Qualities of Great Teachers

Updated on November 21, 2017
stelaligizaki profile image

Stella works on Greek Secondary Education. She is a teacher in Greek Language and Sociology. She holds a master's degree in literature.

What is in the heart of a great teacher?
What is in the heart of a great teacher? | Source

People respect teachers. They grow into role models to scholars and parents. Their profession is significant. We cannot forget them. They were our "sculptors". They encouraged us to develop into better humans. We cared for the good and despised the nasty ones. Educators conveyed values and built our personality. They guided our ideology. So, the question is, which are the characteristics of a perfect teacher?

The Objectives of an Efficient Teacher

Great teachers vary from others in wisdom. Ability to carry out higher learning results in less time is significant. They succeed with troubles. The pedagogues use innovative methods. These improve their students' performance in the exams. They also possess the awareness of and enthusiasm for their subject. Passion for teaching and working with children is necessary. But, the knowledge transmission is not the sole goal. Focus on the general development of the student is more important.

Teaching Goals
Teaching Goals | Source

Addressing Students’ Needs

Attitudes of teachers toward students with low performance vary. Some attribute failing to sociological factors. They seek the causes in the family and the junior's economic conditions. Others consider causes lie in the pupil's personality and psychic characteristics. We know that the classroom is a microcosm of the world.

Great teachers should love their students just as they are. They cannot change everything. But, they can respond to their students’ needs. They can help them learn better. They should open new opportunities for them. Robert John Meehan has written: "Every child has a special learning style. Each kid is unique, capable of learning but also capable of succeeding."

Aspects of an Excellent Teacher

Engaged educators are friendly and empathetic. They listen to the learners and encourage them. The gifts of patience, kindness, and understanding are indispensable. Great teachers believe in their students. For them, teaching is not a business, it is a relationship. They devote countless hours to ensuring students can work successfully. They also allow them to express themselves. Students' opinion is important to them. They reward the success.

A pedagogue makes kids feel smart. He avoids discriminations and defends his students when they are right. He forgives them when they are wrong. Students want him to impose order and calm. He must be dynamic but not overbearing. Effective discipline skills to promote positive behaviors are significant. Children need to know their limits. In conclusion, talented teachers share seven qualities.

1. Be Interesting

A remarkable educator is engaging and holds the students' attention. As Heide Mc Donald said, “Being a teacher is a very colorful job”. Talented teachers recognize the game's and joke's importance inside the classroom. The students enjoy the lesson when it's entertaining. Playful teaching techniques are always important for learning. Jokes, games, films, outdoor adventure courses, educational tours can benefit. Pleasure keeps students on their toes. The good teacher uses such innovations in the classroom. He inspires and motivates. Kids want him to be smiling, having humor, making a pleasant and not a boring lesson.

Learning can be entertaining
Learning can be entertaining | Source

2. Self-Confidence

Self-confidence is necessary. Good educators have belief in their knowledge. They know well their subject. But teaching requires not only knowledge. It is a matter of talent and personal capacity. It depends, on the experiences of the teacher. Those, who traveled have many experiences to share. Also, the teacher with social action enters the classroom with greater confidence. Great teachers inspire. This succeeds if they believe in themselves. They must also have transmissibility. It is necessary to be comprehensible to students to attract their interest in the lesson.

3. Honesty

Some teachers are unsafe. They make tremendous efforts to conceal something that bothers them. For example, one question may upset them. Some admit their ignorance: "I do not know the answer to your question", they say. Others act like pundits and show authority. They make students feel bad. They present their question as absurd. They ridicule their ignorance.

Others are not afraid to show their emotions. They admit they do not know everything. Nobody wants to seem inadequate in the classroom. But what better than to say: "I don't know. We can all find the answer". The outspoken teacher is great. He sits next to children, rather than opposite.

Honest Teaching
Honest Teaching | Source

4. Technological Adequacy

Technology has become part of the educational process. Yet some teachers cannot use it in the classroom. The inadequate teacher is illiterate. President Obama tried to improve school technology. Teachers require further training. Engineers should integrate new technologies into the classroom. The benefits are important. The computers make the lesson more interesting. It is enjoyable to the students.

Learning Through Technology
Learning Through Technology | Source

5. Teaching Accountability

Educators teach responsibility. Children must value personal accountability. This is a key message. The teacher encourages students to try. They may fail. The failure matters in learning. If students take a job, they should finish it. They must fight for it. The school grade should respect this individual effort. The teacher should recognize it and reward his working students.

For example, students who try too much in mathematics. Even if they do not solve the exercises, they deserve a generous mark. The good teacher detects children who differ from the average. But encourages children who have weaknesses. Children learn better from their mistakes. Henry Ford had said: "Failure is the opportunity to begin again, more intelligently." Yet the teacher has to acknowledge students’ workload. He should not assign too much homework.

It is OK to make mistakes!
It is OK to make mistakes! | Source

6. Being a Role Model

The children should admire their teacher. He works like a second father or mother. Engaged pedagogues create a family atmosphere within the classroom. They observe children and understand them. They realize when someone has a problem and provide mental support and practical advice. The students learn to cooperate. They act like brothers and help each other. They will hear and accept other ideas. They don't bully their colleagues into doing what they want.

Japanese Education as an Example

In Japan, the teachers feel responsible for all students in their classes. They often spend lots of time outside of normal hours helping students who have failed. Above all, teachers send values. They create characters. They lead their students to proper socialization. They feel responsible for their students’ behavior, morality and for their general social adjustment. As a result, children in Japan do not drop out of school. The country’s high-school graduation rate is 96.7 percent.

7. Positive Relationship with Students

The teacher gives not only knowledge. He helps children to have healthy mental development. Education is not only a learning but also a psychic process. That's why teachers fulfill the role of psychologists. By daily contact, they can develop a meaningful relationship with students. They have to gain their trust.

The basic rule for this is counseling skills and cooperation with parents. An engaged teacher maintains communication with parents. He keeps them informed of what is going on. It is necessary to be polite and patient. Tutors should not consider themselves as authority. In contrast, they must admit their mistakes. It is important to accept the comments of their students.

Alexander the Great said, “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well”. Many studies have shown that a good teacher transmits not only knowledge. He also contributes to the future quality of life! The successful teaching must be student-centered. The teacher should not focus only on the cognitive skills. Students are not passive receivers of knowledge. The relationship of educator-student plays the most important role in learning. Great teachers bring happiness to their scholars!

What is the most important quality of a great teacher?

See results

© 2017 Stella Aligizaki


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    • profile image

      Nombulelo Khanyile 

      3 months ago

      Love the post, eye opening, refreshing and informative

    • stelaligizaki profile imageAUTHOR

      Stella Aligizaki 

      2 years ago from Greece

      Thank you for sharing your experience with us, Don. Your example is very descriptive!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      2 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      My favorite teacher was my college History professor who allowed comments and banter from students. When lecturing about historical figures he acted it out. For example:When he lectured about Teddy Roosevelt he came wearing a cowboy hat and a toy pistol. He also wore a fake mustache.As I recall he pointed ot the Presidents flaws, but with humor and empathy.His style laughed at the weaknesses of the historical persons, but also emparted understnding of their human limitations.

    • Michael-Duncan profile image

      Michael Duncan 

      2 years ago from Germany

      The principles also apply to the business environment, so I'll keep them in mind when training new hires 2 months from now :) Thanks for sharing. My vote for most important quality was Positive Relationship with Students.

    • stelaligizaki profile imageAUTHOR

      Stella Aligizaki 

      2 years ago from Greece

      Ι agree with you Poppy. In Greece, teachers are badly paid too especially after the economic crisis. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • poppyr profile image


      2 years ago from Enoshima, Japan

      My mother is a teacher and I believe she has all these qualities! They hold a hugely important role in children's lives and in my opinion, they should be paid much more. Lovely article, Stella.

    • stelaligizaki profile imageAUTHOR

      Stella Aligizaki 

      2 years ago from Greece

      Thanks for reading and commenting, Kari Poulsen and Ashi.

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 

      2 years ago from Ohio

      Very nice article. I must say, when I think back on the teachers who really influenced my life, they all had these attributes. Funny I found this today after I was dreaming about high school last night, lol.

    • Ashish Dadgaa profile image


      2 years ago

      @Stella Aligizaki,

      Very nicely written.

      I liked the way you have written this hub.

      What is the most important quality of a great teacher?

      My Answer is Self-confidence :)

      Welcome to HubPages


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