Who is a great instructor?


Years ago, when I was a young and eager student, I would have told you that a great teacher gave little homework, allowed us to end lessons before time and cracked us to the bone. However, that changed after I joined college. Great instructors seem to be great because of their attitude toward their students, subject, and work. But that is not all, as a student my progress is a sum of the small efforts I do repeatedly.

Did it matter if you were a good student?

Yes, it did. However, I prefer to say a willing student as this is a choice one makes daily.  I intended to be the driver of my own journey. In it, I had moments where I had punctured tyres that I had to learn how to replace. Daily, I reminded myself why I was taking this odyssey and started with the basics. They included arriving for classes on time, intentionally purposing to be present on the first day of each unit, finishing my assignment and submitting them for grading, inquiring on content I did not understand and more than anything, reading ahead as I realized it helped me understand the concepts better when they were introduced to the class. In addition, I always sought feedback from my instructor on why I strike out on some questions, especially those I was confident I had the correct response. For example, when I was asked to describe and instead made a list without elaborating on the mentions. As it’s said, the teachers open the door, but we must willingly choose to enter and remain indoor.

What would you say of the instructors?

Teaching calls for endurance and some instructors never grow to be anything better than ordinary. Having family and friends that support you in your journey is important, but having a dependable lecturer unlocks it all. Great instructors have to work tirelessly to create a challenging, nurturing environment for their students. One has to be knowledgeable and make the lessons alive as “true education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances or it is not a healthy growth.”  They also encourage and stir us up to become learned and established adults through exchange of best practices, and a lifelong love of learning. That is how I would describe the instructors that came my way.

In closing, it’s important to remember that it helps to believe in yourself. Pick on those habits that work to illuminate your track. Constantly purpose to enjoy the journey, not that it will be easy but for all the progress you will be making. Own your experience as you are ultimately the only one responsible for your time here. Find your why and remember life-long learning is a lifetime affair so continually ignite your mind.

My name is Pankhaniya Dhirajlal Mahir. In 2022, I was awarded my ACCA certification and graduated from Oxford Brookes University with a BSc in Applied Accounting. I can attest the words of Mahatma Gandhi that “strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” Academia is no walk in the park and at 20 years, I believe living up to my name (Mahir -meaning “skilled” or “expert”) pushes me to be better. What is that name or word that will be empowering you in 2023?


This article was written by Annete Karanja. 

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