Teachers have the important and difficult task of educating our children. And a question that has been asked time and again is what makes a great teacher. At Prospero Teaching we are tasked with finding qualified and dedicated teachers for our schools. In our interactions with our teachers we have found that there are certain aspects and teaching methods that go towards making them inspiring, great teachers.
A great teacher always sets high expectations for all their students. No student is singled out and given preference or left out. Each student is required to work towards these expectations and meet them.
Setting expectations needs to go hand in hand with communicating clear objectives. Great teachers always make it a point to let their students know what they will be learning, how they will be tested and how they will be assessed. The students are given the chance to understand requirements and are consistently given constructive criticism.
Showing enthusiasm, being warm and caring and always being there for their students, are found to be characteristics of a great teacher. They are able to form strong relationships with their students and are able to demonstrate that they care about them as people. Teachers with these qualities are known to make themselves available to students and show a commitment towards their student’s learning.
Student engagement is important to their learning. Engagement means that the students are actively involved, interested and inspired. A great teacher uses various means to ensure that each student participates equally. They develop lessons, projects and deliver them creatively through means like multimedia, social media etc. that stimulate the student’s curiosity. A great teacher encourages positive behaviour and provides consistent feedback.
Subject knowledge is required of every teacher but great teachers show expertise in their subject. They spend time to continue their own learning and gain new knowledge in their field. By showing their own continued quest for improving their knowledge they encourage their students to do the same.
Teachers expect their students to respect them because of who they are and what they do. But a great teacher respects their students and earns their respect in turn.
In every aspect of their interaction with their students, a great teacher behaves professionally. This includes behaving politely, dressing professionally, showing civility and not using bad language. They understand and accept themselves to be role models and behave accordingly.
Probably one of the most important characteristic of a great teacher is they are patient. They know that they are dealing with students who are individual and different. They try to understand each student and their abilities and help them succeed in learning. This doesn’t mean that they let their students get away with things but instead allows them to not give up too soon on students who may be a bit of challenge.
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