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Students in lecture theatre

Inspirational teachers: the secret to winning at uni

Study tips
Published 9 Nov, 2020  ·  2 minute read

So, what’s the secret to success at uni? Well, a lot of it comes down to having the right teacher.

You’ve probably got a fond memory of a school teacher. Maybe they’re the reason you’re even thinking about going to uni.

A good teacher helps you to find the right answers. But a great teacher inspires you to ask a million more questions, and sparks a relentless pursuit of knowledge.

Here are our top tips for recognising and getting the most out of a great teacher.

They go above and beyond

Great teachers think outside the box to keep things fresh and interesting. They even have a lot of fun doing it.

Like a lot of us, Professors Blake McKimmie, Barbara Masser, and Mark Horswill love a good true crime drama. That’s why they decided to spice things up for their Psychology of Criminal Justice classes, creating an elaborate murder mystery for students to solve over the semester. In fact, they were even named Australian University Teachers of the Year for their efforts.

They don’t know all the answers

Our tutors and lecturers don’t just consider themselves teachers – they’re lifelong learners. They don’t know all the answers. But they’ll help you ask the right questions until you find them together.

If you’re ever unsure about something, speak up. Don’t be afraid to challenge the status quo. In fact, we encourage it. It’s the only way anyone has ever created change in the world.

They walk the talk

For UQ educators, the course subject isn’t just what they teach – it’s what they do.

Take Professor Zhiguo Yuan, for example. The Director of the Advanced Water Management Centre has founded 3 biotechnology businesses, and his research has delivered savings of more than $400 million to the Australian water industry.

Or there’s Professor Catherine Lovelock, someone who probably feels more at home in the water than out of it. Her research on global marine populations has provided a blueprint for saving these vital ecosystems from the devastating effects of humans by 2050.

They focus on what matters

Don’t lose sight of what really matters. Grades, assignments and exams are important, but so is learning about things you genuinely love.

Some people get to class early because they don’t want to miss a thing. Others get there early so they can grab a seat in the back corner and hope they don’t get asked any questions. Having a great teacher who inspires your love of learning is usually what makes the difference.

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