1. A Good Teacher Loves Their Subject
This is the science teacher that you meet who, as soon as they hear the word biology, their eyes light up, and you can see how much they love it. Teachers are people who love their subject, they love talking about it and sharing it even more than they love doing the work.
2. They Love Their Students
A great teacher loves their students. And that love is unconditional. It obviously doesn’t always look like sunflowers and rainbows, because kids are kids, but at the heart of their interactions with their students, they truly believe that the person in front of them can do or be anything. As their teacher, it is their privilege to unlock that potential and to show them that they can do whatever they want to do.
3. They Teach With Their Whole Self
Teachers need to be genuine, and they need to be authentic. Effective teachers are the ones who teach with their whole selves. It is easy to identify this kind of teacher because there is unity of work and purpose. The way that they speak to a student, parent, colleague or friend is consistent and equally dedicated in the way that they prepare and deliver a class. Not every student will remember exactly what you taught them, but they will remember how you made them feel during class.
4. They Always Want To Improve
A great teacher always wants to improve what they do – there is no end to learning. So the best teachers are often the best learners. They are the ones who will never be okay with being as good as they are today, they will always want to do better tomorrow; they will always end a lesson with a thought for themselves: How can I make that a little bit better next time I teach it? How can I make sure that they can grasp this concept? How do I make sure I reach every single student?
5. They Are Great Leaders
As a teacher you’re a leader of people: students, parents, staff and peers. You’re a leader in process: class preparation, report writing, deadlines; and you need to lead yourself to make your lesson as effective as possible.
A great teacher loves their subject, loves their students, they teach with their whole self, they always want to get better, and they have the ability to lead. It’s not an easy job to say the least, but loving what you do and finding meaningful purpose for it in your life, will only make you better!
This article was inspired by episode #35 of The Parent-Teacher Project entitled What Traits Make A Great Teacher with Gia-Yen Luong and Kristine Malabanan.
Listen to the entire episode below.
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