Many people, including the students who attend teacher training courses, believe that the profession of teaching is an easy task. In our society a prevalent idea is that any individual can be a teacher and with little sincere effort can become a good teacher.
In reality, experience tells us quite the opposite. Not everybody is capable of excelling as a teacher. There are a lot of personality traits that a good teacher should have to do justice to the profession and the students as well. Without these traits any person would remain incompetent as a teacher.
Obtain Subject Knowledge
Firstly, a good teacher should have enough knowledge on their subject, more than is necessary to teach. Perhaps having sufficient knowledge to teach a subject sounds an obvious one, but for a good teacher it is important to know beyond that. There might be questions from the students which would require deeper knowledge, about the roots of the subjects, beyond the syllabi, to answer. A teacher’s inability of answering such questions might lead to questioning their capabilities. Consequently, a good teacher should always have the knowledge to be in a position to clarify whatever doubts the students might have.
Have a Suitable Personality
A great personality is another thing of primary significance for a good teacher. A good teacher should have a well balanced personality. The students differ hugely one from another, in psyche, in attitude and in approach. So it is never an easy task to connect equally with each and every student. So to build proper communication with the students, a good teacher should acknowledge the different points of view and opinions of all students. A good teacher must take care never to dismiss them and instead, encourage them in every possible way to take an important part in the class.
Be Fair and Just
Thirdly, a good teacher should have the sense of justice. It is of prime significance, while dealing with the modern generations, specially the adolescents. While making a decision, it must be noted that it is applicable to all the students equally. A good teacher should always avoid any kind of biasness and prejudices. Students, who are not fortunate to share the preferences of a teacher may interpret this as injustice. This would create a sense of resentment among them. Accordingly, a good teacher should have enough common sense to treat all students in an egalitarian manner, irrespective of their color, thoughts, religion and status.
Lastly, a good teacher should be helpful to the students, to the maximum of his/her abilities. Students often go through tough situations. It can be their personal failures like bad exams, losing matches, failing relationships etc or more grave causes like death in the family or parents divorce. They need help. A good teacher should provide an ear to listen to their troubles and a shoulder to depend upon. Care and support from a teacher, can restore the faith and confidence within the students.
Develop Key Characteristics
In other words, a good teacher should play the part of a surrogate parent. Certain qualities are expected of a good teacher to elicit the best from the students. Following are some of the characteristics that a good teacher should certainly have:
- A very important attribute of a great teacher is excellence in communication. A teacher has to be comfortable and lucid in explaining different ideas and things.
- A teacher might feel the urge to yell or shout at students, in certain circumstances, but a good teacher should try to avoid it as much as possible by holding their temper and acting calmly.
- Great sense of humor is a must for a good teacher. A good teacher should know how to employ wit and humor in a proper manner, to simplify the task. A successful teaching program depends a lot upon the teacher’s sense of humor.
- Good time management skills are essential for a good teacher. He/She should always value and consequently teach students about the importance of time.
- When making any evaluations, a good teacher should always adopt an unbiased attitude. The teacher has to be fair enough to assess the students on the singular basis of the performances, and not on personal likings.
- A teacher must have enough dedication towards their work. Without devoting time elsewhere, engaging him/herself in educational activities is expected.
- An eye for details makes a teacher meticulous enough. Pre-planned programs would add to productivity.
- A good teacher should always be a friend and a leader. A teacher’s leadership qualities would make students look up to the teacher as an idol. The teacher must also be a disciplinarian but know how to be amiable at the same time, so that he/she is not alienated from their students.
So teaching can actually turn out to be quite demanding. A good teacher has to integrate the traits of a lucid communicator, an efficient manager, a just evaluator, a strict disciplinarian, an expert counselor and a skillful leader.
Do you agree? What do you feel makes a good teacher?
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