Teachers have one of the most important jobs in the world – they educate. Educating in itself is not a particularly difficult job. But there is quite a difference between educating someone and being a great teacher. Great teachers don’t just educate, they motivate and inspire. They captivate their students and truly help them to grow. Everyone remembers standout teachers from their school years – teachers who made learning enjoyable and fulfilling. Teachers have many different methods, but all great teachers have these traits.
Great teachers know their subject matter inside and out. They’re experienced with their own material so they can provide their students with deeper insight into it. When students ask questions, great teachers can answer them fully and with certainty.
They Use Humor
When teachers use humor in the classroom, their students become more engaged and interested. They listen up and pay attention. If the students are entertained by their lesson, they’ll take a more active role in it. Everyone enjoys someone who can make them laugh. Great teachers make their students laugh, and in doing so become better able to reach them.
They Recognize Individuality
Every student is different, and great teachers recognize this. They treat each student as an individual, and they cater their interactions with their students to each one’s particular needs. They get to know their students on a personal level to better understand them and help them.
They Create Relevance
When teachers are able to connect their subject matter to their student’s lives, there is a much better chance their students will value it and remember it. If students can see the usefulness and relevance of what they learn, they’ll appreciate it more. Great teachers will try to incorporate their lessons into everyday life, or they’ll spell out its significance.
Children deal with a variety of pressures and obligations outside any individual teacher’s classroom. Occasionally they may be overwhelmed, and teachers should be understanding of a student’s needs or difficulties. Everyone deserves a break sometimes, and great teachers will be flexible to accommodate.
They Set a Good Example
Great teachers inspire because they set a good example for their students. They model behavior that they want to see. Students can look up to them and admire them for their good character and see someone they want to be like.
They Encourage Independence
Great teachers encourage their students to be independent. When students learn and accomplish things independently, it boosts their self-confidence and skills. Great teachers understand this and help their students develop independence.
They Have High Expectations
It’s often possible in school to just get by with the bare minimum. Great teachers expect more than that, and they always try to get the best out of their students. If teachers have high but reasonable expectations for their students, their students will be motivated and feel empowered.
Great teachers enjoy teaching. They love to come to work every day and interact with their students. Because they’re so passionate about their jobs, they do them extremely well. They don’t accept the minimum from themselves, either. Their passion inspires their students.
Terry Ford is a writer and enthusiastic advocate of education.