BILL GATES ON WHAT MAKES A TEACHER GREAT
(P1) The best teachers leave a lasting IMPRESSION on students.
(P2) Bill Gates (above) talks about the moment he saw a film of a PHYSICS LECTURE by the late scientist and professor Richard Feynman (below). Although he never actually had Feynman as a teacher, he admires his teaching style.
(P3) To CELEBRATE the 50th ANNIVERSARY of Feynman’s NOBEL PRIZE win, Gates shared his thoughts on what made the professor so special. Here are those qualities, which can be applied to any classroom.
(P4) Great teachers are excited about the material.
(P5) Gates says he loves the way Feynman’s face LIGHTS UP when he explains how fire works. He shows an obvious love of knowledge, and it made his students excited about science too.
(P6) “Feynman has a lot IN COMMON WITH with all the amazing teachers I’ve met in schools across the country,” Gates writes. “You walk into their classroom and immediately feel the energy — the way they ENGAGE their students — and their PASSION for whatever subject they’re teaching.”
(P7) Great teachers make difficult subjects easy to understand.
(P8) Physics can seem complicated and ABSTRACT, but Gates says the best teachers make difficult subjects understandable.
(P9) Feynman once did a series of lectures at California schools for people who didn’t specialize in physics, and made the topic understandable for everyone.
(P10) “He takes something that’s a little mysterious to most people and uses very simple concepts to explain how it works,” Gates says.
(P11) Great teachers engage their students.
(P12) Like all great teachers, Feynman engaged his students and made physics fun.
(P13) “Feynman made science so interesting,” Gates says. “He reminded us how much fun it is.”
(P14) Great teachers have a wide range of interests.
(P15) Feynman wasn’t just a great teacher and RENOWNED scientist. He was also quite a character. He knew a lot about many different DISCIPLINES, and he brought that energy for learning into the classroom.
If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.
- Briefly summarize the content of the article in your own words.
- Who is the best teacher you ever had?
- What is the most difficult subject that you ever studied?
- What helps you to learn a difficult subject?
- Have you ever taught? Did you enjoy the experience?
EXPRESSIONS TO PRACTICE:
What do the following expressions mean? Practice using each expression in a sentence; extra points if you can use it in conversation.
- Light up
- In common with