What Makes A Good Teacher? Personality & Qualities of Good Teachers

Teaching is one of the respectable jobs globally, and the qualities of an excellent teacher are beyond classroom learning. New doors of fantastic opportunities open for students through the teaching profession.

A teacher’s role is crucial as they not only train the students academically but also impart different values like:

  • positive attitude
  • confidence
  • and self-awareness in a child.

While their lives can be a roller coaster ride as they deal with human emotions more than machines, every teacher cherishes the feeling that comes from inspiring others, and their life differs throughout the countries and schools. 

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Mostly, a teacher’s day starts with tending to the child’s needs and giving them the subject knowledge, and they spend their free time checking notebooks, assignments, and worksheets of their students.

It’s a regular job for teachers to collect resources and prepare for the next day after school. They are the most hard-working humans who work day in and day out yet are underpaid or unappreciated for their work.

Here are few statistics that give an insight into the overall teaching profession:

  • Teachers work more than 400 hours of overtime in a year and an average of around 50 hours a week.

  • About 30% of the teachers have a second job as they cannot afford to meet their expenses with their primary school salary.

  • Statistics state that teachers spend around $500 per year of their own money on school and classroom supplies.

What Makes A Good Teacher?

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When I was a child, I thought that the teachers’ role is to educate their students. It was when I stepped into adulthood that my bubble burst finally. I realized that their part is more than educating pupils. Friend, philosopher, and guide- a mentor plays all these roles daily to leave an example and a lasting impression in students’ minds.

Giving value is one of the teacher’s outstanding qualities as their primary job is to spend days grooming and imparting knowledge to the students.

However, a teacher has to learn and improve themselves regularly to do excellent in their field. It is when they are willing to learn from others and their students, do it truly make them worthy of the title to be called a “teacher.”

Professional and personal development is vital to becoming a phenomenal teacher.

These skills promote global acknowledgment to the teachers: 

  • Qualification
  • Aptitude

Essential Professional Characters To Become A Teacher

1. Qualifications

Qualifications are an integral part of the teaching profession as it determines how qualified a person is in raising students.

While some schools and universities focus on hiring teachers with adequate field experience and a masters’ degree to ensure their institute provides the best quality education to the students, but qualifications can vary as per your subject. 

2. Degrees And Exams To Clear

Depending on the country you live in, there are standard requirements to gain eligibility to become a teacher.

For instance, in the UK, the minimum criteria are to gain a BA or B.Sc with a QTS (Qualified Teacher Status). The QTS is similar to the initial teacher training course in India, which qualifies teachers to pursue teaching careers.

In the US, the process of becoming a qualified teacher is almost similar to other countries.

Below are the general steps involved to become a teacher:

  • Complete a Bachelor’s Degree in the designated subject.
  • Undergo relevant teacher training programs (similar to QTS in the UK).
  • Gain work experience by serving as an intern teacher.
  • Pass teacher certification exams.
  • Apply for State Licence.

3. Aptitude

Apart from educational qualifications, schools also look for abilities or skills. If a teacher has an innate love for teaching and her subject, she will effectively connect and communicate with the students and foster their growth and development.

However, qualifications alone are not enough to become a teacher, as one also needs to have aptitude skills.

A lack of aptitude skills can put an unseen burden on a person irrespective of their expertise level.

For example, if a teacher fails to convey their thoughts and knowledge to others precisely, the knowledge is of no use in such a case.

What are the courses working teaching professionals can take?

  • English courses for teachers who don’t speak native English.
  • Writing professional emails in English.
  • Courses on Social and Emotional Learning.

11 Personality Traits & Qualities Good Teachers Have

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There’s an infinite number of qualities that schoolteachers can have, but since that’s not possible at once, we have listed the top characteristics that a mentor must work on. No one is born with these qualities as you have to regularly work on these characteristics and show commitment towards yourself if you want to be the best in your profession. 

1. Good Teachers Keep Updating Themselves

Do you use the same mobile as ten years ago? No, right? Like we have witnessed a significant change in the world of technology over the decades, it’s the same with the global education system. 

A great teacher is a great learner who can learn along with their students. Since we are continually evolving with time, there’s a need for changing methods in the teaching profession that is at par with the current technologies. 

A survey from the University of the Phoenix College of Education concluded that classroom tech usage has gone up to 55% since 2016.

Hence, we can safely say that educating yourself with the technology and its utilization in the educational sector will only turn you into an excellent teacher who is up to date with the latest news happenings in the world and new gadgets.

Educators can keep themselves updated with new trends in technologies by:

  • Being active on social media sites is a constructive way to gain information about trends.
  • They enroll themselves in computer application classes to learn about the usage and benefits of computers in classroom learning.
  • Networking with people who are in the ed-tech sectors.

2. They Take Risks And Explore

Taking risks and coming out of their comfort zone-  these two principles set excellent teachers apart from the others. When we talk about taking risks, it means implementing new learning methods so that your students are always captivated. 

If you take a moment and think, you’ll realize that students are more attentive when taught with an artistic approach, as it’s easier to remember stories and experiences more than book knowledge.

For example, you are teaching mathematic formulae through a song. Yes, teaching can get boring and monotonous, especially if the approach is rigid and systematic. But, when you do it in your way, it doesn’t only make learning a fun activity, but your students will be curious to know and learn more.

How to make learning fun for your student?

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  • Learning by doing is a fun way to supply knowledge practically as theoretical-based information majorly works only in rote learning. For example, you can teach students to find their average grades while they learn mathematics.
  • Include games and fun activities in your lesson plan.
  • Teaching through storytelling because a lot of students find the methodical approach quite dull and monotonous. Stories enhance the quality of the whole learning process as there’s a presence of emotions, characters, events, etc. 
  • Including illustrative matter items for learning, such as innovative presentations and short films, makes learning more comfortable.

3. They Listen To Your Students

Have you ever observed how a child reacts when you don’t listen to what they have to say? If not, they will likely build a wall around them or become someone challenging to deal with. As a result, it takes a toll on their personality development. 

As per research, 88% of people believe that teachers have had positive impacts on their lives.

Being attentive and focused on each student individually is what makes a teacher outstanding in their profession. While talking is mostly one way in classroom learning, you can easily connect to students once you start making time for them.

Here are a few tips to effectively listen and communicate with students:

  • Asking questions about what they are saying as little kids might feel confused and low in confidence sometimes. 
  • Helping them express themselves as your students must figure out things independently.
  • Actively listen to your students as it encourages mindful thinking, which aids anxiety and depression in them. 

4. Good Teachers Can Handle And Deal Special Kids

An excellent teacher knows how to handle special kids. Students with physical disabilities need more attention, care, and patience as they have difficulty speaking, writing, and listening. 

You can work with special schools in your local area. Working together with special schools provides you with insights and ideas to keep in mind while dealing with special kids.

Teachers Training for Inclusive Learning

  • Pre-service Training: This is a type of training that takes place before a teacher commences their job. This training aims to help the teachers gain experience and develop skills in handling kids from different backgrounds.
  • In-service Training: This training is for those already in the teaching profession and is majorly conducted by teachers from different schools.
  • Distance Learning: Through this learning, a teacher can learn from anywhere irrespective of geographical limitations. It is a feasible way of learning for working professionals. Study materials like soft copies of notes, podcasts, and CDs are given to the teacher for study purposes.

How to address students with special needs during Covid-19?

  • Record lectures and email them to students with special needs.
  • Transcribe your lectures and read them to them using a reader. 

5. Good Teachers Work As A Team

In the teaching profession, there’s no room for “I,” as it’s your colleagues’ collective efforts that make the school a better place for the students.

Therefore, a great teacher is also an outstanding team player and coordinates and cooperates with others whenever needed.

How to work as a team?

  • Steer clear of cheap politics.
  • Refrain from unwanted gossips.
  • Help your colleague whenever in need.
  • Do not envy or compare yourself with others.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and contribute your talents to a student’s betterment. 

6. Good Teachers Revaluate And Reflect

Being a teacher doesn’t make you any less human. And as humans, it is imperative to do some self-reflection now and then. To be an excellent teacher, you always have to be ready to reflect and evaluate what you do in the class and in your free time.

Usually, it can happen that when a teacher enters the class, they speak while being on autopilot mode until the school bell rings, and then leave. This is a vicious cycle that keeps going on and on until the teacher retires. But does taking such a shortcut help them in any way to improve? No.

Rather than doing that, a good teacher who revaluates and reflects ensures they are doing the following things.

  • Ask for feedback from your students and co-teachers.
  • Reflect on what you teach and how you teach it.
  • Monitor your teaching style, blackboard work, voice throw, and movements in the classroom with the help of another co-teacher, a student, or maybe a camera recording.
  • Take a self-assessment test to get to know your positives and negatives and better yourself.

7. Good Teachers Are Firm And Planned

Planning the day makes it easier for a person to stick to their task and not do everything at once. For a teacher, preparation and planning are of utmost importance. At the start of each day, they should make a systematic plan to create a goal they wish to achieve.

Planning to be a good teacher begins with:

  • defining your aim and objective,
  • understanding what you want your students to learn from the lesson,
  • and preparing to teach accordingly.

If you’re a teacher, ensuring the usage of various teaching aids is a rational way to meet all types of learners’ needs while preparing lessons. Planning helps in visualizing and forecasting the future and stay prepared for various situations. 

8. They Practice Self-Care

A teacher dedicates their time mostly looking after their students. They give their all by putting students’ needs as a top priority. And because of this, it gets challenging to take care of themselves because of work, family, and emotional pressure.

Research surrounding the mental health and wellbeing of teachers shows that one in every 20 teachers suffers from mental health issues that last more than a year.

Moreover, continuously speaking loudly in front of a class harms the vocal cord too. This is where a teacher needs to draw a line and give priority to their overall well-being. 

Taking care of yourself, stopping yourself from straining out too much, and knowing when to stop- by doing all these, you can become mentally and physically healthy and pay attention to students.

Self-Care Tips For Teachers 

  • Prepare a list of things that feed your mind, body, and soul.
  • Practice gratitude and teach your students the benefits of daily gratitude.
  • Get a minimum of 8hours of sleep regularly.
  • Play fun activities with your students once a week.
  • Conduct a meditation session with students.
  • Spend time in nature.

9. They Show A Positive & Friendly Attitude

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Have you ever noticed that we humans like to surround ourselves with people who exude a positive vibe? And why wouldn’t we? After all, having a positive attitude makes a person feel good about themselves and acts as a motivating tool.

One of the teaching qualities that makes an outstanding teacher is maintaining a positive attitude, whether in the classroom or outside.

A mentor with a positive attitude towards everything always radiates energy to uplift and empower students to perform better academically and in the real world.

To exude good vibes around you, you need to read, write, and speak positive things.

There will be days where students may act undisciplined or when you may feel unable to communicate with them properly. There will be days where you may not feel appreciated for all the things you do. Having a positive attitude will help you sail through such times with ease.

Strategies that promote a positive mindset are:

  • listening to music,
  • going on a weekend getaway,
  • spending time with loved ones,
  • enrolling in a weekend dance class.

10. They Find A Good Mentor

Just because you’re a mentor doesn’t mean you don’t need one for yourself. Sometimes, you may not achieve all your goals on your own and may get stuck or feel lost in the process. At such times, it’s best to find a good mentor and seek help from them.

A good mentor can turn an ordinary teacher into an excellent teacher.

Having a mentor means there is someone who will supervise and provide you with suggestions to improve yourself. A mentor can be anyone, be it your principal, a co-teacher, or a senior/retired teacher, but what matters is that he/she should be able to guide you in the right direction.

Mentors can help new teachers in many ways and contribute to their career growth. It’s best to look out for a mentor who has undergone various kinds of experiences in their teaching years.

11. They Have A Sense Of Humor

And now, the last for the best. Imagine if you were to sit in a room with a teacher who has a stern and stoic aura. Yeah, that would be dreadfully boring.

Having a sense of humor is probably one of the outstanding qualities to become an excellent teacher.

John Henrik Clarke says, “A good teacher, like a good entertainer, first must hold his audience’s attention; then he can teach his lesson.”

No matter what subject you teach, your classroom should come to life through your words, actions, and creativity.  You can try doing it by teaching topics in the syllabus with a touch of humor and more real-time examples.

Moreover, a classroom with a happy vibe makes students want to be there every time and enjoy study activities. So yeah, maybe crack a good joke to hold their attention while teaching them.

What Are The Common Interview Questions For Teachers?

Now that you know about all the top must-have qualities, you need to put them into action. Did I mention that inculcating these qualities can even help you crack some common interview questions, specifically for teachers?

Keep reading on to know more about some of the basic interview questions you can encounter in the teaching field.

Interview Question: Why do you want to be in the teaching field?

The interviewer might ask you this question to understand how dedicated and committed you are to teach. Every teacher is different, and so is their reason to be in this field. Hence, feel free to give your reasons. But make sure that your answer convinces well enough to the person asking this question. 

Interview Question: Why do you think you’re a good fit for this role? 

When you answer this question, make sure to reveal your past experiences of being an educator and, if possible, showcase the awards you might have been rewarded for performing as the best teacher in the previous school. Also, do not fret away from telling them the qualities you have as a teacher and how you can help the institution better in their learning process. 

Interview Question: What do you think a student looks out for in a teacher?

This is a question that you can be asked as it allows the other person to understand that if you’re aware of a student’s needs. It can be both emotional and academic needs. A straightforward way to answer this question is to explain why specific qualities are essential and benefit students. 

For instance, having compassion and empathy as qualities can help you deal with students who do not fit the book definition of “Good Students.”

Concluding Thoughts,

An excellent teacher can be an invaluable possession for their students. But to be that, the teacher will always have to strive to be a better version of themselves. Despite the profession of a teacher looking tedious, they indeed are a gem for their students. And we hope you become a teacher your students talk great things about in the future as a distant memory.

To conclude, in the words of Joyce Meyer, “Teachers can change lives with just the right mix of chalk and challenges.”

How do you handle your class? What are your ways to become a better teacher? Let us know in the comments section. You can stay tuned for our updates by subscribing to us.

Key Takeaways On What Makes A Good Teacher

  • Teaching is one of the best jobs globally as it opens doors to new opportunities for students.
  • An excellent teacher trains the students academically and imparts values like a positive attitude, confidence, and self-awareness.
  • On average, a teacher works for around 50hrs/week and 400 hours of overtime in a year.
  • You need to fall in love with constant learning and make space for improvement to become a great teacher.
  • Keeping yourself updated with the changing curriculum and technology is a vital aspect of a good mentor.
  • Always take risks and implement new ways of learning to make it fun for the students.
  • Listen to your student’s needs and ideas as it impacts their lives in a better way.
  • Plan your day as it saves your time and energy.
  • Most importantly, indulge in self-care regularly, as teaching can be a hectic profession.

What is a good teacher like? 

A good teacher is empathetic, compassionate, and easily approachable to the students and the people around them. A great teacher always ensures that they are meeting the needs of each student.

What are the personal and professional qualities of a teacher?

These are some of the standard personal and professional qualities of a teacher:

  • Great listening skills.
  • Easily approachable.
  • Dedicated and committed to students.
  • Have a positive attitude.
  • Great sense of humor.

What are some common interview questions for teachers?

You can expect the following questions whenever going for an interview:

  • Why do you want to be in the teaching field?
  • What do you think a student looks out for in a teacher?
  • Why do you think you’re a good fit for this role?

What makes an excellent online teacher? 

Since Covid-19 has hit the world, schools and other educational institutions have turned to e-learning.

Hence, a good teacher or mentor is familiar with the software and tools required for online learning. In short, she/he should be well versed with the technologies and tools and must show patience towards their students.

Is being a teacher worth it?

Being a teacher is not an easy task as you are taking the responsibility of changing your students’ lives. However, teaching is a profession that allows you to learn new things about yourself, too, along with your students. So, it’s worth it in the end.

What are the signs you should be a teacher?

There can be many signs as different people are in this profession for various reasons. But to sum it in short, if you’re someone who loves children, learning and wants to change the lives of other people, you need to give a shot at it.

Felicia is a full-time teacher and a freelancer with an interest in blogging. She is also a die-hard fan of the 'Friends' series.