What Makes an Effective Teacher

Teaching is one of the world’s most challenging occupations. An effective teacher must be a good communicator, a fair evaluator, an adept manager, a strict disciplinarian and even a surrogate parent. Only by wearing all of these hats will the teacher be able to elicit the best from his or her students.

Effective Teachers Possess Confidence

Teachers who believe in themselves will accomplish a lot in the classroom. Not taking things personally or getting flustered when problems arise are core characteristics of effective teachers. The students will know who is in charge and the teacher will know what material to cover and how to teach it.

Effective Teachers Will Have a Sense of Humor

If it’s used properly, humor can be a powerful ingredient in every lesson. It can ease frustration that the teacher and/or student may be experiencing at that moment. Effective teachers don’t need to be clowns and will be dead serious when necessary.

A Depth of Knowledge About the Subject

Effective teachers will not only know about what they teach, they will be passionate about it. They have an energy that almost makes them glow and they tackle each lesson with a sense of challenge, rather than routine. If he or she doesn’t love the subject, how can the students learn to do the same? Students might think a math teacher who talks about fractions with a look usually reserved for a football match is crazy, but eventually the enthusiasm will be contagious.

Good Communication Skills

This is a vital skill for anyone who has a teaching job. A lack of communication will mean the students will not understand key concepts. They could interpret them incorrectly, which is just as bad if not worse. Effective teachers are always effective communicators. They can take something that is complex and present it in a way that can be easily absorbed by the students.  

Having a Connection with the Students

A teacher who walks into the classroom and reads from a book for an hour isn’t an effective teacher. A good teacher will strike the right chord with his/her students and have a sixth sense about those who need more help. He or she must feel the pulse of a classroom and modify the teaching methods to maintain a high level of interest, no matter what the subject is.

The Importance of Humility

Every once in a while a teacher can learn a thing or two from the students. A teacher who, when in doubt, admits his or her lack of expertise about the subject and is open to reverse learning will earn the respect of the students. In contrast, a teacher with a know it all attitude can give lots of knowledge, but will not be a popular teacher. Good teachers are always students from within.

Common Sense

Knowing what works and what doesn’t, the ability to manage a classroom and dealing with school policies and curriculum issues takes common sense. Good teachers need to be practical.

Effective Teachers Do Not Discriminate

A good teacher will never play favourites and operate with double standards. He or she will never show preference for students just because they are doing better in the class, or because they have a certain social status.

Flexibility

Every day will be different so teachers should be flexible to reduce stress. By adopting this approach, the teachers can instruct the students how take control of situations in life.

Bertrand Russell said, “No man can be a good teacher unless he has feelings of warm affection toward his pupils and a genuine desire to impart to them what he believes to be of value.”