There's one post in the archives that "spoke to me".
What Makes A Good Science Teacher It's a great article, and it's short, so please go read it. And tell her JanieBelle and Corporal Kate sent you. :)
I don't want to reprint the whole thing, because it wouldn't be right. But I think that what she has to say isn't just true about science teachers. I would say that it applies to ALL teachers.
Here is the quote that summarizes the post:
For me, I think it comes down to three E's: Education, Explanation, and Enthusiasm. - Dr. Tara Smith
I can tell you from my experience on the other side of the desk, that she is 100% totally, absolutely, without reservation correct.
She goes on to say that two out of three ain't bad, but ain't good enough, either. Education and explanation might make you "adequate" (her word, not mine), but without enthusiasm, you're just spinnin' your wheels.
There is nothing worse as a student than spending a whole class period just copying notes from the blackboard, and then going home and memorizing answers you don't really understand, just to pass a test. It's SO BORING!!. And useless, really.
Sure, I can tell you what the speed of light is. (It's about 300,000kps) But it's just a little factoid floating around in my head doing nothing. Know why? 'Cause Science class was BORING! That's why.
Now my Lit teachers? They rocked. (Great hair might not have helped, but it sure didn't hurt.) They were ANIMATED. They loved books. They loved stories. They loved connecting what was said in a book with what was going on in history at the time. And they passed that love on to us. THAT'S what made them great teachers.
Just to give credit where credit is due, I have to say that there was one thing my one science teacher used to say that stuck with me. He used to say "The universe is not only stranger than we imagine, it's stranger than we CAN imagine." But his class still sucked.