Are you desiring to pursue a teaching career? Probably, you have been inspired by one of your professors when you were still studying, so you want to follow in his/her footsteps. Indeed, mentoring young minds are not just about providing them with academic lessons but also influencing them to become good citizens.
If you want to be the best educator that you can be, then start by learning about these qualities of a good teacher first.
1. Has a mastery of his/her lessons
Teachers must not be just a chapter ahead of their students. They need to have expertise in the courses/subjects they handle, meaning these should be part of their specialization.
2. Well-prepared for every session
Good teachers value excellence in their profession, starting with the preparation of the lessons. Everything must be well-planned and properly executed, from the materials to be used down to evaluate the students’ learning.
3. Does not show favoritism in class
Teachers must have no partiality in treating their students because it will affect their trust. They should provide everyone with equal opportunities to participate and be reinforced.
Stop calling or praising the same student/s because your students will think you are biased. Give equal opportunities for everyone in the class to be involved and appreciate them individually. Also, be transparent in how you compute grades to show your students that you only grade each one according to their outputs and performance.
4. Does not spoon-feed the lessons
Now, teachers are expected to be facilitators of learning—not just lecturers. Meaning, instead of discussing everything by themselves and just instructing the class to read books, teachers must develop experiential activities that will allow students to learn by self-discovery or realization.
Instead of teaching your students what to think, teach them how to think. Instead of delivering the lessons, allow them to discover them through guided activities and discussions. Be a facilitator of learning—not just a plain lecturer.
5. Is a role model in punctuality
Good teachers are role models. If they want their students to come to class early, they should avoid coming late.
6. Transparent in how grades are given
To guarantee that all students receive the grades they deserve, teachers must be transparent with their grading system. The students and their parents should also be welcomed—even encouraged—to check their class records.
7. Knows his/her students by heart
Since they will be with their students for at least several months, teachers must make an effort to know them each. They should not only memorize their names but even find out their personalities and backgrounds as well.
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8. Has a sense of humor
Teachers who are witty and can make their students laugh are not a bore. They have a better chance of keeping their learners’ attention and keep the discussion interesting.
Break the ice in the classroom by cracking jokes with your students from time to time—this will not make you less respectable. Too much strictness creates fear in students, which inhibits them from actively participating in class. If they see that you are approachable and not that scary, they will loosen up.
9. Strict with following rules
Teachers should not tolerate violators by implementing the complete uniform regulation or just observing the classroom cleanliness. As mentors, they must make the students understand the importance of discipline and submitting to authorities.
10. A good listener
Good teachers listen to the opinions and ideas of their students and commend them for sharing.
11. Considerate towards the students
Before deducting points and embarrassing students immediately, teachers must first check if their reason for failing to comply with a requirement is legit. Also, before bombarding them with numerous projects, bear in mind that they have other subjects too.
12. Acts as a counselor
Teachers are meant to guide their students emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually too. Therefore, they should let their students know that they can be approached if they need someone to talk to.
Your role as a teacher is not limited to mentoring them intellectually. You serve as a second parent and a life coach to them as well. For this reason, be sensitive to your students who are going through hard times and take time to talk to them and give encouragement.
13. Approachable and friendly
Yes, it is necessary to be strict when it comes to following rules, but effective teachers do not make their students uncomfortable. Students can learn easier if they can approach their teachers whenever they have questions and clarifications without the fear of being scolded.
14. Incorporates values in lessons
Teachers must not only teach knowledge but good values as well. They should be able to relate lessons to their daily lives and make the students understand that they learn them to be better citizens.
15. Motivates the students to be excited in their studies
Good teachers have the ability to inspire their students to value education.
The best lessons that you can leave your students with are not those from books but those you have learned from experiences. Whenever necessary, you can share with them the nuggets of wisdom you have gained from life.
16. Can adapt to changes in the learning environment
Since the educational system is dynamic, teachers should be willing to change their teaching strategies and upgrade their facilities to maximize their learning.
17. Can make classes interactive
A student-centered learning environment encourages the students to do the talking, so teachers need to find ways to encourage everyone to participate.
18. Admits mistakes
Teachers are not perfect—the students know it too. Actually, they tend to respect more the teachers who can admit their errors and accept corrections. It means they value their students’ learning more than their pride.
19. Gives feedback
The teachers who intend to make their students learn will have the patience to give feedback to each of their students’ class performance or output.
20. Can implement discipline without demoralizing the students
They can give students disciplinary actions for misconduct without demoralizing them by shaming them in front of the class or using degrading words.
No matter how annoying or slow in learning a student is, never use derogatory statements, like “You’re stupid” when giving correction. Such words will have a traumatizing effect on the learner, decreasing their confidence and self-esteem.
21. Does not compare students or sections
Students hate it much when their teachers compare their class to another or when students are being compared. Really, this is not an effective motivation to make anyone improve.
A comparison will make your students resent you. It would make them think that you have favoritism. You have to understand that different students have different learning styles and levels, so you cannot expect them to learn at the same pace.
22. Makes sure no one is left behind in the class
Good teachers understand that not all students are fast learners. For this reason, they vary their teaching strategies to cater to all learning styles and levels.
23. Appreciates in public
They praise the students who perform well or participate in class to encourage them to keep going. This boosts the learners’ self-esteem.
Those who are having a hard time catching up with lessons give sincere appreciation whenever they have progress—no matter how small it is. Letting them know that they are moving forward will motivate them to keep striving and do better.
24. Corrects in private
To correct misbehaviors, teachers must not shame the students in front of their classmates. Rather, they call their attention and talk to them in private.
25. Is a role model in real life too
Teachers who consider their job as their calling wear their profession even outside the school. They apply the values they teach their students in real life.
26. Assure them that it is okay to commit mistakes.
You are not only a teacher inside the classroom. Your students look up to you as a role model, so be cautious in how you live your life. Yes, you are not perfect, but you can always evaluate if your actions, words, and lifestyle reflect a good citizen’s–and if you would want your students to copy them.
27. Leaves a positive impact in the life of the students
Good teachers touch their students’ lives and influence them to have the passion for contributing a change to society.
Always remind your students that they are in school because they still have to learn—so, as a teacher, you do not expect them to be perfectly knowledgeable about the lessons. Also, discourage them from laughing at those who make errors because what matters more to you are their effort to learn and willingness to be corrected. This will encourage them to be more participative.
28. Be diligent in checking and correcting the outputs of your students.
A dedicated teacher is willing to sacrifice effort to scrutinize the students’ outputs to track their progress. Giving feedback and necessary corrections will help your students improve.
29. Take to heart every seminar and training you attend.
Teachers are often required by their school to attend seminars, conferences, and other training activities. However, some teachers are only present for compliance but are not really interested in applying what they learn to improve their teaching methods. If you want to be a better teacher, then be excited and expectant to learn new strategies whenever you are given these opportunities.
30. Pursue further studies.
Proceed to post-graduate studies not just to earn enough units to get promoted. Take them as an opportunity to gain mastery of your field, improve your teaching habits, and be mentored by high-class professors.
31. Appreciate your students who participate in class.
It is innate to human beings to desire appreciation and recognition—and your students have this need too. However, many of them are afraid to raise their hand during class discussions because they are either shy or afraid to make an error. Therefore, to encourage them to be more participative, acknowledge every student who voluntarily participates, even if his/her answers are wrong.
32. Learn from the strategies of other teachers.
Be humble enough to acknowledge that you have weaknesses as a teacher, and you have colleagues who do better than you in those areas. Ask help from them or observe what they do. You do not have to copy their styles totally, but you can incorporate the effective ones into your own strategies.
Leave a Legacy
Teaching is not only a noble profession. It is a vocation that has a big influence on the next generation. Therefore, once you are a teacher, make it a mission to help the country improve by instilling discipline, integrity, excellence, and passion into the lives of future leaders.
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