The article says that out of all the qualities of a great teacher, authority is the one that must be earned. The other characters can be innate. Although seldom mentioned, authority is an important ingredient to learning. Authority means, among all things, mastery of a subject. Authority can also be seen in how a teacher carries himself with dignity and self-confidence. Most importantly, authority is acknowledged by both students and teachers. If the students do not recognize an educator's authority to teach them, then learning would not be possible. The authority of a teacher creates in students a desire to better themselves.
The article makes mention of Jasper Stampa and his story reminded me of a teacher I had when I was in high school. I have seen him around campus when I was at a lower year but he was the kind of teacher you don't really notice at first. However, ever since he walked into my History and Philosophy class in third year, my view of teaching has not been the same. He was always very passionate about history and love of country. We all admired him but kept a respectful distance outside the classroom. It is only now that I realize why we kept that distance. He displayed such mastery on the subject matter he taught that we all recognized his authority. Having no experience as a teacher, I felt apprehensions after reading this article. I feel that, when I start to teach, this would be my biggest challenge. Authority is something I will have to strive very hard to earn.
Perhaps as another point of reflection, I can compare wielding authority in the classroom with holding a handful of sand on your palm. The same saying has been said about raising one's children but I believe it also applies to authority in teaching. Authority does not mean having absolute power over ones students. Wield it too tightly on your fist and the chance to educate slips through your fingers.