Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

An effective teacher fulfills his or her core responsibilities while maintaining the ability to affect change in students to the end of knowledge acquisition.

The profile of a highly effective teacher is distinctive and albeit rare.  It is difficult to find one who embodies all of the following  characteristics. While one may possess many of these attributes; one may find him or herself lacking in several areas. The fundamental component of being successful is seeking continual progress.

What is the profile of a highly effective teacher?

Effective teachers plan. A teacher never walks in the classroom empty handed and planning means preparedness.  In planning, the teacher focuses on a goal and strategizes for accomplishment. This generally includes devoting time to the development and alignment of tasks and objectives to meet identified goals.  However, the highly effective teacher understands that planning for personal development and reflection is quintessential and is as important as lesson planning.

Highly effective teachers organize and make organizing a priority. Organization creates efficiency and eliminates stress. Therefore, the master teacher works tirelessly to systemize rote activities and processes so that these do not interfere with the learning process.  One can quickly identify the highly organized teacher; as his or her classroom runs like a well-tuned machine.

Highly effective teachers listen more than talk.  Greater knowledge is garnered in the task of absorbing information as opposed to disseminating it. Listening to the end of improving one’s strategies and understanding one’s student base is one of the most effectual tools in the teacher’s possession. In listening he or she is able to evolve in his or her understanding of the process and students; and continuously perfect his or her craft.

 Highly effective teachers are lifelong learners. The world is ever evolving and one’s knowledge of the world must evolve as well.  There is always something to learn. The best teachers lead by example.  Committing oneself to frequently hone one’s skills and absorb information is a key trait of a highly effective teacher. Such a teacher is readily identifiable for he or she can be found openly engaging in the pursuit of knowledge especially from his or her students.

Highly effective teachers are more than instructors. Star teachers are leaders and mentors. They enter the classroom with the understanding that there is no perfect form of leadership or method of engaging and enlightening students. These teachers display varying forms of leadership in the classroom and work to guide students through the learning process.

Highly effective teachers are diverse in their approach. Education does not proscribe to  one size fits all formulas. The highly effective teacher differentiates instruction. He or she tailors instruction to the needs of the learners, and does not require that the learner adjusts to his or her methods.

 Lastly, the highly effective teacher is committed. He or she realizes that a teacher’s work is never done.  The heart of a genuine teacher is mired in the welfare and progress of his or her students and spans well beyond the classroom.