This post has been updated on July 2, 2020.
A good teacher can change a person’s life. Every teacher wants to be able to influence their students to become productive members of society. Achieving this requires exceptional teaching methods and a way to inspire students.
The question on everyone’s mind is: what makes a “good teacher”? The answer is a lot more complicated than you might think.
There are many qualities that come to mind when describing good teachers. Here are a few that are considered especially important.
1. Be open to teamwork
Education is not a process that you can handle alone. You can’t carry the burden of learning by yourself, you need to make sure that your students are open to cooperation and learning. Many teachers see themselves as leaders that should take charge when it comes to educating students.
It’s a lot more complicated than that.
A good teacher will put themselves in the position of a guide, rather than being a leader.
The brunt of education is on the students, but they require help to be able to overcome difficult subjects. This is where a teacher's skills are supposed to shine. Instead of being a tyrannical leader in the classroom, try to work with students to help them attain and retain knowledge.
This requires open communication and a willingness to be flexible with your methods.
2. Show passion when teaching
Teachers often start their careers with an extreme passion for their work. This feeling is quickly lost as teaching becomes part of a routine. Repeating the same things and covering the same topics over and over tends to make them feel less interesting for the speaker.
This is something that affects all teachers, even when they cover a wide variety of educational topics.
Unfortunately, losing that bit of passion can have detrimental effects on your quality of teaching. Students often have to learn many different subjects over short time periods, which quickly breeds disinterest for a single topic.
If both students and teachers feel apathetic towards the subject, it’s likely that there won’t be any meaningful learning.
Try to find something interesting about your subject that will reignite the passion you had for it. It’s as easy as learning new tidbits to present to the class. Find something that will pique their interest and try your best to present it as the most interesting fact in existence.
Just putting a little effort into your presentation is good enough to stimulate better learning. More attentive students will also motivate you to put in more effort into your teaching.
It’s a positive cycle that can show great results.
3. Manage your time well
It’s no secret that teachers have a lot of work on their hands. Not only do you have to spend hours and hours teaching students, but you also have to prepare the subject in advance.
Freshening up on topics both new and old helps reinforce your knowledge and it keeps you ready for any questions or difficulties that might come up.
Understandably, this takes a lot of time and it’s hard to keep track of all the different subjects you have to cover. When you consider that teachers can’t dedicate their entire day towards covering an educational topic, you’ll understand why some topics aren’t presented perfectly.
However, this is something that can be improved with some better organization.
Time management is an absolutely essential part of every career, but it's especially important in education. You have to somehow absorb all that useful information without losing track of the clock.
Use as many helpful tricks you can to ease the time it takes to prepare subjects. Some teachers prefer to write reminders and flashcards to read before an important subject. Master the art of making useful presentations. It's a skill that can cut your preparation time by quite a bit.
4. Never stop learning
Helping students learn is only half the job of teaching. Students aren't the only ones that are expected to learn a thing or two. Teachers have to be constantly on the lookout for new and relevant information that pertains to their field.
Read more: How to succeed with online PD for teachers
Those who educate need to have all the facts and a lot of subjects change over time. Sometimes, new information is found that changes the course of a scientific discipline. Other times, the very fundamentals of a field change and this means making some changes to education.
Teachers that aren’t constantly absorbing new information won’t last very long. To effectively teach students, you need to remain educated in the subject you teach. Keep reading as many books as you can and you’ll be able to keep up with the changes.
Teaching is a skill that can be worked on as well. Nowadays, teachers utilize rto learning resources and other tools to get better training and to help students learn on their own. Others will brush up on their pedagogy to improve their classroom strategies.
As long as teachers aim to perfect their profession, they can count on positive results in classrooms and similar teaching environments.
5. Overcome obstacles
Teaching is a very specific job with both benefits and downsides. The teacher’s year is often considered one of the premier benefits of being a teacher. Instead of having a traditional twelve months of work, teachers are able to rest and recuperate while school is out.
However, this time is often utilized for preparing the syllabus and teaching materials. In a way, teachers never really take a break from teaching.
The long days will often prove to be unbearable and students won’t always cooperate. It’s important that teachers don’t lose sight of their end goal – education. Even bad days are offset by dedicated classes and a passion for teaching.
You can deal with bad days and inattentive students once you figure out that these drawbacks are only temporary. The main factor that influences the student’s education is your quality of teaching.
As long as you keep going at it, students will eventually learn everything they need to know.
Teaching is a profession that requires an enormous amount of patience and dedication. However, it's also one of the most rewarding professions out there. You're part of one of the most essential systems in society. Education is crucial, and society requires good teachers.
Follow some of the above tips and you'll be on your way to becoming an even better teacher.