Teachers hardly ever know what’s going on with their students.
How little the teacher impacts on the average student even though the teacher thinks he or she is doing a very good job.
In fact, we find out that a substantial amount of what teachers teach, or attempt to teach, is already known by a significant number of kids in the class. Up to 50%.
Hill: So when you talk to children or even adults ... People often say I had a fantastic teacher. Does that mean that teacher is fantastic? Is that the best kind of reference a teacher can get? Is that meaningful?
Nuttall: I think it’s meaningful within our cultural expectations of what good teachers are about; the teacher had a sense of humour, explained things clearly to us, he really cared about me, and a whole lot of things like that which motivates kids and makes them feel good. And those are the kinds of teachers which they will remember. The older generation will remember teachers who were pretty tough on them but made them work hard. But things like working hard and explaining things clearly and so on are all surface features. You could have in fact learned very little from these wonderful teachers.
I have put the whole interview here it may take 30 minutes to read but worth the effort.