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What makes a good teacher great? | Azul Terronez | TEDxSantoDomingo

13267 ratings | 1066879 views
I've been asking the question: What makes a good teacher great? for 24 years. I have collected 26,000 responses from 8 different schools and patterns have emerged. For the last 24 years, he has repeatedly asked students the same question, "What makes a good teacher great?" Azul Terronez is the author of the best-selling book "The art of Apprenticeship" Azul has coached teachers and schools leaders around the world in Spain, Chile, Canada, India, United States and China and he is currently serves as a teacher coach at Shanghai American School. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx
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Text Comments (546)
Madeha Akhter (4 days ago)
tbh , im a student and i feel like i had my teacher tell me that they didnt know what we where doing, it would just stress me out and feel like i have to teach myself.
Azul Terronez (12 hours ago)
Solving complex problems that are in the world that do not have direct answers always have at their core a certain amount of uncertainty. If we could solve these problems with the answers, we would have done so already. You can choose to learn whenever you choose to, you are always the only one able to learn.
Great Ehien (6 days ago)
the dislikes are the teachers
Darlene Cartile (7 days ago)
This inspires me to be a teacher and to make the lives of kids in school more enjoyable an FUN!
Azul Terronez (5 days ago)
I am glad it inspires you.
Gérard Lefrançois (8 days ago)
A great learner is a great teacher as a great teacher is a great learner.
Gérard Lefrançois (8 days ago)
To teach is to learn as to learn is to teach. TEACHING/LEARNING. We only learn what we teach as we only teach what we learn..
future teacher (8 days ago)
iam going to become a teacher of english after three years and iam watching these videos to become a great teacher to my students
LC4u2 (8 days ago)
Not just for teachers but for people in general. Listen. I have a three year old daughter and a one year old son. Ever since I started teaching my daughter things I believe she should know, I've always told her to listen. It's one of the most important thing I told her to remember and that is to be a good listener.
babsywoman (8 days ago)
I am a teacher in Belgium. Thank you for your motivating speach. I cant wait to get to school tomorrow. But just so you know: we teach listening in Belgium. For example targeted listening.
Marianne Wilson (11 days ago)
Montessori does everything you just chatted about...I wish we could bring it to public education.
Azul Terronez (8 days ago)
What do you mean, how do they do this exactly? I am thrilled that you listened.
Koketso Boshego (15 days ago)
thank you sir
kristi Perkins (15 days ago)
Awesome! I always ask the students to challenge me on math problems. I will work them out right along with them. Also, I sing all the time, and it is a great attention grabber. This is a great video I am going to share it with peers. Thank you
Azul Terronez (8 days ago)
Thank you Kristi. Keep singing!
Rifa Mahmood (19 days ago)
That's wonderful I really appreciate your kind effort
Victoria Dounis (20 days ago)
Child's life is like a piece of paper on which every passer by writes their name on it ... 26 years teaching primary school aged learners ...empowered by trusting interconnected relationships ...
Saliha Sisi (23 days ago)
We can day that A good teacher is a good actor .the Teacher tries to imagine his/her class as a theater stage he/she tries to perform in front of the learners.
xiao quing (24 days ago)
This is exactly how I also learned to ride a bike.
Geraldine Gobrin (27 days ago)
Very informative for teachers like me. That is how a teacher should function inside or even outside the 4 corners of the room. Mostly, teachers tend to forget to understand their pupils. All they want is for them to be understood and heard...
Umar Musa (27 days ago)
give me a profile password fb
prakash nainwal (29 days ago)
Such a wonderful talk sir. The way you speak is really amazing. One of the best talk ever about teaching 😊😊😊
Faraón (1 month ago)
Yo sé más español que tú Gatito..
Cheshire Cat (1 month ago)
I'm totally not crying... these aren't tears
G.S. Mahalingam (1 month ago)
John Pepito (1 month ago)
Can someone who is antisocial teach?
Eldon Brown (1 month ago)
"Teacher" is a Germanic word that literally means "Instruct." That is the job of a teacher. Like contemporary parents, we have lost the ability to instruct our children. We are more concerned with being their friends or being liked by them...this puts our youth on an equal playing field and that leads to a very dangerous outcome.
Joy Bee (20 days ago)
Without relationship and trust, learning will not happen. That trust comes from all of the things shared in this video. I have now taught all over the world-and despite cultural differences, the uniting factor in my teaching practices was relationship. Thank you, Azul, for sharing this video! 😊
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
I agree that there is a role of a teacher. The goal is success, to provide value and create moments of learning for students. When we see teaching as a job rather than a role to change the world through our work, we lose a bit of why we need to grow and change the profession. What harm comes from listening?
Sor Ynou (1 month ago)
Think you for talking about a good teacher
Justin (1 month ago)
Obviously anything in this video can only be applied to a certain country in a certain time period. When societies change the roles of teachers and schools change.
I liked the example of bicycle. It's so simple, but so true. And all was said could change so much if it was applied. Students would be much more interested in studying, if teachers listened to them - simple and true, again. I wish each teacher dreamt to become great.
Zain Z0S7 (1 month ago)
This should be shown to every teacher of every school globally
Sachin Vartak (1 month ago)
The last thing you said is the most important. A great teacher is good listener and this is one such skill which nobody can teach :)
Lauren Hyde (1 month ago)
The best teachers accept that students can learn just as much from each other as they can from the teacher. The best teachers make their class an environment that feels safe and comfortable. The best teachers teach students to be self advocates. The best teachers connect with students, and not just about school, sometimes what you need is just a conversation about a book or a favorite food. The best teachers accept that they have something to learn from the students. The best teachers focus less on being good teachers and more on being good people, because if students see that they will want to learn from you. The best teachers bend, but don't break (this one's so so important) The best teachers take a break from constant learning to do something fun, because sometimes that's just what a student needs. The best teachers individually challenge students, because it can make a difference. Those are some of the big takeaways I've had as a student myself.
Kübra Birgül (1 month ago)
great speech! thank you for sharing these, I'm a junior class student in ELT and these help me understand the value of teaching a lot more
test subject 009 (1 month ago)
i'm watching this because i really want to be a teacher in the future... now i wish time would hurry upppp
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
We need great teachers!
JB P (1 month ago)
There's some good information in here but we're not supposed to believe these quotes are form actual students, right? I mean, it seems so painful obvious that it feels like we're supposed to know that it's just a way to frame the presentation. I mean, a 7 year old profoundly told him "a great teacher isn't a teacher?" That's a farce.
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
JB - I appreciate you being curious about the responses from students. My goal in sharing these ideas is to inspire people to listen. I taught 7th graders and yes they often did say profound things that made me wonder. I hope we all keep the sense of curiosity. Thanks for the note.
Youla Pandazis (1 month ago)
Thank you Azul for your research and inspiration! I loved your approach! Your calm manner of speaking surely reflects your personality and it must be a pleasure to hear you teach. Please can we hear more of your work!
Youla Pandazis (1 month ago)
Happy Teachers’ for Friday! You change our world with your positivity and I am grateful!
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
Thank you, your words Youla gives me encouragement to keep sharing.
abha Jadhav (1 month ago)
When a teacher goes to the level of child, understanding child's need as per his/her academic as well as psychological capabilities. Also when a teacher develops a craving to make her students learn the things in a creative or Innovative way, when a teacher allows her students to discover their own strengths, when a teacher welcomes her students with a smile,and knows each student by his/her name, when a teacher answers even a silliest query of her student, and above all, when a student remembers his/her teacher even after years passing school,and tells the teacher how she made a difference in how s/ her life .. I think ...at that moment a good teacher moves towards being great.
Sir its ABHA. Thanks for the reply
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
Adha thanks for the comment.
Poy Han (1 month ago)
Thank you this was inspirational!
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
Thank you Poy
stop just stop stop it (1 month ago)
A great teacher is someone who the student can relate to. Highschool kids don’t give you respect unless they see something in you that they relate with in some way. For example, my school is in the inner city and the kids were just totally dismissive, uncooperative, and obnoxious in class. They didn’t let the teachers teach at all and midway through, our original math teacher quit. But then, a new math teacher came in who also came from the inner city and he told us something on the first day that resonated with everyone. “You guys are set up for failure. It’s not your fault, but if you don’t try and dig yourself out of this hole now, then you are going to be stuck here for the rest of your lives. You guys will have nowhere to go and god forbid you get robbed, jumped, or shot and end up as a statistic. This isn’t the life that you deserve, but you can change all that. You just have to take the opportunity that is presented to you.” To my surprise, everyone went quiet and listened. I saw one of the worse students who got into trouble into the streets go up to him after class one day and ask “How do I get out of here. I don’t want to be here anymore.” They respected him and for the rest of the year, there wasn’t any disruptions in the class. The students got the opportunity to be taught. I will never forget that teacher because one of my friends who I thought was destined into the ghettos was so impacted by him through the year that he improved his grades and graduated with a B average, got a partial scholarship, and is now studying to become a pharmacist.
andthenifellinlove (1 month ago)
Well spoken! I need to step up my game. 😊
Azul Terronez (1 month ago)
Too Kind!
Francis Dobbin (1 month ago)
Dear Azul, I very much enjoyed your talk and agree whole heartedly with your sentiment and words about teaching. I have been a teacher myself for some 15 years and although always learning, reflecting and changing, I am very much like you in my approach. Especially with the humour and being very approachable. I love my students to think for themsleves and try to inspire. I evaluate syllabus and course material and create as much choice and creativity as I can to fit multiple styles of learning. Everyday they inspire me and my passion for my job is relentless. Students really feel it. I would like to use some of your examples in a presentation in Russia I am giving to teachers, so I am asking if it is ok for me to use some of your material to inspire others. Thanks again for the great talk.
QuantumMechGuy (1 month ago)
What makes a good teacher great is non-industrial revolution style teaching
Anita Sharma (1 month ago)
Great talk!!! I can feel the each word!!!
We do need to listen to students enough. I like this, there is so much we can do outside of the classroom unfortunately our schools are not constructed that way. We have a long way to go.
tishko namiq (1 month ago)
v.good ....
Cayapas (1 month ago)
Eats apple, 'cause the apple is THE teacher's apple. Used to kids gave apple to the teacher they found great. So a good teacher has loats of apples given by kids as apreatiation of his work...
Jiwon Lee (1 month ago)
I wish he were my teacher. The teachers of my school don't listen to what we say. One of them even said that "stop asking questions. You are interrupting other students!"
I wonder why the school is making me wait for my daughter to join the art club..... Favourites much? Also, why in the world would a child get a C for missing a few steps on one problem in Math knowing that her answer was correct? America is now a joke for killing a child's self esteem.....
Selena May (1 month ago)
mình thích quá cơ
Florence Hepburn (2 months ago)
Bogdan Dumitru (2 months ago)
It was boring..
Kirstie Barton (2 months ago)
“What if we hired teachers to be deep understanders of students?” The world would be a different place
Bulelwa Majiza (2 months ago)
As a student teacher, this really helped me know wat learners might think and how I should respond
nada ah. (2 months ago)
I want to be a professor :)
liana tobias (2 months ago)
Steven Devecchio (2 months ago)
Right on the head!!!
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Thank you Steven
Lakshmanrao Banana (2 months ago)
really a good contribution Azul... Thank you very much on behalf of Indian teachers community.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Cheers thank you.
李愚 (2 months ago)
great talk
Viki Gregory-Smith (2 months ago)
If you're a teacher, you should definitely view this!
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Thank you Viki, for the kind words!
Elessar Elfstone (2 months ago)
I'm watching this Ted Talk about "What Makes Teachers Great?" And as usual, it's all about "caring" and "encouraging" and "supporting" and "understanding." I don't want to NOT do those things, but what about TEACHING?? Somehow that never makes the list!
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
My wonder is if this is the truth then why are all students not succeeding? If we are their leaders, the ones who know better, why do we still struggle to solve the problem? I am just sharing my insights for the students who also say many things about what makes a good student great. What is the gold standard then in this paradigm?
Elessar Elfstone (2 months ago)
Kids also want to watch 10 hours of TV and eat too much candy and go weeks without brushing their teeth. There's a reason we don't let them vote; they know full well what they like, but it's up to US to know what they NEED. It's easier to teach if a student is comfortable in your class, if you have a good rapport, if you don't embarrass them, etc. It's easier to get cooperation from people who like you than from people who don't, so it's nice when kids like their teachers. And teachers, being human, would rather be liked than disliked. But kids' judgment about what makes a great teacher is not the gold standard here; how to teach involves decisions adults have to make about what's good for kids now and in the future. Those choices, like vegetables and sleep, will not always be what they "like."
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
One of my students told me that "Great teachers aren't teachers" so when I think of that, I wonder what should I aspire to be better than I am today? Finding out what kids think is important is better than trying to figure out what teaching is all about, that word is just a label given by adults to a profession that serves kids. I admire you for sharing your thoughts and appreciate that you are adding to the conversation. Thank you.
Lofty goals! Always looking for ways to motivate and encourage my students. Join me in my weekly struggles and triumphs on y weekly Wednesday postings, Thank You!
sheri hbk (2 months ago)
Tejasvi Anant (2 months ago)
very lovely talk....
Md Salman (2 months ago)
Great experience.. Azul when I was listening your calm and humble voice I found that your are a great teacher.. 👍
Md Salman (2 months ago)
I am an Indian.. And glad to see that u replied.. Actually I am also a teacher.. I shared your video in my school's what's app group..
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
I am honored to have you say this. Thank you.
Eslam Ahmed (2 months ago)
You're the best I've ever listened to.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
That's very humbling to hear, thank you.
Zahemi AZUL ISLAMI (2 months ago)
Great talk, by the way, this is the first time I found someone who shares the same name, never thought it would be from the other side of the world..
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
I am grateful for my name and it's uniquness that we now share.
shubhashri choudhury (2 months ago)
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!
Kara Madsen (2 months ago)
Well said! Listen deeply. "Seek first to understand, then to be understood" --Covey Clearly articulated the difference between 'hearing' and 'listening'. I am a special education teacher. This is my third career. My Special daughter has been my greatest teacher as she was misunderstood by her teachers. Through deep listening, I was able to understand and translate to the teachers what her body language was communicating to them and what words to use (visual words such as 'Do you see my words?' instead of 'Did you hear me?') so that she would understand them. It required that I advocate on her behalf. Now, she advocates for herself and is attending a top 100 university. She is my inspiration to be the great teacher who listens deeply, seeks to understand what the student is thinking and respond according.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
This is so inspiring to hear about Kara, thanks for sharing this moving testament to the power of listening. Thank you for the note.
emeka udeh (2 months ago)
I was inspired by this pieces of words..it echoes in me again and again and again..I need to see the minds of the students to really understand their own feelings about what is being taught..humility indeed is a hallmark of excellence. Thank you Azul..God bless u
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Thank you Emeka.
Mike Lesesne (2 months ago)
lol @ me actually eating an apple while the video displayed: A Great Teacher Eats Apples.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Haha, that's great....Mike
johannagrace nabua (2 months ago)
Thats interesting.. I like the thought on the concept of listening.. I mean why not.. We have books about on how to be a great speaker, a great writer, a great in this and that but never in listening.... I always thought that listening is one of the great aspect of being humane... But how do you properly listen. I believe its one of the aspects of life that is always greatly overseen and what we should all focus on and encourages everyone to do the same.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Very kind and wise words, listening is one of the great aspects of being human. Cheers!
Coaster Fanatic (3 months ago)
I'm entering my third year of teaching and the best way I found to reach students is through honest communication. I tell them of my struggles as a student and my honesty opens a door way for students. I've worked with students who come from hard home lives and they ask to talk to me for help on future goals since they know I will do whatever it takes to help them. Your Ted Talk was really inspiring especially since I'm currently earning my Masters degree in Special Education so I can help even more students.
Azul Terronez (2 months ago)
Serving students is a continual journey of growth, thanks for serving!
acousticsoul_117 (3 months ago)
Sir you are a great teacher You inspire
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Thank you so much for the kind words.
Michael Conley (3 months ago)
Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the bike
Robert Banker (3 months ago)
watch this on 1.5 speed
KeischCoversPH (3 months ago)
on point *claps*
eric barton (3 months ago)
Fantastic, thank you. These are great tips as I head towards teachers college next year.
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Eric, I wish you much success the world needs great teachers.
Zikraa Amatullah (3 months ago)
Yvette makes me cried. Thank you for sharing.
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Me too ZIkraa. Thank you for your comment.
Abdulkarim Affouni (3 months ago)
Wonderful so inspirational
Dionne Long (3 months ago)
This one knows how to make an introduction. We know where the anointing is. If you are ripping it in for yourself, you are not anointed. People push away people who are truly anointed to teach youth, and keep people that should be teaching college.
Regan Music (3 months ago)
Who is he talking about when he says 'schools'? "Schools are afraid... they don't really wanna know what kids think". Just opens up with an inflammatory statement. Plenty of teachers believe in innovating the classroom and believe in listening to students especially as a means of teaching. If he's just gonna stand up and make-stuff-up in front of everyone, sorta just makes me write-off the rest of what he has to say. Dude knows how to drag out a bland story about apples and smiling at kids, though.
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Regan, Thank you for the comment. Tell us about your teaching experience and how it might be different, this is just my view. I appreciate the feedback.
andy pacino (3 months ago)
I wish he knew how to use adverbs. ;)
An gela (3 months ago)
❤❤❤...I am considering leaving Non-profit Prison/Jail Reentry work and becoming a teacher. I❤this Tedx. Thank you
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Teaching always has room for more inspiring souls! Thanks for the note Angela.
jam kuci (3 months ago)
Wow, amazing thanks☺☺☺☺☺
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Jam, thank you for your kind comment. :)
Anne (3 months ago)
WOW. Thank you for sharing this. I'm currently in my last year as an education student and we are expected to start our practice teaching next month. I'm so glad I saw this video, very inspiring.
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Anne, I am so glad that you are starting your journey, go into it with curiosity and listen and you will be great!
Kristal Mae Sebandal (3 months ago)
What makes a good teacher great? very well said. nice talk
Azul Terronez (3 months ago)
Thank you Kristal :)
Nouer Uz-Zaman (3 months ago)
I use to think, a person has to be very intelligent to be a 'good teacher' but over the years I acknowledged its not about how smart you are but how speaker you are. While I was studying master in finance from prestigious University of London, Birbeck campus, I had one teacher in particular who studied accounting at LSE and worked for major banks before becoming a teacher. But, that was the only module where I failed the exam and had to retake my exam (thankfully I passed the second time) and many others also struggled (not just me) to cope up with this method of teaching. So, good public speaking skills are highly desirable qualities than simply having a great cv/resume stating all the prestigious collages you studied at (e.g. Harward, Stansted, LSE, UCL, Oxford, Cambridge, MIT)!
Patrick Uitslag (3 months ago)
I'm happy that John Hatty's research also greatly contributed to the thought that the persona of a teacher is detrimental to ensure successful learning. At the beginning of the year a lecturer from the University of Groningen addressed us during the morning programme of a'Study Day'. He told us that intrinsic motivation is a very vague concept. Every learner wants to be praised and wants to perform well in order to receive praise. That's the reason why we have jobs, right? Of course we are interested in certain subjects, but we want to receive some kind of validation for putting effort into understanding concepts.
University of Dummies (4 months ago)
love u man
Sining Tadhana (4 months ago)
Some of my teachers were like psychologists, counselors, philosophers, jokers, performers beyond being teachers. I really enjoyed learning and learned to love learning in general from them. I learned to love biology, social studies, geometry, the arts, and other humanities altogether.
Nathan Merrill (4 months ago)
That's great stuff
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Thank you Nathan :)
staylopictures (4 months ago)
There are actually answers to this question, but you won't find them in this talk. What you'll find here is mawkish drivel. (The more mawkish the better for those who speak publicly about schools.) Education is both a science and an art. It takes a great deal of skill, practice, talent and hard work to be "great" at it.
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
I am glad to have you comment, but I am not sure what you are saying in relation to listening to students.
kelsy i (4 months ago)
Deep and inspiring! I really enjoyed this. Great speaker. thanks
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Thank you Kelsy
Noz0miTrash (4 months ago)
Im going to 7th grade this a new school but same school corp. But that doesn't matter because Im going to talk about my 5th and 6th grade teachers, lets start with 5th grade. my 5th grade lang arts teacher, i hated her but now shes one of my fav teachers because I always felt important and safe. now i was in challenge/excel and so i had Mr. C for 5th and 6th grade and words cant describe how mach I loved being in his class, it felt like we were a big family. but that's also when i got depressed and stopped working and mr. c would come up tio me and talk about and i would said "i know, but how do i fix this" I would try to listen but i couldnt and he would always say that I can wonderful things and that its ok to fail but use this failure to strengthen you next year. There was this one time we wrote an essay of what you would want to your life to be like and I told the class I'm not sure who ill marry man or woman or queer and a few days later told me that he was proud that i could come out. I cried for almost a week about the last day of school. anyways i know this is long but love you all <3
Jagriel (1 month ago)
Haile Selassie (1 month ago)
Wow, that was nightmare to read.
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Thank you so much for this post. I am so proud of you for being so brave and sharing this story. You are a strong person and I know your teachers are right, you will use these moments to grow and change. Cheers!
josh lee (4 months ago)
Salwa Ammar (4 months ago)
Very inspiring indeed. Thanks a lot.
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Thank you Salwa !
Niall Watts (4 months ago)
Great presentation and wonderful message. Very inspiring at this time in my life. Thank you
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Niall thanks you for leaving a note. Cheers! Azul
coker omobola timeless (4 months ago)
What a way to grow professionally. Asking the right question from the recipients and actually listening and internalizing their response with the intent to fully make a difference... Good job
Azul Terronez (4 months ago)
Coker Thank you for your note! Cheers.
Doreen Augsburger-Lane (4 months ago)
Jazz H (4 months ago)
Anyone aspiring to be a teacher?
nicole vanbeek (2 days ago)
I am studying to be an Early Childhood Teacher
Verity (2 months ago)
I’m a senior trying to decide between majoring in business/Chinese or teaching... it’s sooo hard to decide!
Jazz H (3 months ago)
An gela same dude
An gela (3 months ago)
Lee Jazz I am researching now!
Raphaely Shehoza (4 months ago)
one year now passed after being a teacher,, this speech I will works in it
Raphaely Shehoza (4 months ago)
nice talk. I have learn something
Raphaely Shehoza (4 months ago)
nice talk. I have learn something

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