Teachers are the people who shape our children’s futures, so they have a huge impact on student learning outcomes. But just like in any profession, some teachers are better than others.
So what makes a good teacher? What qualities do they have that make them the ideal people for building the foundation of children’s educations?
In this article, we show you nine of the best qualities you can find in amazing teachers so you can become a better one yourself.
1. They Make Students Feel Confident
One of the biggest difficulties you’ll face as a teacher is kids who don’t have any confidence in themselves. There are several reasons this could happen.
A lot of your students might not think you actually believe in them, or any other adult for that matter. This results in students not believing in themselves. This could lead to children underachieving.
If you can encourage your students to believe in themselves, you’ll find they start to succeed significantly better academically. So how can you go about achieving this?
You should make your teaching goal oriented. This will make your students more conscious of their own progress and it’ll help to make them more confident in themselves. Even simply telling your students you believe in them can be very effective.
2. They Use the Right Teaching Strategies
Of course, the standard lecture style of teaching has its place, but it isn’t always appropriate. Often, it can lead to your students becoming bored and disengaged.
You should make sure you vary your teaching methods and use ones that your kids are going to engage with. For example, you might consider using active learning strategies. This involves putting your students at the center of the learning experience, which helps them to feel much more engaged with the whole learning process.
You might also consider teaching styles such as inquiry-based learning. This approach involves letting your students’ questions and ideas take priority. This helps your students to develop critical thinking skills that’ll serve them well in any field they want to go into.
You might also consider using cooperative learning, which encourages your students to work together in groups to achieve a goal.
3. They Can Manage the Classroom Correctly
All of your lesson preparation doesn’t count for anything if you’re not able to keep your classroom under control. One of the hardest parts of teaching is keeping students in line.
You should have some clear strategies in place for dealing with student misbehavior. Make sure to set classroom rules that should be enforced fairly. When you have rules that are fair, enforceable, and consistently applied, you’ll find it has a positive impact on the behavior of your students.
Not only are rules important, but it’s also a good idea to establish a routine. For example, if a student gets stuck on a piece of work, there should be routine steps in place for them to take. You might instruct them to first ask their peers for help before coming to you.
You might also consider having a flexible seating classroom. Research has suggested these kinds of classrooms increase the quality of interaction students have with each other. They can also help to curb disruptive behavior, as kids find this kind of environment more stimulating.
4. They Are Always Prepared
A good teacher is always prepared with a detailed plan for every single lesson of the day. But what exactly does it mean to be prepared?
For a start, you should know the material you’re planning to teach like the back of your hand. As you’re probably aware, your students can ask some pretty unexpected questions. If you don’t know the material you’re teaching, they’re quite likely to catch you out.
So how can you make sure you’re prepared? Firstly, you need to understand the details of your subject. You should understand the major concepts related to what you’re teaching and the assumptions and debates within your subject.
Of course, there’s no way you’re going to know everything about any particular subject. You also need to be prepared to handle a situation where you don’t have the necessary knowledge to answer a question. You shouldn’t try to “wing it” in this situation; instead, you should offer to look up the answer for the student.
5. They Practice Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is important in any line of work. It allows us to learn from our mistakes and to become better at what we do.
Self-reflection is particularly important if you are a teacher. A study suggests teachers must continuously evaluate their own performances. If you don’t evaluate yourself, you run the risk of repeatedly making poor decisions and being unaware of your own strengths and weaknesses.
There are many ways you can practice good self-reflection techniques. Consider keeping a private journal where you record and reflect on significant experiences.
When you keep a journal, over time, it can help you to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Keeping a journal can also be invaluable when you need to write report cards or do a parent-teacher conference.
The key to practicing good self-reflection is to ask yourself the right questions. For instance, you should ask yourself: how can I meet my students’ needs? And what options are available to me to help me meet these needs?
6. They Set High Expectations
A good teacher constantly challenges their students to do the best they possibly can. You should aim to bring out the very best in your students. Setting high expectations can be difficult; if you don’t do it in the right way, it could lead to burnout from both you and your students.
One good way to set high expectations is to always react to changes in performance. If a student who normally gets good grades starts turning in poor quality work, you need to send a strong message about their performance.
You should explain to the student that you know they’re capable of much better quality work. If the student has respect for you, this kind of feedback can be very effective in getting their work back up to standard.
On the other hand, you should also be sure to praise students when they perform better than usual. Students can become much more motivated when they feel like their hard work has been properly recognized.
7. They Know Their Students
Not only is it important for you to know the material, but it’s also vital that you get to know your students. When you have large class sizes to deal with, this can be quite a challenge, but it’s well worth it.
Students can tell when you barely even know their name and it makes them feel like they can just coast by in your class. When you have a more personal relationship with your students, on the other hand, they feel much more accountable.
Try to remember details about every student; this will enable you to have a more personal relationship with them. If you have a lot of large classes to deal with, this might not always be possible. At the very least, you need to make sure you know every student’s name.
8. They Respond Well to Failure
Teaching is an incredibly high-pressure career. You’re responsible for preparing your students for their futures. This can make personal failure feel incredibly demoralizing.
It’s important to remember: failure is a natural part of any job. It’s not reasonable to expect you’ll never fail as a teacher.
They key is to make sure you take something away from failure. Why did it happen, and what can you do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen again?
You should take a problem-solving approach to failure. If your students aren’t learning something by using your current methods, you need to think about how to change your approach.
You could consult with more senior teachers or you could seek out the opinion of outside experts. When you take this kind of problem-solving approach, your personal failures turn into a learning experience.
9. They Are Learners for Life
As a teacher, you can never stop learning. The best teachers accept that they’ll never know everything about their subjects but are committed to constantly learning more about it.
The best teachers have an insatiable thirst for knowledge. When you’re truly passionate about the subject you teach, your students will certainly pick up on it and that passion will inspire them to do better.
On the other hand, if you’re not really interested in your own subject, your students are going to pick up on it, leading to them feeling less engaged in your lessons.
Get Excellent Student Learning Outcomes
As you can see, what you do as a teacher has a huge impact on student learning outcomes. The effort you put into their futures has a direct correlation with how well your students do.
So long as you’re patient, encouraging, caring, and responsible, you can inspire your students to achieve great things.