Personality Traits That Help Teachers and Students Succeed

A teacher helping a student on an ipad.
Getty Images/Phil Boorman/Cultura

Personality traits are a combination of characteristics that are innate to people as individuals as well as characteristics that develop from specific life experiences. The personality traits that make up a person go a long way in determining how successful he is.

There are certain personality traits that help teachers and students succeed. Success may mean different things for different people. Teachers and students who hold the majority of the following characteristics are almost always successful regardless of how success is defined.


This is the ability to handle a sudden change without making it a distraction.

  • Students who have this trait can handle sudden adversity without letting academics suffer.
  • Teachers who have this trait are quickly able to make adjustments that minimize distractions when things do not go according to plan.


Conscientiousness involves the capacity to complete a task meticulously with efficiency and of the highest quality.

  • Conscientious students can produce high-quality work consistently.
  • Conscientious teachers are extremely organized and efficient, and they provide their students with quality lessons or activities daily.


This is the ability to use original thinking to solve a problem.

  • Students who have this trait can think critically and are adept problem solvers.
  • Teachers who have this trait are able to use their creativeness to build a classroom that is inviting to students, create lessons that are engaging, and incorporate strategies to individualize lessons for every student.


A person with determination can fight through adversity without giving up to accomplish a goal.

  • Students who have this trait are goal orientated, and they do not allow anything to get in the way of accomplishing those goals.
  • Teachers with determination figure out a way to get their job done. They do not make excuses. They find ways to reach even the most difficult students through trial and error without giving up.


Empathy allows a person to relate to another individual even though she may not share similar life experiences or problems.

  • Students who have this trait can relate to their classmates. They are nonjudgmental. Instead, they are supportive and understanding.
  • Teachers who have this trait can look beyond the walls of their classroom to assess and meet their students’ needs. They recognize that some students live a difficult life outside of school and try to figure out solutions for helping them.


Forgiveness is the capacity to move beyond a situation in which you were wronged without feeling resentment or holding a grudge.

  • Students who are forgiving can let things go that could potentially serve as a distraction when they have been wronged by someone else.
  • Teachers with this trait can work closely with administrators, parents, students, or other teachers who may have created an issue or controversy that was potentially detrimental to the teacher.


People who are genuine demonstrate sincerity through actions and words without hypocrisy.

  • Students who show genuineness are well-liked and trusted. They have many friends and are often looked upon as leaders in their classroom.
  • Teachers with this trait are viewed as highly professional. Students and parents buy into what they are selling, and they are often highly regarded by their peers.


Graciousness is the ability to be kind, courteous, and thankful when dealing with any situation.

  • Students who are gracious are popular among their peers and well-liked by their teachers. People are drawn to their personality. They often go out of their way to help others any time an opportunity arises.
  • Teachers who have this trait are well respected. They are invested in their school beyond the four walls of their classroom. They volunteer for assignments, help other teachers when needed, and even find ways to assist needy families in the community.


The ability to socialize with and relate to other people is known as gregariousness.

  • Students who have this trait work well with other people. They are capable of making a connection with just about anyone. They love people and are often the center of the social universe.
  • Teachers who have this trait can build strong, trusting relationships with their students and families. They take the time to make real connections that often extend beyond the walls of the school. They can figure out a way to relate to and carry on a conversation with just about any personality type.


Grit is the ability to be strong in spirit, courageous, and brave.

  • Students who have this trait battle through adversity and stand up for others, and they are strong-minded individuals.
  • Teachers with grit will do anything to be the best teacher they can be. They will not let anything get in the way of educating their students. They will make difficult decisions and serve as an advocate for students when necessary.


This is the ability to work through problems or situations on your own without requiring assistance from others.

  • Students who have this trait do not rely on other people to motivate them to accomplish a task. They are self-aware and self-driven. They can accomplish more academically because they do not have to wait on other people.
  • Teachers who have this trait can take good ideas from other people and make them great. They can come up with solutions to potential problems on their own and make general classroom decisions without consultation.


The ability to understand something without reason simply through instinct is intuitiveness.

  • Intuitive students can sense when a friend or a teacher is having a bad day and can try and improve the situation.
  • Teachers who have this trait can tell when students are struggling to grasp a concept. They can quickly assess and adapt the lesson so that more students understand it. They are also able to sense when a student is going through personal adversity.


Kindness is the capacity to help others without the expectation of getting anything in return.

  • Students who have this trait have many friends. They are generous and thoughtful often going out of their way to do something nice.
  • Teachers who have this trait are very popular. Many students will come into class looking forward to having a teacher with a reputation for being kind.


Obedience is the willingness to comply with a request without questioning why it needs to be done.

  • Students who are obedient are well thought of by their teachers. They are typically compliant, well-behaved, and seldom a classroom discipline problem.
  • Teachers who have this trait can build a trusting and cooperative relationship with their principal.


People who are passionate get others to buy into something due to their intense feelings or fervent beliefs.

  • Students with this trait are easy to motivate. People will do anything for something about which they are passionate. Taking advantage of that passion is what good teachers do.
  • Passionate teachers are easy for students to listen to. Passion sells any topic, and a lack of passion can lead to failure. Teachers who are passionate about their content are more likely to produce students who become passionate as they learn.


The ability to sit idly and wait on something until the timing is perfect is patience.

  • Students who have this trait understand that sometimes you have to wait your turn. They are not deterred by failure, but instead, view failure as an opportunity to learn more. They reevaluate, find another approach, and try again.
  • Teachers who have this trait understand that the school year is a marathon and not a race. They understand that each day presents its challenges and that their job is to figure out how to get every student from point A to point B as the year progresses.


Those who are reflective can look back at a point in the past and draw lessons from it based on the experience.

  • Such students take new concepts and mesh them with previously learned concepts to strengthen their core learning. They can figure out ways in which newly acquired knowledge is applicable to real life situations.
  • Teachers who have this trait are continuously growing, learning and improving. They reflect on their practice every day making continuous changes and improvements. They are always looking for something better than what they have.


Resourcefulness is the ability to make the most of what you have available to solve a problem or make it through a situation.

  • Students who have this trait can take the tools they have been given and make the most out of their ability.
  • Teachers who have this trait can maximize the resources they have at their school. They are able to make the most out of the technology and curricula that they have at their disposal. They make do with what they have.


The ability to allow others to do and be their best through positive and supportive interactions is respectfulness.

  • Students who are respectful can work cooperatively with their peers. They respect the opinions, thoughts, and feelings of everyone around them. They are sensitive to everyone and try to treat everyone as they want to be treated.
  • Teachers who have this trait understand that they must have positive and supportive interactions with every student. They maintain the dignity of their students at all times and create an atmosphere of trust and respect in their classroom.


This is the ability to be accountable for your actions and to carry out tasks that have been assigned in a timely manner.

  • Students who are responsible can complete and turn in every assignment on time. They follow a prescribed schedule, refuse to give in to distractions, and stay on task.
  • Teachers who have this trait are trustworthy and valuable assets to the administration. They are regarded as professional and often asked to help out in areas where there is a need. They are highly reliable and dependable.
mla apa chicago
Your Citation
Meador, Derrick. "Personality Traits That Help Teachers and Students Succeed." ThoughtCo, Aug. 26, 2020, Meador, Derrick. (2020, August 26). Personality Traits That Help Teachers and Students Succeed. Retrieved from Meador, Derrick. "Personality Traits That Help Teachers and Students Succeed." ThoughtCo. (accessed March 22, 2023).

Watch Now: How to Become a Better Teacher