6 Qualities of a Good Teacher
Do you remember your favorite teacher? Maybe you don’t remember a word they said or any of the material you learned in class, but you may remember how positive or funny they were, or how they lifted your spirits when things at home maybe weren’t going so well. Perhaps that special instructor motivated you to do better or pursue the career you have today. No teacher is the same, but there are qualities many effective teachers have. And here are 6 qualities of teachers who are most effective in the classroom and in the hearts of students who will never forget them.
No one wants to be the teacher with a boring curriculum. While every student has different learning styles and preferences, you can always implement new and fun activities into any topic to make it more interesting and engaging.
Always let your students know exactly what they’ll be learning on a daily basis and what you expect from them. Be open to answering questions or clarifying as needed, because without clarity, they will either learn something incorrectly or not at all. And if instructions are not clear, it’s easier for students to drift off and pay attention to other things more appealing.
Be Empathetic and Understanding
This doesn’t mean excusing bad behavior, but it does mean you have to balance discipline with empathy. Don’t assume the worst about a student that is exhibiting undesirable behavior. In reality, you never know a student’s full background. They could have something in their life you’ve never experienced and will never fully understand. Forging a meaningful relationship with your students is important. Memorize names as soon as possible, do ice breakers at the beginning of the year, and take an interest in what interests your students. If you see a student who is hungry or tired, allow them to eat a small snack or get up for a drink of water.
Keep Yourself Updated About New Methods of Teaching and New Generations of Students
Research might not be your idea of fun, but it’s part of the job regardless of how long you’ve been teaching. Reading new educational theories and successful studies ensure you are the best teacher you can be! Teachers who are set in old methods of teaching may be missing out on new ways to keep students engaged. Each generation of students is different, so it is unrealistic to expect that they will all enjoy or respond to learning methods past students have liked.
Nothing causes more chaos in a classroom than inconsistency. Whether it be rituals you do in class every day or disciplining students, remember that at any age, the brain and body loves routine. For example, start each day with a daily warmup that students can easily follow for relaxation and focus. If you offer rewards like extra privileges or stickers for good behavior, make sure you an offer those extras at all times.
Communicate Often with Students and Parents
The level of communication varies depending on the grade level, but communication is essential no matter what age your students are. Remind them of due dates, new opportunities, or what assignments are coming up. Unfortunately, some students will still be oblivious to due dates, but you can know you have done everything in your ability to help them succeed. Also consider calling home or emailing a parent letting them know how impressed you are with a student as opposed to only contacting parents if their child is in trouble helps maintain a good relationship.