Not all teachers are the same, and it takes the right qualities to be a great one.
With teaching vacancies in the UK reaching over 70,000 throughout 2022, the highest number in over two decades, there’s never been a better time to apply yourself to a career in education.
However, it’s not the type of job to rush into, so it’s always worth knowing what it takes to be a good teacher. In the following guide, we’ll outline the top ten qualities of any teacher who makes a positive, lasting difference in the lives of the pupils they teach.
Table of Contents
Being an excellent teacher
If you’re planning on starting a teaching career, you need to be passionate about the job.
That’s the first hard and fast rule of working in this field: choosing to teach requires genuine, supportive intentions. Along with this, all teachers should have:
Strong communication skills
As a teacher, you’ll be communicating with children in many different scenarios – and many of them might not know how to say what they need to. You’ll need to be kind and understanding throughout every conversation.
Being responsible for multiple children at once is no easy task, so you’ll be required to show a calm, patient attitude.
Being respectful and having a friendly attitude is imperative to being a good teacher. Kindness is teachable and can make you feel stronger, and perpetually kind people even have 23% less cortisol than the average population. Kindness spreads, and schools are one of the places in which it matters most to show it.
For your pupils to feel valued and understood, they need you to truly listen to them. Show them how to listen by never interrupting, asking active questions, and listening attentively.
In order to be a memorable teacher, you need to bring something different to the table. Extensive research by global technology experts OKdo suggests that computing, for example,is one of the most valuable activities in the classroom.
Of those who brought coding into their classrooms, OKdo found that 65% of primary school teachers agreed that computing improves a child’s problem-solving ability, while 65% believed that creative thinking skills are also improved. 42% agreed that teamwork skills are developed through IT lessons, and a further 67% said that mathematical skills improve too.
A strong work ethic
As a teacher, the job will get tough from time to time. You’ll need to be able to persevere and stay focused, carrying a motivated, positive attitude to work regardless of challenges.
A large part of your work will be drafting lesson plans, sorting out timetables, writing feedback, and marking papers from your pupils. Keeping organised and being punctual is absolutely essential to succeeding as a teacher.
Your responsibility is to promote positive behaviours in the classroom. There’s no need to use harsh punishment or your own negative emotions against children – you need to be a role model, but still use authority.
Boundaries absolutely must be respected within the classroom. It’s always worth checking a guide to setting boundaries to keep up with the latest expectations.
Working around children can be unpredictable, so you’ll need to be ready for anything. With an adaptable approach to your work, you’ll excel as a teacher in any school.
We hope you’re feeling inspired to teach after reading this quick guide. If you have any tips or qualities of your own to add to the list, why not share them below?