One of the best, most amazing and gifted teachers I have known is Kyle Carnohan. The interesting thing, however, is that he isn't really a teacher. At least not professionally. He's a firefighter.
I sit in lessons taught by Kyle overwhelmed with how real, humble, and funny he is, and he does it all without really trying. It's effortless and natural, like a duck gliding into a pond.
What Makes for an Amazing Teacher
The first time I heard him teach a lesson I was starting to think he was a little pompous. He was proudly recounting what an amazing guy he is and some great accomplishments he had achieved. This went on for quite some time. Right as I was thinking what a self-adulating jerk the guy is, he let the bottom fall out by humbly saying something like, "And I was doing it for all of the wrong reasons." He then spent the rest of the time humbly teaching what we could learn from his experience.
This is in contrast to a well-known author on whose every word I used to hang. After a while, though, it's clear that that guy is intent on telling you all the great things he has done and how you should do likewise because he is so advanced.
2. Use relatable stories
Last Sunday, I missed out on a chance to hear Kyle speak because I was in Boston. Once again, however, what I gathered from the report I heard, was that Kyle knocked it out of the park like the amazing teacher he is. He simply, humbly, and clearly taught about taking care of one another using a personal story about a friend of his, his son, and the gift of a skateboard.
3. Makes you think
I remember being in the Washington-Dulles Airport the day after hearing one of Kyle's lessons and only then understanding one of the most powerful points of his lesson, which wasn't even a point he made. No, instead it was layered in there, waiting for me to find it and gather its meaning.
Kyle doesn't tell jokes and isn't concerned about winning his audience over. Yet he says funny things. He makes interesting observations. He's not afraid to be self-deprecating from a position of strength. That gives his lessons some pop.
Of course there are many more things that make Kyle and any other amazing teacher worth their weight in gold, but this list suffices for now. Let me know what you appreciate in good teachers.