Here are the top 3 qualities that (I think) make a great sinsei / teacher for young children:
1. Loves children
To me, this is the most important because young children are naturally drawn to such teachers. When they’re attracted to the teacher, they’d open up and learn from them.
My favourite example is Jae’s Shichida sinsei, whose love for children completely shone through her actions and voice. Even though she was new, her constant genuine smile drew all of us in and we were glad to be taught by her.
Before every lesson, she even stood outside the classroom to greet the parents and children. Can you believe it?!?
A great teacher is beyond being competent in the subject she teaches; she inspires students to enjoy learning that subject and be the best that they can.
Vee has such a piano teacher. She’s technically competent, experienced and inspires him to achieve greater heights through her believe in him. (Oh, and she’s ever so patient…)
3. Works with the parent in the child’s best interest
Often, parents know their child’s temperament best, so teachers who take constructive feedback would be able to teach more effectively.
Vee is a highly-sensitive child who’s prone to over-excitabilities. He may take a long time to warm up to a teacher. Or if he’s tired during lesson, he becomes very restless and uncooperative.
So nowadays, when he gets a new teacher, I’d explain to her privately his temperament and methods that work best on him. This reduces her guesswork, increases the chance that he’d warm up much faster, and learn well. Win-win situation for everyone.
Luckily, the couple of teachers I met have been most glad to work together hand-in-hand.
To meet great teachers, fate plays a huge role. I sincerely wish my children (and yours too!) would have the good luck of learning from wonderful teachers or sinsei.
P.S. Have you met a great sinsei or teacher? Please share your story in the comments section.
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