Teachers, what would we do without them? Often we don’t understand the vitalness of these exceptional human beings until we are adults ourselves.
As students maybe we didn’t see how little we would really know about life without teachers, yes maybe they set us homework when we would rather have been enjoying our weekends but as we grow and enter the world of work ourselves, we begin to reflect on just how much our teachers have shaped us not only in our knowledge, but as people too.
But what exactly makes a good teacher? A lot of different aspects contribute and of course all teachers have their own methods to their madness whilst navigating the rewarding but often difficult career path, however there are some key skills that are extremely favourable to have whilst teaching.
Patience is one of the most vital traits to have as a teacher as you need to be able to explain things again and again, class after class.
You need to be able to answer questions and help students who may need a little extra time on a topic. You need to understand that every child learns at his or her own pace and that some might excel in other subjects and might need an extra push in others.
This is perfectly fine, but you need to accept this and make sure you come across as patient and ready to answer any questions, no matter how many times it takes to explain a concept. Being approachable also helps, but you need to be able to keep an eye on any members of your class who may be struggling and not speaking up. Some children get embarrassed that they are not grasping a topic as fast as their peers and are unwilling to voice their concerns about this. Taking them to one side quietly and offering to go over it again with them will ensure that they are not falling behind.
It is also helpful to be creative in nature if you’re a teacher as being able to engage with your class is what encourages them to actually want to learn.
Coming up with new and exciting ideas for you to work with your class on is bound to make sure that they are all ears in the classroom. Also it switches things up for you too, new and creative ways really help when teaching about challenging subjects as it provides easy ways to remember a lot of information.
Although Art, Design and Technology subjects are traditionally the ‘creative’ lessons, you can get arty and enable your creative juices to get flowing in any subject. Get your class to design a poster or a mind map for History, English or even Maths. Science is easier as the promise of experiments and practical lessons is usually enough to completely snap up the class’ attention. Sit down and have a think about your current lesson plans and come up with how you could make them more creative. Your pupils and your own mind will thank you for it!
3. Caring Nature
It is so important for teachers to be caring. Not only are you responsible for teaching your class the knowledge they need to succeed in life, you are also often the first point of call during the day if there is a problem. With all different children from a range of backgrounds and circumstances, it is important to keep a lookout for any arising problems, growing up comes with its own difficulties and you have to be at the ready to be a temporary parent, a shoulder to cry on, a supportive figure of authority as well as a nurse, a friend and a pair of ears to listen to any issues. All this before lunchtime, you have to have a genuine and caring personality to be a good teacher.
Enthusiasm also always helps you as a teacher. Individuals who genuinely care and are excited to teach their subject always engage better with their classes than ones who act disinterested and bored.
Students need to be constantly engaged with and you can only really do this by showing them that learning can be fun. Reading off a board with minimal interaction with the class may seem like an easy way to go if you’re struggling through the rest of the day, but it probably wont benefit your pupils or yourself. Enthusiastic teachers always stand out for me anyway, when I look back on my own school career, they were the ones that made learning enjoyable and it was never a chore to attend their classes.
Of course, this list is not extensive, each teacher is individual and has their own special ways of keeping their class engaged and happy at school, what are your best qualities as a teacher? Tweet us at @realiseme and get talking about your favourite and most useful teacher traits!