Years ago, as a young, eager student, I would have told you that a great teacher was someone who provided classroom entertainment and gave very little homework. Needless to say, after many years of K-12 administrative experience and giving hundreds of teacher evaluations, my perspective has changed. My current position as a professor in higher education gives me the opportunity to share what I have learned with current and future school leaders, and allows for some lively discussions among my graduate students in terms of what it means to be a great teacher.
Teaching is hard work and some teachers never grow to be anything better than mediocre. They do the bare minimum required and very little more. The great teachers, however, work tirelessly to create a challenging, nurturing environment for their students. Great teaching seems to have less to do with our knowledge and skills than with our attitude toward our students, our subject, and our work. Although this list is certainly not all-inclusive, I have narrowed down the many characteristics of a great teacher to those I have found to be the most essential, regardless of the age of the learner:
1. A great teacher respects students. In a great teacher’s classroom, each person’s ideas and opinions are valued. Students feel safe to express their feelings and learn to respect and listen to others. This teacher creates a welcoming learning environment for all students.
2. A great teacher creates a sense of community and belonging in the classroom. The mutual respect in this teacher’s classroom provides a supportive, collaborative environment. In this small community, there are rules to follow and jobs to be done and each student is aware that he or she is an important, integral part of the group. A great teacher lets students know that they can depend not only on her, but also on the entire class.
3. A great teacher is warm, accessible, enthusiastic and caring. This person is approachable, not only to students, but to everyone on campus. This is the teacher to whom students know they can go with any problems or concerns or even to share a funny story. Great teachers possess good listening skills and take time out of their way-too-busy schedules for anyone who needs them. If this teacher is having a bad day, no one ever knows—the teacher leaves personal baggage outside the school doors.
4. A great teacher sets high expectations for all students. This teacher realizes that the expectations she has for her students greatly affect their achievement; she knows that students generally give to teachers as much or as little as is expected of them.
5. A great teacher has his own love of learning and inspires students with his passion for education and for the course material. He constantly renews himself as a professional on his quest to provide students with the highest quality of education possible. This teacher has no fear of learning new teaching strategies or incorporating new technologies into lessons, and always seems to be the one who is willing to share what he’s learned with colleagues.
6. A great teacher is a skilled leader. Different from administrative leaders, effective teachers focus on shared decision-making and teamwork, as well as on community building. This great teacher conveys this sense of leadership to students by providing opportunities for each of them to assume leadership roles.
7. A great teacher can “shift-gears” and is flexible when a lesson isn’t working. This teacher assesses his teaching throughout the lessons and finds new ways to present material to make sure that every student understands the key concepts.
8. A great teacher collaborates with colleagues on an ongoing basis. Rather than thinking of herself as weak because she asks for suggestions or help, this teacher views collaboration as a way to learn from a fellow professional. A great teacher uses constructive criticism and advice as an opportunity to grow as an educator.
9. A great teacher maintains professionalism in all areas—from personal appearance to organizational skills and preparedness for each day. Her communication skills are exemplary, whether she is speaking with an administrator, one of her students or a colleague. The respect that the great teacher receives because of her professional manner is obvious to those around her.
While teaching is a gift that seems to come quite naturally for some, others have to work overtime to achieve great teacher status. Yet the payoff is enormous — for both you and your students. Imagine students thinking of you when they remember that great teacher they had in college!
Dr. Maria Orlando is a core faculty member in the doctoral Educational Leadership and Management Specialization at Capella University. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
Tagged with characteristics of effective teachers, highly effective faculty, inspiration for teachers, renewing your commitment to teaching
The good teacher of modern era has a lot of pressure and responsibilities. And only those teachers can fulfill their responsibilities who are dedicated have natural zeal, and training. In the profession of teaching, good teacher should have some good teaching qualities in order to perform his or her role well. Following are the traits of a good teacher:
Teachers are not expected to have patience with those who are not disciplined, lazy or with those who irritate other students in class room. But teachers are professionally responsible to have patience with those students who want to learn or those students who are sincere in their studies.
Passion is the essential element of a good teacher. If teacher is not taking interest in relevant subject, how can he expect his students to? How students will learn those things their teacher not takes interest. Take interest and go ahead to teach it to other.
Up to date Information
A good teacher always brings new information to the classroom. Teachers must have updated information in respective field. One of the qualities of a good teacher is he not only rely of text books but always use other sources to inform he students about new development.
Command over Subject
If you don't know about something how can some one teach it. Command over subject is necessary every good teacher. Command over subject will prove effective tool.
Also Read:Characteristics of a Successful Student
A best teacher always makes adjustment with circumstance. He or she does not stick to a specific syllabus and curriculum.
Another quality of a good teacher is that he or she must have positive attitude about him or herself and the role to be played .With this attitude she or he can cover a lot of obstacles.
Strong Control over Classroom
A brilliant teacher has strong control over the class. How large a class may be, a best teacher can easily control over the class through the application of classroom management techniques.
A Professional Reader
A good teacher always studies new materials relating to the profession of teaching. That reading enhances the role of teacher in his or her professional role.
Education without evaluation is nothing. Therefore a good teacher evaluation process should be effective in order to promote, repeat and place the students in various learning stages.