What makes a good teacher? In some regards, the answer to this question will vary much depending on who you ask. Ask a student, and they might reply that a good teacher doesn’t set much homework and makes lessons fun. Ask a parent, and it could be that a good teacher is one who instills discipline. A teacher themselves might think differently and suggest that a good teacher is one who inspires and is remembered. So what is the truth? The fact is being a good teacher is made up of many different factors, and they must all combine to create a whole. Read on to find out more.
Respect For Students
Something that can easily be forgotten when it comes to the ideas and traits that make a good teacher is respect. Not respect for the teacher themselves (although this is important), but respect from the teacher for their students.
A good teacher will value the ideas and opinions of everyone who has something to say in their classroom. They will ask questions, and they will listen to the answers, never ridiculing anyone for getting it wrong and always praising those who get it right.
In this way, the children – or adults, depending on who is being taught – will always have the confidence to answer questions and to pose their own. They won’t feel as though they will be made fun of if they express an idea that might be considered foolish. If this can happen in a classroom, the student will also feel more confident to express themselves outside of the classroom, which will greatly help them in the ‘real world’.
A Sense Of Community
Something else that a great teacher will do is create a sense of community within the classroom. Much like what has been said above, this is all about creating a safe space for people to learn in peace and ask for the information and advice they need.
By having the classroom be a collaborative environment, every student will know they have an important part to play and that their contribution means something no matter what it might be. This offers a chance to develop excellent skills in terms of teamwork, but also means that there is mutual respect between teachers and students, ensuring that everyone can work together to achieve the outcome they are looking for.
Accessible And Caring
A teacher should have many different personality traits if they want to be good at their job. Being accessible and caring are two that are perhaps the most important. If you can be these things, students will be comfortable coming to you for advice and guidance, which is part of what a teacher has to do to ensure their students are learning in the right way and are happy in themselves.
A good teacher should be approachable at all times so that their students – and anyone else – knows there is always someone to turn to if they should have any problems, whether they are school-related ones or not.
To be accessible and caring, a teacher must be an excellent listener. More than this, however, a caring person will take time out of their schedules, no matter how busy they might be, to help those who are seeking assistance. This isn’t something that everyone is willing or able to do, so if you can, then you are certainly on your way to being a good teacher.
Set High Expectations
As a teacher, you have a lot of responsibility in your hands. The way you teach and reach out to your students, the morals and knowledge, and the confidence you instill in them all go towards who they will be in the future, what kind of careers they will have, and what kind of lives they have in general.
One thing every good teacher should do is to set high expectations. Whatever you do in this regard, it’s going to affect your students, and setting the bar high will show them that you believe in them and you think they can achieve more. Of course, setting expectations too high means that you could be causing problems as well since you must always take the student’s capabilities into account. A good teacher will know what kind of balance to strike.
You Love Learning
What would have happened if you had been trying to learn something as a schoolchild and the teacher was entirely disinterested in the subject and didn’t seem to want to explain anything? Perhaps you had a teacher like this; they certainly exist. These are bad teachers; they don’t inspire, and they don’t even impart that much knowledge. The problem they have is that they simply don’t like learning, so over time, their lessons become stale and boring because they have not kept up to date with the new innovations within the world of teaching, and they certainly haven’t gone out of their way to discover different teaching methods of coming up with creative ideas for the classroom.
If you’re a good teacher, however, this is exactly what you might do. You could go back to school and gain an MA education online to keep up to date. You could do research about the newest and most interesting, and engaging teaching methods. You could study your subject further to find out as much as possible. You can do many things if you love learning, all of which will enhance the students’ school experience.
Be A Skilled Leader
Teachers are leaders. They have to keep their classrooms under control and ensure that everyone is getting the most out of their education. They also have to be organized, be able to make good decisions that benefit everyone, and be excellent when it comes to teamwork. Leadership is not a skill that everyone possesses, and it’s certainly not something that everyone is good at, yet a good teacher must have that skill and be highly skilled at it.
There is a big difference between being a leader and being a good leader. The former will simply bark commands, whereas the latter will take the time to offer respect and explain the situation so that everyone knows why things must be done. Good teachers should fall into this second category.
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