What qualities do all great teachers have in common?

A teacher is perhaps one of the most underrated professions in the world. Everybody seems to underestimate how much impact a teacher can have on a student, from influencing how their classroom learning sculpts their personality to leaving nuggets of wisdom that the student might carry on for their whole life.

We often forget, in this world of increasing interest in flashier professions with higher pays and more luxurious lifestyles, that teachers are crucial, and perhaps what is even more essential are “great” teachers.

A Quick Summary:

  • There are a few qualities that only great teachers share. They are reflection, transformation, rigidity, fluidity, and passion.
  • Great teachers think back about how the classes went, whether positive or negative, and ponder how to improve them.
  • Great teachers are willing to bring change upon themselves as well, not just in their students.
  • Great teachers are strong enough to go through the difficult times.
  • Great teachers understand their students, and are passionate about their jobs. Otherwise, they would not be great at all.

There are a couple of qualities that many good teachers share. They conduct practical classes and are perhaps decently liked by their students. However, to be a great teacher, one requires more, and for that reason, there are not many great teachers among us. So, what do all great teachers have in common? Well, let us take a look.

Reflection

Nobody is perfect, and while students and parents expect teachers to do their job perfectly all the time, that does not always happen. There can be several reasons for this, and one common quality between great teachers is that they regularly reflect on their lessons and performance.

At the end of the day, they think about what worked in their classes. More importantly, though, they are also humble enough to know when certain things did not work and review those aspects to improve upon them.

Great teachers reflect on not just themselves, but also their students. They keep a keen eye on students’ abilities and improvements and continuously think of better ways to improve their students.

Transformation

It is not enough to reflect, though. Great teachers are also ready to employ transformation within themselves along with their students. They have this self-awareness that they are not perfect, and that just because their job involves mostly them educating a bunch of people who are way younger than them, it does not mean they get to be arrogant.

Teachers can easily forget a simple fact that they do not know everything and that even an 8-year-old can easily have something to teach to them. It tends to be too much for most teachers’ egos, which is something they need to get over.

Rigidity

The job of teaching can get challenging on some days. Those days will come when the kids are just too complicated, or the amount of work that you must complete only becomes way too much. Those are the days when this quality is necessary among great teachers. The first thing that takes a hit during those bad days is self- esteem.

Teachers will feel worthless and will think that they do not deserve to teach and be responsible for a child’s future if they cannot do a good job, or if they cannot fulfil their many responsibilities in a short amount of time. Also, sometimes, students, colleagues and higher-ups can act horribly and get on one’s nerves.

A teacher with low self-esteem will find it difficult to make it all the way through with their sanity intact. They need to have solidity and enough confidence in themselves to know that they can do it and that if they have not done a good job, they will need to improve.

Fluidity

On the other hand, fluidity is extremely important too. Teachers need to understand that it is not all about the rules. Many teachers have taught me during my learning days. Among those who have always garnered my respect are the ones who are not too rigid in the rules and exercise a fair amount of flexibility and understanding.

Great teachers understand when to let go of students a little bit. Understanding when a student is going through something that is a big deal to them, excusing the occasional mishaps, or forgoing punishment favouring a bit of explaining can go a long way. Teachers and parents tend to forget that school is just part of a student’s life.

These years are not only meant for studying, which would be a waste, to be honest. They are also meant for enjoying their innocence while they are young. They are for understanding friendship, brotherhood, sisterhood, and to a certain extent, even love. They are for experimenting and finding out what they like.

They need to realize that perhaps they enjoy sports, creativity, science, or anything by themselves without having their teachers or parents jamming them with personal preferences. A student’s life outside of school is crucial to their personal development, and great teachers thoroughly understand this.

Passion

Well, this is obvious. However, it is right in the end, so it deserves mention. This goes for any job, to be honest. The easiest way to be great at your job is to be passionate about it. Teachers who are passionate about teaching and improving students’ lives or their subjects are bound to put a 110% effort. They will go above and beyond.

Many teachers’ passion inspires even the most challenging students to work hard and achieve what they are truly capable of. Passion is not something to underestimate, and while it might seem like an easy ‘quality’ to put in here, it is something many of us often forget; and often need to remember.

Conclusion: Teachers are overlooked, good teachers are underrated, and great teachers are way underappreciated. For any aspiring teachers, do not worry that you do not already possess the qualities mentioned above. We can make great teachers, and build great qualities with practice and dedication. If you are truly a great teacher, you will try your best to help your students out and will garner these qualities and more!

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This article was originally published on February 10, 2021 and was last updated on February 23, 2021.

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