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10 Qualities of a Good Teacher

An educator exhibiting the qualities of a good leader while he helps a student on her laptop.

A good teacher can make a world of difference in a student's life, impacting everything from their classroom learning to their long-term success. If you're considering a career in education – or looking to boost it with a Master of Education  (MEd) – it's important to explore the qualities of a good teacher.

Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that good teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to student achievement in the classroom, more important than facilities, school resources and even school leadership.

A study from the American Economics Association (AEA) found that improvements in teacher quality positively impact everything from the quality of colleges students attend to students’ future salaries, the quality of their neighborhood and even their future participation rates in 401k savings plans ( AEA PDF source ).

So, What Makes a Good Teacher?

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) education faculty and university students shared their thoughts on the qualities that make effective teachers stand out.

1. Good Teachers Are Strong Communicators.

Dr. Daniel Tanguay with the text Dr. Daniel Tanguay

Tanguay got his start as a high school math teacher and said that many students came to his class feeling afraid of math, discouraged by their prior experiences and too overwhelmed to approach the subject positively. 

By communicating with students at the beginning of the year about how math applies to their favorite hobbies, sports and future careers, Tanguay said his students were able to approach the subject in a more enjoyable way that better supported their learning.

“I’m a firm believer in communication in all forms,” he said. “As a leader, communication is a tool for overcoming fear.”

2. Good Teachers Listen Well.

Kristine Ducote with the text Kristine Ducote

Great communication doesn't stop when the teacher is done talking. Listening well is one of the most important skills needed to be a teacher. 

“Teachers that are skilled in listening and observing often pick up on what isn’t being said, such as any anxieties a student may have, and can then help the student build their skills and confidence levels," said student  Kristine Ducote , who is earning her bachelor's in criminal justice .

Student Latricia Maddox , who is studying for a bachelor's in business , said that effective listening skills also help a teacher better understand their students and tailor lessons to reach them how they learn best. 

“If an educator can truly hear a student, they can learn how to reach them where they are,” she said. “This will open the door for them to receive and learn the lesson that is being taught.”

3. Good Teachers Focus on Collaboration.

Latricia Maddox with the text Latricia Maddox

Working in education means you’re never truly working alone. From paraprofessionals and teaching assistants to other classroom teachers and school leaders, working as a teacher often means working effectively in a group. It's also important to keep an open mind and learn from other educators. 

The key to success in this kind of environment, Tanguay said, is the ability to collaborate. "You really need to be able to fill various roles in order to collaborate effectively," he said. "If you already have someone on your team who is going to be the one to critique all of the suggestions made, then you don't need to join in on that. Instead, maybe you need to be the person who is going to come up with creative ideas. You need to have that flexibility."

4. Good Teachers Are Adaptable.

Dr. Audrey Rogers with the text Dr. Audrey Rogers

Effective teachers need to be able to work in a constantly evolving environment and adjust their teaching methods based on the age of their students, the resources available and changing curriculum, practices and requirements.

As a teacher since the 1980s, SNHU education professor and on campus undergraduate program chairman Dr. Audrey Rogers said she’s seen tremendous changes in the education field throughout her career, particularly with the rise in access to the internet, computers and other technology. What is teaching going to look like in another 30 years? The only thing certain, Rogers said, is change.

“Change is a constant,” she said. “Learning how to adapt and adjust, that’s been one of the skills that’s been most helpful in my career. It’s about keeping my finger on the pulse of who my students are over time and all the trends, standards and new research, and being able to continually improve.”

Adaptability is also one of the key skills needed to be a teacher who may be educating students of varying grade levels or different learning styles, Tanguay said. 

“You have to be able to adapt based upon your audience,” he said. 

5. Good Teachers Are Engaging.

Being able to engage students with humor, creative lessons and a strong classroom presence is an important part of what makes someone a good teacher, Tanguay said. 

“If you were to envision that teacher that you would want in your life, even now, you’re going to want someone who is very engaging in front of the classroom,” he said. “A good teacher will perform for their students to keep them going... It’s not about sitting back and just lecturing, it’s about engaging in the work.”

What an engaging teacher looks like will vary depending on grade level and subject matter, Tanguay said. 

In kindergarten, an engaging teacher might be one who gets down on the floor to do activities with their students on their level. In high school, an engaging teacher may be one who thinks outside the box, adds humor to their lessons and finds creative ways to bring learning into the real world.

6. Good Teachers Show Empathy.

Another key to engaging students and improving their learning is to treat each student as an individual, by being empathetic and understanding to what may be going on in their lives, Tanguay said. 

“We need to take a moment to think back and think about what could be going on in this student’s life,” he said. “It’s so important to be observant, attentive, empathetic and always have a positive attitude.” 

Rhonda Garrison with the text Rhonda Garrison

“Something that may be easy for one student may not be so easy for someone else,” she said. “Everyone learns differently, whether it be faster or slower than normal, learns better by writing, reading or hands-on. Teachers need to always keep this in mind and always pay close attention to ensure each student is on the track they need to be.”

7. Good Teachers Have Patience.

No matter what grade level you're teaching, your patience will be tested while working as an educator.  

Whether you’re managing classroom behavior, working with colleagues with different views, or communicating student issues or progress with parents, patience is one of the most important skills to practice as a teacher. 

“More often than not you actually have to have more patience with the parents than you do with the students,” Tanguay said. “Parents are coming in with their perceptions of what happened to them when they were students or previous experiences that may have been detrimental to their child... You have to be patient and understanding of them.”

8. Good Teachers Value Real-World Learning.

Teachers who bring their students’ learning into the real world are often some of the most engaging. But it’s important for teachers to bring their own learning into the real world, too.

One of the best preparations for effective teaching is to ensure that education students get plenty of classroom experience early on in their degree programs, Rogers said.

For education majors  in SNHU's on campus program, this preparation includes embedded coursework that begins in a student's freshmen year. They spend time at a local school once a week to collaborate with teacher partners and apply their learning to the classroom. A year-long student teaching experience is also a powerful way to ensure soon-to-be teachers have the time to hone their teaching skills, Rogers said.

"Our students have that benefit of seeing the practical application (of) what they're learning in the moment they're learning it," she said.

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9. good teachers share best practices..

A willingness to share knowledge and experiences with others is one of the most important qualities of a good teacher, Rogers said. 

Education is a hands-on field and often requires experimentation within the classroom to discover which methods of communicating with students work best. Part of being an effective teacher is sharing your findings and best practices with others in the field, Rogers said.

“I always challenge my students to think, ‘What is your contribution?’” she said. “Are you brave enough to post on Twitter about your ideas on technology integration in the classroom? Your willingness to share your practice, to keep an open door, to be transparent and to be observed are an important part of your teaching.”

10. Good Teachers Are Lifelong Learners.

One of the key skills needed to be a good teacher is a dedication to continued education and a love of learning. 

Jennifer Gardner with the text Jennifer Gardner

Whether you’re learning more about your subject area, learning new methods of communication or even exploring how to bring more technology into your classroom, continuing to expand your own knowledge is key to expanding that of your students.

“Those dedicated to their subjects with a passion for learning make the best teachers," said student Jennifer Gardner , who is earning a bachelor's in mathematics . “They also need to have a desire to pass on that knowledge.” 

Ducote said it’s important for teachers to never feel as though they’ve learned it all, and to remain open to new experiences.

“No matter your education level, you can learn something from everyone you encounter, including fellow educators as well as students,” she said. “Being willing to continually add tools to your toolbox – even unconventional ones at times – will keep things new and exciting, as well as giving you excellent skills.”

Learn the Characteristics of Effective Teaching

Donna Whisman with the text Donna Whisman

If you’re interested in starting a career in education, it’s important to first focus on your own learning. Whether you’re seeking a bachelor's degree in education, an education master’s degree or even a Doctor of Education  (EdD), building a strong foundation of knowledge and real-world experiences is key to becoming a good teacher.

No matter where your career path takes you – whether to an elementary school, secondary school or even to the university level – your teaching can have a profound impact on the lives of students, and your education is the foundation for that work.

“Teachers make such a huge impact on their students’ lives,” said student Donna Whisman , who is earning her bachelor's in communication . “I believe that being a teacher is a very special gift, and those that have that gift make a positive, lasting impression on the lives of their students that can totally change the trajectory of their lives.”

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn .

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About southern new hampshire university.

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SNHU is a nonprofit, accredited university with a mission to make high-quality education more accessible and affordable for everyone.

Founded in 1932, and online since 1995, we’ve helped countless students reach their goals with flexible, career-focused programs . Our 300-acre campus in Manchester, NH is home to over 3,000 students, and we serve over 135,000 students online. Visit our about SNHU  page to learn more about our mission, accreditations, leadership team, national recognitions and awards.

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The Most Important Qualities That Make a Good Teacher

July 30, 2023

Teachers significantly impact the lives of their learners. They challenge their students to confidently think outside the box and counter new challenges. 

A good teacher will also support their learners when they take in new challenges and fail. They build their confidence to try again, inspire creativity, and encourage exploration and competition. 

Teaching is not a job but a calling. It is, therefore, crucial to acquire and perfect the required skills to efficiently inspire and grow students in their classrooms. 

Good teachers model behaviors of patience, empathy, communication, and understanding. Qualities that they can help grow in their learners. 

In this article, we discuss ten qualities of good teachers that should serve as motivation if you hope to impact the lives of your learners positively. 

teacher teaching her class

The Value of a Teacher’s Role

A teacher’s role is essential not only in the education system but also later on in the lives of their students. 

You can make a difference in your student’s life by influencing everything, from educational goals to after-school success. 

Good teachers help their students reach more success, understand themselves better, and make well-thought decisions that will help them make the right choices to propel them to greater heights in life. 

To be good at your job as a teacher, you must love it. Passion is infectious; your students will feel passionate about the subject if you are passionate about it. 

Also, you can cultivate self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth in your learners in your daily interactions. 

Your interactions with your students also guide them into laying the foundation for meaningful relationships, understanding their feelings, and navigating challenging situations. 

10 Qualities of a Good Teacher

Outstanding teachers have certain qualities that make them rise above the rest of their student’s lives. Such teachers have a way of remaining in our memories no matter how far removed from our school years. 

Studies from the Economic Policy Institute show that good teachers contribute more to student achievement than learning facilities and school leadership. 

Here are our top ten qualities that make a good teacher:

1. Great communicators

When you possess excellent communication skills, you will know how to teach your subject in a learner-friendly and engaging way. 

This will, in turn, improve their understanding and achievement as it will bring you closer to them and help them present any concerns they may have regarding any learned content. 

For instance, a finance class will be easier to understand if the teacher uses everyday examples with which the students are familiar. 

2. Experts in their field

Your students will be motivated to learn if you are an expert in your field. If you love your teaching area, you will show that expertise in the classroom. 

Once you have mastered the content in your subject area, you can use different angles to explain the subject matter; hence be very resourceful when teaching. 

For instance, a math teacher can use the rows and columns in the class to enhance understanding of matrices. 

3. Collaboration

Collaboration in teaching creates a growth-based learning environment that increases student learning processes.

You should work closely with other teachers and your students if you aim for great results. 

Collaborating with other teachers helps you learn from each other, allowing you to brainstorm new ideas. This is significant in improving learner outcomes. 

A good teacher is also interested in learning from parents about their students. This equips you with an understanding of how to help your students better.

Empathy is how you understand your learner’s emotional, social, and intellectual situations. A good teacher can respond empathetically to a learner’s admirable and ugly emotions without losing focus on student learning. 

For instance, if your best student failed a test. Your first instinct might be to reprimand them and for an explanation for their poor performance. On the other hand, consider putting yourself in their situation, imagine how they are feeling, and empathize with them. 

Seek to understand how they feel about the dismal performance, what they think they did wrong, and then suggest ways to improve the result. Assure them that they have a chance to turn things around. 

When your learners feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe, they will engage better in your subject as they feel loved and understood. 

You can grow your empathetic touch by reading books on such, taking courses on empathy, and attending seminars that build on this. 

5. Loving challenges

A great teacher loves challenges. A classroom environment is full of varied challenges; therefore, embracing them is a sure way to manage them. 

Once you love your challenges, you will teach your learners more effectively. This is because a teacher who loves challenges will grow to challenge students. Students love challenges, provided they are presented in a kind spirit. 

You can draw your students to love challenges by asking thought-provoking questions that get learners to think about sequencing and predictions. 

Challenging them will push them to work harder, improve, and achieve beyond their imagination. 

6. Creativity

Although not all subject areas promote creativity, they can all be taught creatively. 

For instance, a biology teacher teaching about different kinds of plants would take students to the natural habitat to exploit the topic practically. Also, a literature teacher would more creatively use film to enhance the mental correlation of a play the learners are reading as a literary text. 

A science teacher would use real solutions more creatively when teaching learners to test for bases and acids. Learners always appreciate the extra mile. 

When you creatively motivate your learners, they are motivated to do this in education and their lives after school. 

7. Constant growth 

Teachers need a growth mindset that prepares them for the classroom environment. Continuous learning will equip you with invaluable knowledge to progressively inspire your students. The growth mindset is essential because it will enable you to collaborate with your learners with the understanding that they can learn it to a higher level. 

A view that continuous growth is essential will create a love of learning and resilience in just one area. It empowers your learners to believe they can develop their abilities with brains and talents as starting points. 

The need for growth will motivate you to focus on creativity and intelligence, the two factors that result in success in both your academic and professional lives. 

8. Patience

When managing learners, your patience is constantly tested. You will also deal with learners, parents, and colleagues with differing perspectives, backgrounds, and characters. This requires patience. 

For instance, with your learners and their parents, you must be patient in repeatedly dealing with the same questions and issues.

Also, some of your learners will have difficulties understanding various concepts; it’s essential that you keep going but should continuously try out new ways of helping them succeed. 

9. Adaptability

Your environment as a teacher is constantly evolving. This demands that you continually adapt to the constant changes and adjust your teaching methods to suit the age and intellect of your learners. 

Also, with the continuously changing educational frameworks, being able to adopt those changes makes you a good teacher. 

Adaptability is also one of the essential skills that you will require if you are educating learners of varying grade levels or those with different learning styles. 

10. Respect

Many educators imply respect, but few understand how to use it in the classroom. 

As a good teacher, you must be mindful of any imbalance in respect and ensure that your students feel respected and heard. 

In stories from American Teacher Week , Maggie remembers her seventh-grade language teacher for the respect she fostered and reflected on her students. The feeling that her teacher valued and respected each of them taught her a valuable lesson about the significance of fostering the respect you demand.

students and teacher planning

Desired Classroom Skills

Besides the teaching and communication skills you should possess as a good teacher, excellent class management skills are critical.  

Some of the desired class management skills include:

  • Setting high but achievable expectations for your students – You can do this by teaching them about growth mindsets. They should believe that success is within their control. Reinforce in them daily that they can succeed if they put in the effort. 
  • Good planning skills – With good planning skills, you will help students identify their goals and guide them in deciding what their priority is. Teach them how to plan their learning by breaking their tasks into steps to make them more manageable. Teaching learners how to plan will also eliminate uncertainty in the mind, which in most learners results in procrastination. 
  • Creating a sense of community- A sense of community will create a social connection and a sense of belonging among your learners. You can establish this community within your students by consistently holding class meetings every morning to focus on building social and emotional skills and establishing relationships among them. 

Common Weaknesses of Teachers

Teachers, even the most experienced, are helpful with some weaknesses. Every teacher would like to see themselves as being perfect, but admitting that we are all flawed in different ways is the first step to becoming better teachers tomorrow. 

Here are some common weaknesses in teachers: 


Making mistakes is a normal part of human life. Perfectionism is a fear-based pattern whose short-term rewards are getting the job done and exceeding expectations. Its long-term effects, however, include burnout, compromised quality of work, and missed deadlines. 

Being afraid to make mistakes primes us for burnout and overwhelms us with fear, factors that distort our functioning as teachers. 

Dealing with others as a perfectionist is challenging since you will always want them to do things your way, allowing little room for the ideas and imperfections of others. 

Perfectionism also prevents you from taking constructive criticism from colleagues who may want to share relevant observations on your interaction. 

Though no one is perfect, some teachers seem to have it together, and this may be the basis for our comparison. Comparison can hinder your success as a teacher if you are constantly comparing yourself with colleagues you view as perfect. 

Learning helpful hints and new ideas from teachers with the strengths we would like to possess would help you overcome comparison.

For instance, if a colleague is better at relating with learners and they look up to her more for guidance, instead of getting all jealous and bitter at her, seek to know what she does differently to get the students to open up to her. 


If you are a spontaneous teacher, you act without planning but will rely on previous experience teaching diverse classes and using different approaches to teaching. 

Spontaneity in learning is not all bad, as it helps adjust the power imbalances in a typical classroom. Spontaneous teaching, however, can have some adverse effects on learning. This can result in a lack of structure to your lesson and poor lesson organization. It may also limit your degree of learner assessment of learner progress and achievement. 

To avoid the adverse effects of spontaneity, find a balance between flexibility and structure in the lesson. Consider the individual learner’s needs and learning abilities when deciding on the instructional method. 

Becoming a Good Teacher

A chosen path can guide you into becoming a better teacher. Many specialties are available, so knowing what grade you want to teach and what subject area you are passionate about is essential. 

Here are some steps to take toward becoming a good teacher. 

Bachelor’s Degree 

A bachelor’s degree is crucial to becoming a good teacher. Though most states will require a bachelor’s degree in education, alternative routes to licensure are also available. 

 It will allow you to learn essential skills that will help you become a better teacher. Such include:

  • Cognitive skills : A degree program grows your ability to recall, integrate, and analyze information. You will be able to foster critical and creative thinking skills that guide fluency, originality, flexibility, and adaptability in developing and adjusting to learner programs. 
  • Communication skills: Acquiring communication skills enables you to interact and collaborate effectively with your learners in delivering and assessing knowledge acquisition. Efficient communication is necessary when also engaging with students’ families and colleagues. 
  • Research skills: The skills to initiate and complete data collection concerning learner performance and curricula are essential in effective instruction. A bachelor’s degree program will guide you into effectively demonstrating, considering consequences, information presentation, and record keeping. 
  • Social skills: A good teacher is sensitive to ethical and integral processes of establishing functional relationships with all the school community members. The program will develop compassion, empathy, interpersonal skills, and internal motivation, skills you will require to impact your learners and effectively relate with your colleagues positively. 

Here is a list of some bachelor’s degrees that would guide you into initial certification as a teacher:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Special Ed. and Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Special Education (mild to moderate)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education (middle grades)
  • Bachelor of Science in Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science in STEM Education

Master’s Degree

Besides attaining a bachelor’s degree, aspiring teachers should also think about acquiring a master’s degree. A master’s degree will upgrade your knowledge and help you learn more about your subject area. You will also acquire more effective ways of curriculum instruction. 

Teaching Certification

To get hired after completing your degree program, getting certified to teach in the state where you are interested in teaching is essential. 

Getting certified gives you credibility as a teacher and is one of the states’ quality measures for hiring teachers. 

Most states will therefore require teachers to have certificates to teach. 

Teachers are crucial in changing lives, inspiring dreams, and pushing individuals to realize their potential. Teachers educate the next generation, promoting positive attitudes that shape society. 

Middle School Teacher Salary in Texas in 2023

July 30, 2023 by bryan

what are the qualities of a good teacher essay

Texas Teachers Certification Areas

Texas teachers currently offers 50+ certification areas:.

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 6–12 (272)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) (184)
  • Art EC–12 (178)
  • Bilingual Education Supplemental (164)
  • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) Spanish (190)
  • Business and Finance 6–12 (276)
  • Chemistry 7–12 (240)
  • Computer Science 8–12 (241)
  • Core Subjects EC-6 (291)
  • Core Subjects 4–8 (211)
  • Dance 6–12 (279)
  • English as a Second Language Supplemental (154)
  • English Language Arts and Reading 4–8 (117)
  • English Language Arts and Reading 7–12 (231)
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4–8 (113)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences EC-12 (200)
  • Health EC–12 (157)
  • Health Science 6–12 (273)
  • History 7–12 (233)
  • Journalism 7–12 (256)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Arabic EC–12 (600 & 605)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) French EC–12 (610)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) German EC–12 (611)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Latin EC–12 (612)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Japanese EC–12 (602 & 607)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Mandarin Chinese EC–12 (601 & 606)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Russian EC–12 (603 & 608)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish EC–12 (613)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Vietnamese EC–12 (604 & 609)
  • Life Science 7–12 (238)
  • Marketing 6–12 (275)
  • Mathematics 4–8 (115)
  • Mathematics 7–12 (235)
  • Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 6–12 (274)
  • Mathematics/Science 4–8 (114)
  • Music EC–12 (177)
  • Physical Education EC–12 (158)
  • Physical Science 6–12 (237)
  • Physics/Mathematics 7–12 (243)
  • Science 4–8 (116)
  • Science 7–12 (236)
  • Social Studies 4–8 (118)
  • Social Studies 7–12 (232)
  • Special Education EC–12 (161)
  • Speech 7–12 (129)
  • Technology Applications EC–12 (242)
  • Technology Education 6–12 (171)
  • Texas Assessment of Sign Communication–American Sign Language™ (TASC–ASL™) (073)
  • Theatre EC–12 (180)
  • Trade and Industrial (T&I)

what are the qualities of a good teacher essay

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Qualities of a Good Teacher

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  • Qualities Of A Good Teacher Essay

Qualities of a Good Teacher Essay

500+ words qualities of a good teacher essay.

Teachers play a crucial role in shaping the minds of children and, in turn, the quality of education. Teachers are expected to demonstrate an understanding of the subject, establish a positive relationship with students and create an effective learning environment for students to get enriched learning experiences. Their duties also involve conducting an assessment of students, working closely with other teachers to deliver the best knowledge and inculcate values in them. Teachers build a base and strengthen the foundation of their students. With the help of the qualities of a good teacher essay, students will get to know the qualities that teachers have and the role they play in shaping the career of the students. To practise more essays, students can check out the list of CBSE Essays on different topics.

A teacher is an important person in a student’s life. The teacher shapes the student in a similar way as a pot maker shapes the mud pot and makes it perfect for use. Moreover, teachers are an integral part of the education system. They play multiple roles in which they do their duties with full responsibilities. These include facilitating learning material for students, creating a conducive learning environment, designing and preparing lessons, engaging students with the community by performing different activities, and contributing to schools’ development. If they are left with the time, they engage themselves to boost their teaching skills through workshops and training sessions. These activities also make teachers motivated, highly skilled, and well-resourced to perform to the best of their abilities.

One of the important roles of a teacher is to facilitate students’ learning and support them in achieving their learning outcomes. As teachers, many times, they might get puzzled by the fact that, despite putting in the best effort, the students are not performing to the best of their potential. Self-reflection and introspection of teacher’s practices, inside and outside the classroom, will help one understand some of the aspects that require further modification and improvement. The teacher may be already practising some of the innovative pedagogical approaches in the classroom that might be very effective for enriching the teaching-learning process.

The self-assessment of the teachers is also crucial. It helps in the professional growth of teachers as well as serves as a guide to improve their teaching methodology. The role that a teacher expects includes designing the activities for the classroom, resources, learning outcomes, pedagogical strategies and assessment procedures to meet the needs of all students. The teacher helps them understand the subject content and course curriculum and provides relevant learning material for students.

Teachers collaborate with parents, students and communities to develop a positive school environment for students that enhances their physical and mental growth. The teacher engages students in classroom studies in an interactive and innovative way. It results in enhanced student learning and growth. Moreover, teachers also take the initiative by contributing to various activities, which lead to the schools’ and students’ development.

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Radiologic Technology, Nov-Dec 1997 v69 n2 p167(3) Reflections on what makes a good teacher . (Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year winners) Anne T. Rodgers; Deanna S. Cross; Barbara G. Tanenbaum; Elwin R. Tilson.

Abstract: College professors named Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation offer insights on the qualities of inspired teaching. Good teachers have desire, a positive attitude, and take risks. Keeping students off balance can discourage complacency and maintain interest. A good teacher knows what motivates each student, and works with the student as a partner in learning. A good teacher is also competent, creative and caring.

Full Text: COPYRIGHT 1997 American Society of Radiologic Technologists

The past few columns have focused on a number of new techniques that educators can use to improve classroom teaching. Simply using the latest techniques, however, does not assure excellent teaching or enhanced learning. A teacher who means well but does not understand the totality of the learning process can use all the new techniques in the world and still be mediocre. Excellence in teaching is not just good technique.

What, then, makes a good teacher? That's the question the Carnegie Foundation asks annually. Every year, the Carnegie Foundation identifies a few college professors who are considered the best in their disciplines. Each of these teachers is invited to compete for the Carnegie Professor of the Year Program and is asked to submit an essay on what constitutes good teaching. This year, 20 of the essays were compiled into i book titled Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak.[1] The essays are divided into four categories: teaching characteristics, teaching practices, teaching philosophies and teaching teachers. Two of the essays -- one by an English professor and the other by a professor of nursing -- have special meaning for radiologic science educators.

Qualities of Good Teachers

Peter Beidler is the Lucy G. Moses Professor of English at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania. His essay, titled "What Makes a Good Teacher?" lists 10 qualities Beidler believes are vital to success in the teaching profession.

Most important, says Beidler, is the desire to be a good teacher -- one who succeeds in every aspect of teaching, just as teachers recognize students who really try to be good students, Students also recognize teachers who really want to be good teachers. "Faking it" usually doesn't work beyond the second day of class (even if we've all had those 8 a.m. classes on Fridays when we really had to fake it).

Second, good teachers take risks. One of the former professors at our institution was known to the students as "Dr. Yellownotes." This faculty member had been teaching from the same lecture notes for so many years that the paper on which they were written turned yellow and the notes had to be kept in plastic covers to keep them from disintegrating. Not surprisingly, Dr. Yellownotes was not respected by his students because he never took risks and never varied. At the other end of the spectrum, Beidler describes an experiment he tried one semester. He didn't assign a textbook for a writing class, instead asking the students to write their own textbook on writing. His students recognized the risk he was taking and worked hard to assure that both they and he succeeded.

A third quality of successful teachers is their positive attitude. Beidler believes that the teacher who falls into the trap of cynicism or victimization will never be positive about teaching. Good teachers meet all challenges with a positive attitude.

Fourth, good teachers never have enough time and never finish their work, but they don't complain about the long hours because they love what they do.

Fifth, good teachers think of teaching as a form of parenting. Beidler says that teachers use principles of good parenting in many situations, including caring about their Students' welfare, knowing when to be firm and when to give in, and apologizing when necessary. Good teachers, like good parents, know their students' problems, insecurities and potential.

Sixth, successful teachers give their students confidence. They realize that what the students learn is less important than the learning process itself. Learning instills confidence.

Seventh, a good teacher is able to keep his or her students off balance. Complacent students are bored students. Teachers encourage learning when they try new techniques and introduce risks.

Eighth, good teachers try to motivate students by working within their own incentive system. Teachers who know their students' likes, dislikes, problems and personal issues are more likely to be able to "push the right button" and motivate students to learn. Every cohort wave of students has its own characteristics and unique incentive system. The good teacher stays aware of trends and uses this information to modify motivational techniques. According to Beidler, good teachers "try to understand what makes students tick these days, and then they build on that knowledge to make them tock."

At first reading, the ninth and 10th qualities of good teaching seem to contradict each other. The ninth quality, according to Beidler, is "don't trust student evaluations of your teaching," but the 10th quality is "listen to your students."

Beidler makes an interesting distinction between the two. First, he notes that student evaluations can be deceiving. Good teachers tend not to believe the positive evaluations and agonize over the one or two mediocre ones, continually trying to improve their teaching. Mediocre teachers do the opposite -- they trust the good evaluations and brush off the negative ones. Beidler believes strongly that the best teachers are those who listen to what their students say about good teaching in general rather than about any one particular teacher. For example, in surveys, students almost universally state that the best teachers are those who are available, accessible, approachable and, most importantly, are excited about what they teach. A teacher who models his or her teaching style on the characteristics valued by students will be a successful educator.

The Four `Cs' of Good Teaching

Sally Phillips is a professor of nursing at the University of Colorado Health Science Center. Her essay included in Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak is titled "Opportunities and Responsibilities: Competence, Creativity, Collaboration, and Caring."

In her essay, Phillips questions why students continue to attend colleges and universities at a time when most books and journals are available online; interactive data files provide text, voice and images; and almost any information is available to anyone anytime through archived sources, newsgroups or e-mail. Her answer? Students continue to enroll in universities because of the teachers.

Faculty members serve as models, colleagues and mentors who guide students on a lifelong journey of growth and learning. To be effective guides on this journey, Phillips believes teachers must possess four specific characteristics:

* First, teachers must be competent. They must stay current not only in their chosen profession, the profession of teaching, but also in the subject matter they teach. If the competent teacher can be described as an "expert learner," then the students he or she teaches can be thought of as Junior learners." By staying active in an array of professional, legal, ethical, political and policy activities related to the subject being taught, students learn to be professionals in the broadest meaning of the term. Professionals are people who continue their involvement with the subject matter after the formal coursework ends. Competent teachers encourage active learning, because active projects beyond lecturing instill a passion in students to continue to be involved beyond the boundaries of the classroom.

* Second, good teachers must be creative. Phillips notes that the mass media have shortened the attention spans of most students, but also have made them creative users of technology. She suggests that it is not too much to ask for comparable qualities of excitement and creativity from teachers. For example, courses should never be taught the same way twice. Phillips is a strong advocate of reciprocal learning, a concept in which students take personal responsibility for their own learning. One way to help teachers and students move away from passive learning and toward reciprocal learning is by using case studies. In the radiologic sciences, case studies are excellent teaching tools that can range from film critique sessions to grand round presentations to clinical problem-solving sessions.

The creative teacher also encourages a breadth of thought. In a technical field such as health care, teachers should be interested in more than just what students know. They should be concerned about student beliefs, values and relationships. Phillips suggests bringing books, films and articles about health care into the classroom to help students think beyond the physical aspects of medicine and "examine the larger human dimensions."

* The third characteristic of successful teachers, according to Phillips, is their ability to collaborate with students and treat them as partners. Learners expect to be treated as adults. When they deal with clerks, bankers or coworkers, they expect a reciprocal relationship based upon respect. Why should they expect anything less from a teacher? Teachers and learners who enter into a partnership both benefit from the participatory learning environment. Collaborative techniques in the teaching environment include:

* The development of "learning contracts," which allow students to have a stake in the development and outcome of the course.

* Determining which teaching methods enhance or inhibit student learning.

* Brainstorming about evaluation methods.

* Establishing a mutual agreement on conduct and expectations for students and the teacher.

* Phillips' fourth "C" of good teaching is perhaps the most basic: A good teacher cares. Any human relationship -- whether husband and wife, worker and supervisor, patient and health care provider or teacher and student -- requires caring social interactions. If these interactions are nbt present, the students will try to create them. No matter how competent, creative or collaborative a teacher is, learning seldom occurs unless the teacher cares.

Part of caring is establishing and maintaining trust. For teachers, one way to build trust is by allowing students to get to know them. Teachers who share insights about themselves give their students an appreciation for their knowledge, expertise and experiences. "Opening up" in the classroom can be an effective way of letting students know that they are valued, respected and trusted by their teacher.

Another way to express caring and improve classroom interactions is to network within the professional community. Teachers can introduce students to other professionals, involve them in discussion groups and professional activities, and encourage them to network with each other and with practicing professionals. By bringing students into the professional milieu, a good teacher exhibits caring behavior and shows respect for his or her students.

Phillips concludes her essay by noting that until recently, students had to go through teachers and an institution of higher learning to access information. Today, computers have opened the information vaults to all, dramatically altering the role of the teacher. According to Phillips, the mission of today's teacher should be to "assist and guide students in their personal discovery of knowledge and synthesis of information." To do so, all teachers must practice the four "Cs" of good teaching.

Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak is full of insightful essays that will give any educator reason to pause and reflect upon their chosen profession. We highly recommend this book to all educators, not only as vocational reading but also as a reminder of what makes the teaching profession so worthwhile.

[1.] Roth J & ed. Inspiring Teaching: Carnegie Professors of the Year Speak. Boston, Mass: Anker Publishing Co; 1997.

This column is edited by faculty of the School of Health Professions, Armstrong Atlantic State University, a unit of the University System of Georgia.

Anne T. Rodgers, Ph.D., M.T. (ASCP), is a professor of medical technology.

Deanna S. Cross, Ph.D., R.N., is an associate professor and coordinator of the nursing program.

Barbara G. Tanenbaum, Ed.D., R.D.H., C.H.E.S., is a professor and head of the department of Dental Hygiene.

Elwin R. Tilson. Ed.D., R.T.(R) (QM), is a professor and the clinical coordinator of radiology sciences.

Effective Teachers’ Skills and Qualities Essay

The term stakeholder that refers to the educational process means people who provide well-being and success for a school and its students. Teachers, administrators, personnel, parents, and even students are all stakeholders. However, it goes without saying that teachers are the most important part of education.

Firstly, it is important to understand the essence of good teaching. Great teachers have a combination of many qualities. It is believed that such qualities as warmth, planning, and self-discipline determine a good teacher. Although a good teaching demands deep knowledge of subject matter and erudition, these characteristics are not number one. According to Slavin (2006, p. 3), “effective teachers not only know their subjects, but they can also communicate their knowledge to students.” It cannot be denied that it is crucial for teachers to follow instructions and rules. Nevertheless, teaching is a creative profession especially considering that every student has a unique personality, and it is very important to find a special approach to every individual and teach children in accordance with their personal abilities. What is more, one of the most necessary characteristics of great teachers is attentiveness. Due to this, good teachers develop close relationships with their students that, to some extent, help children to succeed not only in school but also in their future lives.

To sum up, some people say that teaching is not a profession, and it is a vocation. They assume that teachers are born that way and have some extra abilities. Although there is a sound idea in this statement, it is essential not to forget that to be a great teacher, a human has to get a degree in education and acquire necessary teaching skills.

Reference List

Slavin, R 2006, Educational psychology: Theory and practice , Allyn and Bacon, Boston.

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IvyPanda. (2022, January 17). Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities.

"Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities." IvyPanda , 17 Jan. 2022,

IvyPanda . (2022) 'Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities'. 17 January.

IvyPanda . 2022. "Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities." January 17, 2022.

1. IvyPanda . "Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities." January 17, 2022.


IvyPanda . "Effective Teachers' Skills and Qualities." January 17, 2022.

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Home — Essay Samples — Education — Teacher — What Makes a Good Teacher: Main Qualities


What Makes a Good Teacher: Main Qualities

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Published: Sep 1, 2023

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Passion for teaching, effective communication, adaptability and flexibility, interpersonal skills and empathy, dedication to student growth.

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Example Of Essay On Qualities Of A Good Teacher

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Education , Teaching , Society , Students , Goals , Character , Knowledge , Success

Published: 12/03/2019


In the society today education is the important thing in one’s life. The kind of learning and teaching one receives depends tremendously on the type of teacher as well as the capability of the student. Additionally, teachers and students come in different types, others are good while others are a bad. The qualities of a good teacher and student are analyzed through values, character traits and behaviors, leaning and teaching style as well as goals. Good student and teacher should posses certain qualities. Undeniably, knowledge is one the character trait that a good teacher should have. Additionally, to his/her professional knowledge, good teacher should diversify her/his capability in different fields such as humanity, society, culture, and politics, so as to provide students with varied information. Good teacher should be passionate to both the subject and the students. The lessons carried out by good teachers are always entertaining and enjoyable. A good teacher always has numerous teaching styles depending on the situation. These teaching styles include delegator, facilitator, formal authority, and demonstrator. Another quality that a good teacher should have is love, devotion, and care for his/her students. In most cases students demonstrate immaturity, a good teacher should be able to handle students affectionately and gentle. He/she should be an excellent manager. Certainly, some of the characteristics of a good teacher include accessible, interesting, patient, approachable, undersdanding, fair, concern and respectful. Good teachers set their goals based on different areas; personal goals, lesson improvement goals as well as organizational goals. Some personal goals of a good teacher include being physically and emotionally equipped to handle the challenges of his/her work. Furthermore, a good teacher goal will be to improve professional relationship. On the other hand organizational goals of a good teacher are to be organized in classroom. Above all the goals of a good teacher are always directed towards the success of the student both academically and socially. All these goals become a pillar to an all rounded teacher. In reality it is difficult to find ideal good teacher. Many teachers have some qualities of good teacher but due to humanistic nature they fail in some occasions. Hence effective teaching goes beyond the teaching of the subject matter. Good teachers always share common characteristic of strong dedication to continual improvement, humility, care, and parenting, based on essential enthusiasm to inspire students to learn and be successful. The success of a good teacher depends on the qualities of a student.


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Home / Essay Samples / Education / Teacher / What Sets Apart Great Teachers: Essential Qualities

What Sets Apart Great Teachers: Essential Qualities

  • Category: Life , Education , Sociology
  • Topic: Skills , Teacher , Teacher-Student Relationships

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What is a teacher, what is the purpose of a primary school teacher, what is a good teacher, what are the teacher expectations for their pupils.

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