What Are the Qualities of a Great Teacher?

There are teachers, and there are great teachers. Notice the difference between the two phrases – the word “great.” It’s the job of a teacher to make knowledge accessible to all students. Educators base their practice on the belief that all their students can learn and meet expectations.

Photo: Army Medicine/flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It’s important to note that all teachers can be great teachers. All that is needed is to read this article. Okay, it’s not that easy, but it is a good starting point. The question every teacher wants to ask is, “What are the qualities of a great teacher?”

10 Qualities of a Great Teacher

1. Passionate about teaching

The single most important quality every teacher should possess is a love for teaching. Great teachers want to make a difference in their students’ lives, knowing fully well the importance of education.

A teacher who doesn’t enjoy his/her job will find it hard to be effective. It’s a given that teaching can sometimes be challenging. But, if you have the passion, drive, and enthusiasm for the job, you can overcome those obstacles.

2. Confident and positive

Being a teacher can be challenging and stressful at times, but it can also be rewarding. Great teachers have strong faith in themselves and believe that they can help their students learn. When teachers are confident and positive, students will give them more respect and listen to what they have to say.

3. Engaging

Great teachers know how to make their lessons interesting and relevant. They can relate the subject matter to their students’ lives, getting students personally involved through hands-on activities or experiences.

Teachers should encourage students to apply critical thinking and look at issues from different angles. Try to engage the whole class, and keep students motivated with variety, humor, and fresh approaches.

4. Knowledgeable about the subject

It may seem obvious, but this aspect is sometimes overlooked. Great teachers should have expert knowledge of the subject they are teaching. When they have a good command of the subject, chances are, students will learn more. Usually, passion and knowledge go hand-in-hand.

5. Caring and compassionate

Great teachers are caring, warm, and compassionate. They understand the feelings of their students and can relate to the way they feel. They listen to students’ ideas and opinions. When you form strong bonds with your students, they become more willing to listen to lessons and personal advice.

Also, a teacher should be approachable. He/she should be someone whom students can share their problems and concerns inside and outside the classroom. Great teachers possess excellent listening skills and go out of their way to help anyone who needs them.

6. Adaptable

Adaptability is important because the school environment is filled with events that are mostly out of your control. Effective teachers should be able to make changes to lessons due to unexpected situations.

In addition, technology is fast becoming a factor in today’s educational landscape. Now more than ever, the students are exposed to online tools and resources. It doesn’t mean that textbooks will be eliminated completely. Teachers just need to learn how to adapt to the changing times.

7. Organized and resourceful

The ability to stay organized can make your job easier. Teachers who plan ahead and look for solutions to problems will experience less stress. Keeping things neat and orderly will allow you to access materials quickly and enable you to make effective transitions.

In some instances, you need to be creative to get things done. When the need arises, resourcefulness for obtaining materials and supplies for the classroom can help tremendously.

8. Willing to collaborate

Collaboration is an excellent way to learn from colleagues. A great teacher sees constructive criticism as an opportunity to grow as an educator. Teachers are part of the school community, and they should be willing to contribute to making that community a better place.

9. Fosters a sense of belonging

It’s important to have a supportive classroom environment that promotes a sense of community and belonging. Each student should feel that he/she is an integral part of the school community. A great teacher lets students know that they are not alone, and there are people who are willing to help.

10. Inspirational

Great teachers make students want to learn. With their passion for education, they inspire students to seek knowledge and ask questions. They can uncover students’ hidden talents and potential, and help them believe that they are capable of anything.

Conclusion

After reading this article, you now know the ten qualities of a great teacher. Being a great teacher means better outcomes for students, a more enjoyable classroom experience, and a more satisfying career.

Want to know more how you can upgrade your knowledge and skills as a teacher? INcompassing Education can help! If you’re an administrator/educator, you can contact us to discuss the needs of your school or district.

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