Positive Teaching

Teachers are role models and leaders that influence the thinking and behavior of many individuals. Teachers should be inspirational to their students. An instructional leader should possess traits that help foster critical thinking and individuality in his/ her students. To impart knowledge, a teacher must be patient, understanding and well-prepared. A good grasp of content. along with patience will help students’ accelerate on an individual level. Teachers often inspire students by linking subject matter to things that students experience in their daily lives.

There are other important traits for teachers to possess. A sense of responsibility is important on all levels in education. A teacher’s responsibilities include: planning appropriate and effective lessons, reviewing students’ work in a timely manner and responding to the individual needs of the students. Perhaps, a student needs to meet with the teacher in a small group (or individually) for clarification of a particular lesson. Another student made need extended time to complete an assignment due to a family emergency or tragedy. A responsible educator is flexible.

Students need feedback when learning so that they can proceed appropriately in understanding a subject. Hence, student papers should be returned in a timely manner. Corrections should be tempered so as not to thwart inspiration and motivation. Also, true educators should have excellent listening/observation skills and be able to discern when a student is struggling. Often students struggle in oral discourse and written work.

Examples are set in classrooms, daily. Teachers should be courteous and foster a sense of cooperation. (This should be prevalent in the classroom and amongst other staff members.) A teachers’ use of language is very important. Students intentionally or unintentionally model teacher language and behavior. The Bill Gates Foundation spearheaded a program called “Method of Effective Teaching”. This program taped teachers lessons throughout various cities in the US. (Teachers were paid for their involvement.)

An expert panel reviewed the tapes, discussed and rated the teachers. This program looked at what type of teaching methods were most effective.

Excellent teacher traits are numerous and the ones stated above just touch the surface. Teaching is a very serious profession.  Those who choose to enter the teaching profession must be mindful of its requirements. An effective teacher can have lasting effects on an individual’s growth. Modeling good character traits and fostering them amongst students is invaluable. Teachers who acquire good professional practices early in their careers reap benefits from them. Few things bring more joy than seeing a student’s face “light up” upon grasping new content. Planning effective lessons can be great fun, if approached correctly.

Reinforcing positive characters traits in a classroom environment is important. It builds on what is taught at home or offers a great alternative in the absence of positive home-based role models. Teaching is often tiring, yet it’s very rewarding. Excellent teacher traits take time to put in place, but there are no limits to the rewards for both teacher and student!