Inspiration in class

Federal Education Minister Alan Tudge is correct that “the quality of teaching is the most important factor in student outcomes”, but this quality is not just about imparting knowledge in a particular discipline (“Goal to make our schools best in class by 2030”, 11/3).

Being academically capable is clearly integral to good teaching but as a qualified secondary school teacher I contend there is a far more important quality that is difficult to assess- being able to inspire students to want to learn. I was a dismal failure as a teacher because I could not do that, despite having been academically successful as a school student and later at university.

During my one-year post-graduate diploma in teaching, there was no acknowledgement of how critical personality was. Passing the practical teaching assessments was focused simply on the knowledge I imparted to students without any regard for the more intangible quality of my performance in the classroom.

In its review of teacher education, the government needs to consider what constitutes quality and that it is not just about high marks and academic acumen. Unfortunately, too many university graduates with those attributes choose teaching because it is an easier profession to enter without a genuine commitment to teaching itself.