5 Qualities of an Excellent Teacher
Teachers need to learn and grow too as a person.
Teachers provide more than just lessons and lectures to their students inside a classroom. A positive teacher-student relationship can have a long-lasting and life-changing effect. A teacher that is trusted and respected by a student can be a student’s second parent, best friend, a confidante, a personal counsellor, someone to run to when the chips are down, a sounding board or a welcoming arm in times of confusion and uncertainty.
Such tremendous responsibility can leave some teachers overwhelmed and retreat to their corner and do nothing but others rise-up to the challenge and perform their extra duties despite the inherent difficulty of being a regular teacher by itself. These teachers provide service beyond the call of their immediate duty but instead answer the higher call of the need to be understanding, not judgemental, considerate and generally extending kindness to their fellow human beings.
However, a teacher can exhibit these ideal characteristics if he or she also believes that there exists goodness in every person. A person or a student may make mistakes and commit several infractions but this does not deter that person from bouncing back and to tread the right path again. This type of a teacher is aware of the past mistakes but nevertheless sees beyond the negatives and projects into the future of that individual where potentials and opportunities abound.
Listed below are five of the traits of an excellent teacher:
1. A clear sense of purpose or objectives – to have a steady source of income is an ordinary goal for a person to take up teaching as a profession. But to aspire for something larger than the economic aspect of the job defines the person and determines the direction of his or her career. This allows the person to see beyond the daily difficulties and challenges inherent in the job but to the greater purpose of teaching which is to positively influence students to attain their true potentials for the greater good.
2. Positive attitude – seeing the glass half-full rather than half-empty is an oft repeated phrase most applicable to teachers. Everyday teachers from the pre-school up to the college level witness events that can keep their spirits down and prevent them from wanting to go to work. But having a “can-do” attitude and a belief that everything will turn out alright is an important weapon in the teacher’s daily struggles with reality.
3. Respectful and responsive attitude – respect is earned and not demanded. Teachers who are not condescending towards their students but shows respect, maturity and sincerity to help their students are most likely successful at what they are doing. Most students will recognize this attitude and they will likewise return the respect given.
4. Open to change – sticking to what is comfortable and familiar can be a recipe for disaster especially in this time of great economic, social and technological change. The use of alternative teaching and e-learning tools can enhance learning and stimulate their students to achieve more. The worst thing that can happen is that their students know more of what is happening around the world than they are. Teachers need to explore their environment too.
5. Practices continuous learning – teachers must realize that learning does not end within the four-walls of a classroom. If teachers can impart this obvious fact to their students, the better will they be able to appreciate how things work or how they fit into the larger scheme of things. Sometimes a child at play can teach more lessons than a two-hour lecture of a boring professor. They take every opportunity as a learning experience and as they learn new skills and knowledge they likewise grow as a person too alongside their students.