We probably all can remember our favorite teacher in school. There was just something about them. Regardless what it was, they made a significant impact in our lives. It’s virtually impossible to come up with a definitive list of qualities of a great teacher, but here’s a list that offers a good start.
Passionate about Teaching
Passion doesn’t always equate to a teacher jumping around the room or full of charismatic energy. Passion means their heart and soul are into it. Passion can manifest itself in many different ways. A teacher can do his or her job without passion. They can go through the motions and still get the job done. Great teachers teach with passion and it shows in the results they get.
Some people love to teach a particular subject or subjects, but that doesn’t mean they are student centered. The best business organizations are all about the customer. The best teachers are all about impacting students. Could you image a business that wasn’t customer focused? Of course you couldn’t. But there are plenty of teachers out there that aren’t student focused. One of the qualities of a great teacher is remembering that at the end of the day, success or failure is predicated on the impact made on students.
World-class Work Ethic
Teachers often get called lazy because they work until 3:00 pm and have summers off. But the best teachers work hard. They are constantly improving and coming up with new and innovative material and teaching techniques. They work because they want to make a difference in the lives of their students (see passion). They are not satisfied with yesterday’s success stories.
One of the major qualities of a great teacher is their willingness to change and try new things. What worked with kids the year before or five years ago might not work this year. The best teachers are always looking for ways to improve student learning. If you stop learning, you stop growing. Teachers can become stagnate and bored with their profession if they think they know it all. And once the boredom kicks in the passion goes away quickly. The best teachers model an attitude and practice of the love of learning – inside and outside the classroom.
It’s impossible to bring your A game if you are unorganized. Easily one of the most important qualities of a great teacher is organization. Think about it, being responsible for 30 kids’ education for an entire year takes some planning and forethought. It takes an efficient person to get through all of the material and know where each of your students is at in his or her education.
Introspection and Reflection
Another one of the qualities of a great teacher is the willingness and practice of reflecting on why things went good or bad that day, and how you can make them better. Introspective people take personal responsibility for their results and believe the answer lies within them. These types of teachers are emotionally mature and will not blame things on others or their circumstances.
What do you think some of the best qualities of a great teacher are? What did we leave out?!