A simple test of a good teacher is to ask what they teach. If their answer is Maths, English, Science, History or Geography, they probably don’t understand their role. If they say students, pupils, young people, or adults, there is a possibility that they know their trade. Of course, such a simple test is simplistic; word games are not reality. The answers would be different if the question was who they teach. Yet there is a truth in this little test; teaching is a relational activity.
Certainly teaching involves subject material; there is content to be conveyed. But the aim of the exercise involves conveying information from one person to another. The best teachers do more than convey information; they whet the appetite for learning, they develop the student’s capacity to understand, analyse, explore and discover other information. The well-taught student is not limited to the information their teacher has imparted to them. Good education is not really a curriculum matter but a teaching skill that relies heavily on the relationship the teacher can develop with the student.