Today, I will share the 6 ‘best’ traits of a good teacher. When I say ‘best’, I mean the ones that I hear mentioned most often during interviews - we're talking about hundreds of interviewed teachers here. “What makes a good teacher?” is a question you can expect in most interviews for teaching positions. Anyhow, without further ado, here are some traits of a good teacher.
1. Sense of Humour
A sense of humour can relieve tense classroom situations before they become disruptions. A sense of humour will also make class more enjoyable for your students and possibly make students look forward to attending and being with you. Most importantly, a sense of humour will allow you to see the joy in life, and make you a happier person as you progress through this sometimes stressful career.
2. Positive Attitude
You will be thrown many curve balls in life and especially in the teaching profession. A positive attitude will help you cope with these in the best way. For example, you may find out in the last minute that you’ll be teaching an extra class you didn't plan for, or maybe two! This would not be an ideal situation, but a teacher with the right attitude would try to focus on seeing this as an opportunity, rather than as an annoyance.
3. High Expectations
An effective teacher must have high expectations. You should strive to raise the bar for your students. If you expect less effort you will receive less effort. You should work on an attitude that says that you know students can achieve to your level of expectations, thereby giving them a sense of confidence too. This is not to say that you should create unrealistic expectations. However, your expectations will be one of the key factors in helping students learn and achieve.
In order to create a positive learning environment, your students should know what to expect from you each day. You need to be consistent. Having a consistent way to begin and finish your lessons helps set a pace and reassures students about what is coming next. That being said, sometimes a fun surprise can be a teacher's best friend.
Many people confuse fairness and consistency. A consistent teacher keeps the same rules from day to day. A fair teacher treats students equally in the same situation. For example, students complain of unfairness when teachers treat one gender or group of students differently. It would be terribly unfair to go easier on the baseball players in a class than on the art club students. Students pick up on this so quickly, so be careful of being labelled unfair. It's a particularly tricky area to manage. You need to hold up our high expectations, while at the same time also be able to empathise with individual learner needs.
One of the tenets of teaching should be that everything is in a constant state of change. Interruptions and disruptions are the norm and very few days are 'typical'. Therefore, a flexible attitude is important not only for your stress level but also for your students who, in this day and age, still expect you to be in charge and take control of any situation.
As mentioned at the beginning, this isn't the be all end all of good teacher traits. This article could have easily been a top 20 best teacher traits if I had enough time to analyse and organise all the notes I've taken over the years taken during interviews. How about you, dear Educator? What have you found to be a necessary trait for success in your classroom? Please share in the comments section!