Every teacher hopes to be a great one but what, exactly, makes a great teacher in the first place? What are the specific skills, talents, and qualities that one should possess? Teaching is hard work, and not everyone is cut out for it. Unfortunately, some teachers never seem to progress past just being an okay teacher, but then there are those who have the passion, desire, and drive to create a challenging, enthusiastic, and nurturing environment for their students.
Great teachers aren’t born great teachers, but they consistently work hard to ensure their students success. While certain attributes can certainly make some people more of a natural fit for teaching, almost anyone can become great at teaching if they’re highly motivated to learn and work hard to achieve their goals.
1. Great Teachers are Respectful to Everyone
A great teacher is one who respects and value ideas, thoughts, and opinions from everyone in their class, as well as providing a safe and respectful environment where students will feel comfortable sharing and listening to each other.
2. Great Teachers are Skilled Communicators
A great teacher has excellent communication skills, so they can effectively convey knowledge to their students, ideally producing better results. A good teacher should also be able to notice when students aren’t fully understanding what was taught and make an effort to communicate with them individually.
3. Great Teachers are Friendly and Approachable
A great teacher is one who students will feel comfortable approaching because of their warm, enthusiastic, and caring demeanor. Students respond much better to adults that they feel they can trust and will be much more receptive to sharing any concerns they may have. Great teachers are also great listeners and students will pick up on which teachers they feel they can approach If they have a problem or need some extra help.
4. Great Teachers are Organized and Prepared
A great teacher should always come to work prepared and organized. It doesn’t matter how charismatic one is with students, if they don’t have a plan on what they’re going to teach, or don’t have materials ready to go, it will be very difficult to succeed. Great teachers spend a lot of time organizing, creating, and fine-tuning lesson plans, lectures, and assignments and are able to structure their days in a way that facilitates maximum engagement and participation.
5. Great Teachers Build a Sense of Community
A great teacher understands the importance of building a collaborative and supportive environment, which fosters the growth of healthy and mutually respectful relationships between students.
6. Great Teachers Set High Expectations
A great teacher has high expectations, but realistic goals for their students. This doesn’t mean that all students are held to the same expectations, but instead, realizing what each individual student is capable of achieving and striving to assist students to reach their full potential.
7. Great Teachers Have a Love of Learning
A great teacher has their own personal love of learning and that love for learning is what drives them to constantly seek out the very best lesson plans and materials, as well as developing the best strategies for teaching their students.
While teaching may come naturally for some, most have to work hard to become the type of educators that other people envy and admire. Becoming a great teacher is more than simply having a degree in early childhood education. It’s also having a positive attitude towards their students and their profession. If you're interested in a career as an Early Childhood Educator, contact us today to learn more about our accredited program.