Teaching Qualities You Need to Be a Great Teacher
Teaching is a complex and rewarding profession. It requires many different skills and qualities to be effective. Some of these are innate, while others can be learned through education.
Great teachers serve as role models, impact professional decisions and help students reach their full potential. Learn what teaching qualities are a must-have for a successful career.
As you reflect on your own educational experience, think about the teachers who made an impact on you. How did they inspire you to want to learn? What qualities did they possess that made you feel special?
Great teachers have a passion for learning and for their students. They share this passion with their students by demonstrating enthusiasm and commitment to the subject. They also show their love of teaching by staying up to date on new technologies and instructional strategies.
They have good listening skills and are approachable, making it easy for students to talk with them about problems or concerns. They know their students as individuals and take time to meet their needs by visiting with them outside of class, at sporting events or plays. They have a genuine interest in the lives of their students as people and show this by taking a personal interest in their hobbies and interests. They also believe that passion can be developed, rather than just innately inherent, and therefore are more likely to encourage students to use effective strategies for up-regulating their passion when it is low (e.g., focusing on the topic’s relevance to their life goals or seeking out inspirational teachers).
Patience is the ability to remain calm during a long wait or tedious task. It’s an important quality for teachers, as students often come to class with high expectations and demanding needs. It also takes patience to understand that every student is unique and has different learning styles.
Having patience can help teachers deal with the challenges of working with students of different backgrounds and ages. It’s a crucial trait for instructors to have when it comes to developing their own classroom strategies, as well. Using experiential learning activities is one way for educators to exhibit this quality.
A teacher who has patience can be more empathetic and compassionate towards their students. They can be more understanding when it comes to mistakes and setbacks, which helps create relationships where everyone feels supported. In addition, they can use their patience to motivate students, which is key for encouraging them to keep working toward their goals. Patience can also help teachers cultivate their own professional growth, as they’ll be more willing to explore new teaching methods and techniques.
Adaptability is the ability to adjust your actions and reactions to different situations. This soft skill can help you tackle a project that requires you to think outside the box or handle an unexpected change in work conditions.
Teaching someone how to be adaptable can make her a more valuable member of the team. This quality can also lead to advancement opportunities.
A teacher who is adaptable is willing to try new things and will listen to her team members’ suggestions. This will help her create a learning environment that is more collaborative and productive.
Adaptability can also help a person learn from failure. For example, if a student’s research project doesn’t turn out as planned, she can use her adaptability skills to find ways to improve for next time. Identifying positives from every experience will help her stay resilient and able to move forward after disappointment. She may even be able to apply what she learned to her career.
A teacher’s ability to listen and decode verbal and non-verbal cues during communication is a critical teaching quality. When a teacher can listen without interrupting and be fully engaged with their student, colleague or customer, they are showing they care about their communication skills.
A key aspect of listening is limiting judgements while focusing on the speaker and their perspective. This includes listening without interruption, avoiding distractions like checking one’s phone and maintaining eye contact throughout the conversation. It also means being able to put yourself in the other person’s shoes, understand their point of view and empathize with them.
Teacher quality is often defined through a variety of measures, including reviewing qualifications and tests of knowledge, observing teachers in action, teacher evaluations and student learning gains. However, research indicates that a more holistic approach is needed to determine teacher effectiveness and inform policies on how to promote and support the development of teaching qualities.