Every teacher has a journey. Some teachers have always wanted to teach, back when they were just little boys and girls swinging on monkey bars. Others fell into teaching as a second career. That’s the lane I’d fit. I wasn’t always planning on being in education. To be honest, being in a classroom wasn’t anywhere close to my radar until life delivered me one huge bag of lemons and I was forced to make lemonade.
Fast-forward eight years, and entering the classroom was one of the best decisions I ever made. I’ve been able to inspire and motivate students around the world. Provision, consistency, and stability have been a constant for my family. I also have had the honor of working with tons of great kids, with a wide variety of needs and skills, and I wouldn’t change that for the world.
With that, my adventure as a teacher has allowed me to teach on two different continents, six different schools and alongside hundreds of amazing teachers. And as much as I have seen some beautiful teaching happening before students, I have also seen the other side of the picture and I think it is important for parents to really be aware of what makes a great teacher. So, here is a list of six attributes I believe all great teachers have!
1. Constant Learner
A teacher doesn’t just make it through college, enter the classroom, and have all the tools and knowledge for the rest of their career. No. A great teacher is constantly looking for other great ideas, collaborating with other teachers about best practices, and trying everything in the classroom to make it a success.
2. Compassionate Person
No great teacher is stiff, cold, and unwelcoming. Great teachers have a way to be warm and inviting for all students in their classroom.
3. Fun Educator
Kids want fun in their learning and great teachers get that. They get kids moving, collaborating with their peers. They are aware of various learning styles and let kids’ personalities blossom in the midst of the learning.
4. Student Caterer
Great teachers are aware of each of their student’s needs. Whether a kid is excelling and needs to be challenged or if a student needs a slower pace, a teacher’s awareness is key to help everyone in the classroom be successful.
5. Expectation Holder
High expectations are set at the beginning of the year and are maintained consistently. Great teachers push their kids, not only to be great scholars, but also to be excellent humans. They help mold respectful, kind and holistically well-rounded young men and women who are going to change the world one day.
6. Engaging Instructor
At the end of the day, information has to be given to students, whether they hate math or love writing. Great teachers know how to effectively deliver content every day, in ways that have students engaged and on the edge of their seats saying inside, “tell me more!”
Mind you, this list isn’t exhaustive, but I do believe that every great teacher exemplifies these qualities and more. And I am confident to say that I take pride in being a great teacher myself.