What qualities did your favorite teacher possess?

Take 150g of friendliness, 200g of ambition, 250g of imagination, 50g of rigor, 850g of humor and a bag of quick-wittedness. Result: "A great teacher!" High school students from Hemsbach an der Bergstrasse have come up with dream teacher recipes. The ingredients are similar: friendliness, understanding, humor, justice and knowledge are almost always included, some students also mix strong nerves and a good mood into the dough. "A pinch of beauty" makes the result even more appealing - after all, the eye learns too.

The recipes from a few high school students are of course not representative. The Munich polling institute Iconkids & Youth wanted to know more and asked 700 six- to twelve-year-old schoolchildren from all over Germany how they imagine their dream teacher. The result of the survey is similar to the Hemsbacher recipes: Above all, children want "nice" teachers who should be funny and "not too strict".

The latter does not mean, however, that everything should be allowed: When asked, two thirds of the students found the teachers best, who "are a bit strict and sometimes scold and punish if you don't do what you should". The wishes were most concrete when the children assumed their own bad experiences at school. A seven-year-old wanted a teacher who "doesn't stink of smoke". An eleven-year-old said teachers should stay calm and "don't run out of class in hysterics".

Sixth graders expected the "secondary school shock"

It is known from educational research that students are most satisfied with their teachers in elementary school. That changes towards the end of the fifth grade - experts speak of the "secondary school shock". In the upper school, the majority of students are dissatisfied with the educational staff. There are various possible explanations for this: Is it simply because young people generally judge adults more critically than children? Or can teachers more easily meet the needs of younger people?

The educational scientist J├╝rgen Wilbert from the University of Cologne presented studies in 2007 and 2010 on the difference between "ideal and typical" teachers, in which 560 students took part over a period of 13 years. Many respondents assigned negative terms such as "tired, blurred, disgruntled" or "tough, strict, serious" to the "typical teacher". The most important quality of the ideal teacher was fairness. "If the performance is the same, the same grade should be given, and the same behavior should have the same consequences," says Wilbert.

The students also wanted clarity, activity, understanding, openness, sociability and helpfulness. In addition to specialist knowledge, the ideal teacher should also have good general knowledge. In short: the dreamed-of light can hardly be imagined as a specific person. "It seems as if a good pedagogue should have so many good qualities that the core of the requirement profile can hardly be grasped", says Wilbert.