to explain why I liked him so much. I only remember bits and pieces of his class so I guess I can talk about those.  He read the newspaper a lot to us, I guess in a way he kept us focused on real issues and in my eyes he seemed to be teaching us important stuff. There was a regular competitive side to his class, lots of student vs student stuff, top of the class etc. Something that I enjoyed participating in, but now would not emulate. It is funny that the some of things that I enjoyed him for I  would never replicate in my own class.

The article made me think a little bit about perceptions. The fact that pre-service teachers though that personality was a more important attribute than subject knowledge is very interesting. This could be due to the pre-service teachers just relying heavily on their own experiences of teachers (most likely as a student) and rememering their favourite teachers. It was probably the teachers personality that made them appealing in the first place and not necessarily how much they knew.
Content knowledge started to be of increased importance to teachers probably as they were exposed to the reality and pressure of classroom teaching perhaps they found they needed more than their bubbly personalities to help them get through the day.
I definitely think that content knowledge is important but I can’t help but think that somehow pre-service teachers might be onto something that some teachers forget once they are in the everyday hustle and bustle of the classroom.  Respectful relationships are very important and to an extent personality allows positive relationships to occur. Specific content knowledge is important but perhaps the most important knowledge for a teacher to have is where their students are at (in relation to content) ,where they need to get to and how to help them get there.

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