Characteristics of good teaching

Without any silhouette of doubt, teaching has always been considered a rewarding profession since it gives you an opportunity to enlighten the future of the upcoming generations. Being a teacher requires some important qualities such as utmost dedication, patience and above all a passion to teach. Zoltán Vörös, an assistant professor at Faculty of Humanities, University of Pecs highlights what good teaching means to him and shares his personal experience regarding how he motivates less motivated students. Apart from this, he also gives some valuable suggestions for the international students studying here in Pécs.


PécsiBölcsész: How would you define “good teaching”?

Zoltán Vörös: Basically, I think that it is very important to grab the attention of the students and having that attention for 90 minutes is not that easy. You have to do it in a way that you teach them the topics while having their attention concurrently. In this way, students can enjoy the topics being taught to them. Besides that, all the time you need to update your topics, literature and the slides. One must not forget to cite real life examples which prove quite helpful to the students and I would say that such examples must be made part of the lectures.


PB: Is there anything you dislike about your profession?

Z.V.: I think we have to teach too much. If a professor has less classes, then s/he can even focus more on those. Having less classes would definitely help us in maintaining the quality of the classes. Too much teaching at the cost of quality of classes is perhaps something that I don’t really like.



PB: What do you think of the participation of Hungarian and international students in your courses. I mean which students are more participative in the class?

Z.V.: International students. I mean they are more active. Somehow the background, atmosphere, and environment they come from matters. Maybe they see that someone in their class is coming from another continent and perhaps they are interested in their background. For instance: what s/he knows about the conflicts, issues, policies and challenges.


And if you see them sharing their background or in other words his or her stories makes you ready to share yours, too.


That’s why I like more the courses taught to international students.


PB: How do you adjust your style to the less-motivated or under-prepared student?

Z.V.: This is perhaps a tough question because less motivated students would not answer no matter how many questions you put in front of them, they won’t be able to answer. Honestly, that’s why I take the online quizzes in the Hungarian courses. Because in this way somehow students get active. That’s why I am introducing these new techniques first in the Hungarian classes because there I can learn if they are successful or not.


Again, I would say citing real life examples is very important to make lectures more interesting which can motivate the students to get active in class.


PB: University of Pécs attracts a lot of international students every year. Do you have any message for the ones who have recently joined the university and as well as to the ones who are considering to be a part of this university in the near future?

Z.V.: Yes! The most important message is that come to the university because you want to study but don’t come to university ‘just to study’ rather enjoy your life as well. And for those who are coming, I do think and you Ali can tell as well that the groups we have here especially in this department are amazing and those friendships you make can last for a lifetime. This is something really great and after some time everyone would be going back to their countries or to other regions. The life after university is going to be completely different from the part of life one spends here at university, so you need to enjoy this life. Definitely, do study and learn but if you don’t enjoy it along with your studies then something is not okay.


Moreover, I think this city can offer that environment where you can study and enjoy as well.


Yes, it’s a small city. Maybe that’s its beauty. Wherever you go to eat something you would find your friends there. I think that’s amazing. Maybe that’s an important message for the students who are about to come: Pécs can offer the environment they want.


PB:  Do you think international students are being provided with the same opportunities like Hungarian students to make them include in different processes of the university?

Z.V.: I think we have some weakness. Yes, we have international students and we attracted them but failed somehow to include them in our processes. So, I am quite happy about this university’s magazine and journals that are ready to have you as their journalists and you can contribute to this magazine. I really think this is the way you can feel also like being students of this university. Perhaps, in the past few years we failed to do this. Hopefully, some change will start taking place soon and you will feel like the Hungarian students do since you, the international students are, 100% part of this university.