13 Apr 2020

Good Professor: What does it take?

What makes a good Professor? It is very difficult to say what makes a good Professor? As per my experience and understanding of my 17 years career as a higher education professional, a good Professor is someone who teaches not only with mind, but also with heart. A good Professor must first have been a good student. A good Professor is someone who is a learner herself/ himself. Everyone in the world is a Professor and student in a normal way of life. We all teach something to someone at one point in our lives, and we all learn from someone at some point of time. However, some of us succeed to be great Professors. I believe this happens when a Professor believes in the power of education. When the student does not learn the way the Professor teaches, then the good Professor teaches the way the student learns.

A Professor should have 3 essential qualities.

  1.  Domain Knowledge
  2.  Professional Skills
  3. Personal Qualities

There is a saying, “GIVE ME A FISH AND I EAT FOR A DAY, TEACH ME TO FISH, AND I EAT FOR A LIFE TIME“. This must be a philosophy of a good Professor… She/ he should be patient and kind, flexible and resourceful, tolerant and open minded with a good sense of humor. And above all enthusiastic he should enjoy teaching. One, who helps his students in all respects, is a perfect Professor. Professor makes his students able to live better life and enable them to take decisions in all the conditions. A good Professor makes good students, and good students make a good society. I think that a good Professor should be a good and complete person: curious, passionate, and interested about their pupils’ interests, wishes, feelings… A really good Professor should be child in his soul which mean, creative, imaginative and ready for exploration etc.

What really makes a good Professor, he should have lot of intuition and intelligence because having these qualities he will have the power to understand his students’ psychology and behaviour, and helping them out would be much easier. A Professor should also be super compressive to understand what’s going on in the students ‘world. A good Professor makes him available to all students, knowing well, which students need extra assistance. Following are the traits of a good Professor.

  •  A good Professor is an effective communicator, however, who knows when she needs to change her communicating techniques to be sure students can grasp instructional concepts.
  • A good Professor encourages students to ask questions.
  • A good Professor has classroom rules and procedures which help students know what is expected from them and how the students can help themselves.
  • A good Professor encourages cooperation and sets an example with students and fellow faculty members.
  • A good Professor is flexible and is able to change lessons “spur of the moment” in order to accommodate the needs of students.
  • A good Professor respects all students and encourages good performance.

A great Professor can be defined in two simple words i.e. “Best friend”. Who is more trustful than the best friend of the students, who is more affectionate to the students, who is more loved by the students, who imparts better knowledge to his students. And above all, who is remembered by the students throughout the lives of students. In other words, a good Professor is better than the best friend of the students.

A good Professor irrespective of his age, understands his students better than the parents, or the friends of the students, thus eliminating the generation gap. It is fundamental that a Professor cares about humanity in general.

“When love and skill work together, expect a masterpiece” (Ruskin). A good Professor (besides a lot of other important features) must provide feedback and unbiased suggestions to his/her students. It makes no sense if a Professor tells a pupil to leave the class in between. Apart from that a good Professor, of course, has to be humorous, friendly.

Apart from above mentioned traits, a good Professor needs self-confidence and knowledge about not only the subject(s), but also the general awareness beyond the academics. However, a great Professor puts his heart in his job.

Author –
Dr. Sandeep Kautish
Dean Academics
LBEF Campus