Anyone can pick a chalk and start scribbling on the board, but only a teacher can be the source of wisdom, open minds, and breed other professions. Therefore, calling teachers the heart and soul of education wouldn’t be an overstatement.
Without them, progress would cease to exist, and no one will ever be able to live the life they want. After all, teachers, more than our parents or caregivers, have the most direct influence on our lives when we are most impressionable.
With that in consideration, what makes a teacher so admirable, full of poise, and different from the rest?
While there might be a long line of people trying to solve this riddle, nothing can beat the fact that a good teacher demands knowledge and skill.
There is, after all, a significant distinction between becoming a teacher and being a good teacher. Good teachers significantly impact students and encourage them to pursue lifelong learning.
Regardless of whether you’ve been teaching for years or are an aspiring educator pursuing your degree, there is a list of skills and qualities you must possess.
Without further ado, below is a list of characteristics and skills you must have to be a successful and influential teacher:
- The ability to lead
Teachers must lead to gain the admiration of their students, parents, and coworkers. While teachers should always be friendly and respectful to their students, they must also show consequences for bad behavior.
Allowing students to continue acting up with no consequences may encourage further misbehavior and pose problems for students in the long run.
Beyond becoming a compassionate yet authoritative presence in the classroom, teachers can continue to hone their leadership skills by networking with educators from other districts or schools.
Other than that, aspiring educators interested in securing leadership roles in education can enroll in degree programs, like an EdD In Educational Leadership, a terminal degree that allows candidates to delve deeper into the abyss of education and gain various skills to thrive in a competitive environment.
- Interpersonal skills
Interpersonal skills and communication skills are inextricably linked. Your relationship with your students and their parents will be determined by how well you communicate with them.
Interpersonal communication is essential for building good interpersonal relationships. For example, it is not only their education that is important; it’s their demeanor, personality, manners, and many other aspects.
The teacher must have strong interpersonal skills to ensure that the students achieve this to connect with their students and, if necessary, solve their problems.
- Outstanding long-term work ethic
Working in a school can be aggravating for some people after a while. Teaching is a demanding profession, and we all have bad days.
On the other hand, a strong work ethic is one of those abilities that can propel you far in life and even further in education. A good teacher is self-motivated and overpowers obstacles and budget constraints to prosper against the odds.
A strong work ethic implies self-motivation, which can help teachers become even better educators over time. While there’s nothing wrong with taking a break now and then, striving for success is a trait that distinguishes some teachers from others.
When students struggle to understand or remember things, teachers must quickly adapt and find creative solutions. You’ll need to develop exciting, unique ways of teaching students who can soon become malaise if they’re lectured for long periods.
Providing a variety of learning possibilities in the classroom supports students’ learning styles. It keeps your classes exciting and students engaged.
Being able to solve problems and adapt quickly to changing circumstances is essential to becoming a great teacher.
Finally, innovative and enjoyable learning activities can be developed by creative teachers, which has a strong positive influence on their interaction and overall learning experience.
Empathy is one of the essential characteristics of a teacher. Let’s look at an example to understand this quality better.
Assume you’re in your classroom and there’s a student who fails miserably. You suggested they study harder, but they continue receiving low grades.
It’s natural for you to be frustrated because the child is underperforming despite your best efforts. You don’t know what’s happening inside them or what kind of circumstances they’re in.
What if the child has problems with their family or has a learning disability? As a teacher, you must put yourself in their shoes and think like students. This is what empathy is all about, and you must comprehend the individual and be available.
Every teacher has a story or two about a misbehaving student or group of students. In most cases, students act out in class for reasons other than what is going on in the classroom.
It could be a cry for help or attention for some. Others may interpret it as an indication that a learning disability goes unnoticed.
Whatever the reason, great teachers know how to discipline their students. It may sometimes imply referring a student to the principal or establishing grounds for disqualification.
For others, an honest conversation would help get to the bottom of an issue, and a teacher may be the ideal person to assist a student in resolving a problem.
- Organization & preparation
No matter how delightful you are, if you show up for a class without a solid plan for teaching your content, you will fail.
Great teachers spend countless hours outside of the classroom planning lessons, learning more, engaging in professional development, and brainstorming new and exciting ways to reach their students.
The best teachers constantly improve their lesson plans, lectures, and coursework by planning their days and schedules, so students gain the most interest and understanding.
They have studied and read many books about teaching and methods for facilitating learning.
Above all, they are available outside of class and grade papers rapidly, writing personal notes to assist their students in understanding.
While there is no exact set of qualities and skills that make the “perfect” teacher, paying heed to the above information will pave the way for success.
Their educational experiences greatly dictate a student’s future and life. As a good teacher, the power is in your hands.
So practice these qualities, expand your educational horizons, and positively impact your students.