7 Essential Qualities of a Good Teacher

Organized, Determined, and a Love for the Job

Qualities of a good teacher
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What are the most valuable qualities of a good teacher? There are hundreds of characteristics that go into being an effective teacher and they all add up to a good education for students, an enjoyable classroom experience, and a satisfying career. 

There is no denying that all teachers have their own unique blend of these qualities. It is this uniqueness that ultimately makes a teacher special. Each teacher is different, but virtually every good teacher has some combination of the essential qualities.

A Good Teacher Enjoys Teaching

The single most important quality that every teacher should possess is a love and passion for teaching young people. Teachers who do not enjoy their job will find it nearly impossible to be effective day in and day out.

Teaching can have a number of discouraging factors that make it a challenge. Yet, for someone who has the drive, passion, and enthusiasm for the job, you can get past these small hurdles.

Besides, kids are smarter than we often give them credit for. They will have a better relationship and learn more efficiently from a teacher who enjoys what they do.

A Good Teacher is Accountable

Holding yourself to the same expectations and standards as you hold your students to is also important. Double standards and not taking responsibility for your actions do not build a good classroom environment. For example, if you do not allow your students to chew gum in your class, then you should not chew gum either.

Accountability also stretches into your own learning experiences. Some of the most effective teachers are continually looking for new and more effective teaching strategies. This is important not only for your own professional career but it will benefit your students as well.

Every year there is new research, technology, and educational tools available that can help make you a better teacher.

It's always a good idea to seek out professional development opportunities and try to apply something new to your class every year.

A Good Teacher Can Adapt

The world and the classroom are always changing, so a teacher's ability to adapt is a key to success. This applies to the day-to-day workings within the classroom as well as long-term strategies and tools.

The most effective teachers develop the ability to make changes to lessons or activities on the fly because of an unforeseen situation or problem. Maybe a piece of equipment failed or an unexpected change in the schedule happens mid-day. The school environment is filled with events that are often out of your control and it works best if you can change with it.

Also, you may find yourself having to adapt a lesson plan. If half the class does not understand a particular concept, then you cannot move on. In these situations, you will have to quickly come up with a better way to teach that concept.

Technology throws another twist at teachers. Your students were born in the digital age and have been bombarded by technological advances. Out of necessity, teachers have to adapt. This doesn't mean eliminating textbooks and worksheets completely.

However, try to implement other forms of media within your lessons if it can effectively get the lesson across.

A Good Teacher Challenges and Inspires

In order to teach, it is important to understand what you're teaching and be able to adequately relay that to students. It's a two-fold situation that requires knowledge of the subject and the skill of a good communicator.

This dual ability can maximize your effectiveness in the classroom. Being an expert in a particular subject does no good if the students cannot understand it. In order to engage them, you need to bring it down to their level.Teachers need to be creative, engaging, and inspirational while getting the point across. 

The lesson plans you create should grab the students' attentions. Making lessons fun, fresh, and energetic will have your students looking forward to the next day in class.

Also, you have the unique opportunity to give your students the motivation to become lifelong learners. A truly great teacher can make a lasting impact that follows a student throughout their life.

A Good Teacher Can Relate

There is a long list of adjectives that can be used to describe the underlying personality of a good and effective teacher. Caring, compassionate, generous, kind, and patient are good places to begin. We can also throw in cooperative, empathetic, forgiving, and trustworthy.

Each of these qualities relates to the entire professional experience of being a teacher. For instance, you can be as cooperative as possible with administrators, other teachers, and parents for the good of your students. Building good relationships instills trust within the school system.

It's also important to understand that all students are different. Taking the time to care about the personalities and interest of each student is key to ensuring everyone is successful. It may mean you have to incorporate components that connect with each individual or be sensitive to the various struggles each student faces.

Students will also go through issues outside of school that requires adjustments within the classroom, so compassion is important. You might also find moments when you need to forgive student, parents, or your colleagues so it doesn't impact your teaching. 

Many teachers are generous as well. You may volunteer for extra assignments or spend money out of your own pocket for classroom needs.

Through all of this, it's important to maintain a joyful and kind spirit. A good attitude can reflect on the mood of the entire classroom and even extend into the school. At times, extreme patience is required, but that is a quality most truly great teachers possess naturally.

A Good Teacher Is Determined

There are other personality traits that teachers tend to have in common. These have a lot to do with determination, the ability to find any means necessary to reach all students no matter the challenge.

It plays into the dedication that teachers possess to the job. You show up every day and spend the time necessary to deliver the best education possible to each student. Quite often, this means you have your own "homework." You'll spend nights and weekends formulating lesson plans, grading papers, and doing all sorts of seemingly thankless tasks.

Teachers also tend to be fearless, resilient, and have a certain amount of grit. Obstacles will come up throughout the school year and it is important to stand up to criticism or scrutiny for things you believe are right. Of course, that must be done within the parameters of school policy and with the students' well-being in mind.

A Good Teacher Is Organized and Resourceful

As a teacher, you will often find that it's better to be proactive rather than reactive. It can be one of the most difficult things to learn, but your ability to stay organized and be resourceful will ultimately make your job less difficult.

Teachers who plan ahead and look for aspects that they might have issues with, while proactively looking for solutions to solve those problems will experience less stress.

Being proactive does not replace being adaptive. No matter how well you plan, there will be surprises. 

The ability to keep things neat and orderly allows teachers to access materials quickly and to make effective transitions. Sometimes, you will also have to find creative solutions to get things done. Your resourcefulness for obtaining supplies and materials for the classroom, even when funds are not available, will help out tremendously.

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Your Citation
Meador, Derrick. "7 Essential Qualities of a Good Teacher." ThoughtCo, Aug. 4, 2017, thoughtco.com/the-most-essential-qualities-of-a-good-teacher-3194340. Meador, Derrick. (2017, August 4). 7 Essential Qualities of a Good Teacher. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/the-most-essential-qualities-of-a-good-teacher-3194340 Meador, Derrick. "7 Essential Qualities of a Good Teacher." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/the-most-essential-qualities-of-a-good-teacher-3194340 (accessed February 22, 2018).