Wednesday, April 7, 2010


There are several personality traits and qualities that make some teachers stand out as excellent teachers.  Because a classroom is filled with many different types of students with different problems and needs, a successful teacher must constantly adjust and use the right tools.  I’ve highlighted ten traits that can make anyone a great teacher:
1. A Positive Outlook
Look for the best in each student and every situation. Treat your students with respect.  Encourage others to be positive as well. Never allow bullying in your classroom. The atmosphere in the classroom should be uplifting and positive.

2.  Confidence
If you must know your subject well, and have a good lesson plan you will be confident.  However, you will experience problem students, or lessons that don’t quite work in the classroom.  Develop a thick skin and be able to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake.  Have some emergency fun activities that will rescue you when needed.

3.  A Sense of Humor
Humor is a great way to break the ice and get kids talking. It also helps kids to stay attentive in class. A good teacher knows how to take the tension out of tight situations, uses humor spontaneously, in a tasteful manner and builds togetherness in the classroom, through the use of humor. One of my favorite high school teachers would talk to the blackboard when we weren’t paying attention.  Immediately we were all ears!  In fact, I’ve used this technique myself in the classroom.  It works!

4.  Patience
Sometimes students just don’t get a concept. A good teacher must continue to think of new ways to teach the concept until they do understand.  When you have behavior problems in the classroom you need to have patience as well.   Sometimes you have to come up with many creative ideas to change negative behaviors.

5.  Communication Skills
If you are passionate about your subject, the children will be, too. Enthusiasm rubs off. To connect with students you not only need to be passionate about what you’re teaching, but you need to be interesting too.  Be dramatic! Use interesting tones, or fun accents.

6.  Dependability
It’s important to be on time, and consistently live up to your commitments.  Students need to know that they can count on you for extra help.

7.  Friendly Personality
students, teachers, administrators and parents. For instance, a good teacher needs to have innovative ways to open up conversations with shy students or disgruntled parents. It’s important to share with other teachers as well.

8.  Organizational Skills
There’s lots of paperwork in teaching. You need to put a system in place that will make efficient use of your time.

9. Flexibility
If you’re not getting through to a student, you have to be flexible enough to change your approach. It’s important to be available for extra help or extra-curricular activities. Even little things can affect kids ability to learn like the weather, the temperature in the classroom, or the time of day. A good teacher needs to change her approach to suit the current conditions.

10. Creative Curriculum Techniques
Because there are many different learning styles, you need to think out of the box. Other children need to experience learning with their bodies. For instance, integrate movement activities into phonics, math, or science. And still others learn better with visuals. Design a room using magazine pictures, fabric, paint, tile and wallpaper swatches. Use math skills to calculate how much material is needed to complete the project.

 Teaching is a rewarding profession.  With the above personality traits in use you’re sure to have a successful career.