Teaching is such an important and noble profession, but some characteristics can help you an even more effective teacher.
Every teacher is different, and that’s a good thing. Different teachers can reach different students in unique ways, which is valuable for their success.
However, there are some fairly consistent traits among great teachers.
Patience. Every student will have their unique struggles. Some will have a difficult time reading. For others, math will not come easily. For others, being able to sit still during school is a struggle! Patience as a teacher is key to helping students overcome their struggles. With large classrooms and many students who are all different, patience is a must for a good teacher. And, demonstrating patience as a teacher is a great way to be a role model to students.
Patience is an important characteristic for effective teachers in both practices and as a model.
Empathy. Empathy is an important quality for teachers. Children and youth have big feelings and are often dealing with more than we know outside the classroom. As a teacher, it’s important to be able to empathize with what they are feeling, even if it may not seem like a big deal. Children and youth need to have their emotions validated to understand and process them well. This is crucial in helping them become emotionally mature. Teachers who aren’t empathetic can’t help students overcome real difficulties, trivial or severe. As a teacher, it’s vital to be able to put yourself in a student’s shoes and help them feel understood. When you teach, it’s important to be sensitive and thoughtful to make sure the learners feel they’re in a safe environment.
Adaptable. When working with other people, students, or other teachers alike, certain expectations may not always be met. Your teaching methods may not work in a certain way with a certain class, schedules may change, adjustments may need to be made with little or no notice. A great teacher can adjust their teaching methods and expectations so they can still find success. They are willing to always evaluate what is working for their students, and adjust where needed. This trait is vital for teachers who want to help each unique individual find success in their classroom. It’s an important characteristic when teaching to always move your lessons around in a way that promotes learning in the best possible way.
Stress management. Teachers are faced with stressful situations every day. They need to be able to keep their cool to be good role models for their students. Outbursts could be discouraging or even frightening for students, leading them to lose trust and interest in education. It could also lead to a loss of respect from students, which can create chaos in a classroom. Stress management is key to being a great teacher. As you teach, it’s important to be prepared for all kinds of situations that can arise. Make sure you can create a great learning environment no matter what comes.