What should the qualities of a good teacher be?

Expert Answers
missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The qualities of a good teacher are endless, but a few that really seem to work for me include these listed here.

Respect your students. Kids want to respect you and when you show resect for them by giving them just and fair service they will respect you. Allow them to have their own feelings, beliefs, and values, but hold them accountable to treat you and each of their peers with positive moral behaviors. 

Have clear boundaries. When students understand their targets for behavior they generally follow them. If you expect students not to chew gum in your classroom, then enforce it. Make the first student you see chewing gum spit it out, and give them the consequence you told them you would give them.

Challenge them academically. If students get bored, they act out. Even for students who don't think they want to be a part of a class activity, they usually do - we all want acceptance.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I will talk about the qualities needed for a good high school teacher in the US.  This will differ for other countries and other grade levels, I am sure.

To me, the most important quality of a good teacher is patience.  No matter how good your students are, they will test your patience at many points during the day.

A second very important quality is caring.  Maybe it should be first.  Students can typically tell which teachers actually care about them -- about them as people and about their learning.

After that, I think a teacher needs to have a quick mind (to deal well with questions and such, but that may be because that is my style of teaching -- another teacher might talk about being very organized and planning well.

job518 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that everything said so far is pretty good; although, some of the best teachers I know don't fall under many of these discriptions. Most of them are very strict and very knowledgeable of their subject matter, but they are also very good at explaining the material to students. Contrary to popular belief, the best teacher were not necessarily the ones I liked while in school. They were, however, much appreciated when I entered college. I was not the least bit surprised by the expectations set forth by my professors. I had already experienced that for years. This can also be said of the work place. A very easy transition for me because I was accustomed to being expected to do exactly what I was asked and then some.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Flexibility to differentiate the instruction of the students by their diverse needs and their levels of skill.

Adaptability to accept changes in classroom demographics, class population, budget cuts, and working conditions

Objectivity to avoid their own bias to permeate their instruction

Discipline and Leadership to keep the students focused, motivated, and well-behaved.

Intelligence, of course, to be able to explain in detail, and without unneccesary complexity the things the students need to know.

Self-respect- otherwise the students will not be inspired to have it for either the teacher or themselves.

**Students are a reflection of what the teacher inspires***

besure77 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Teachers must be experts at differentiation. All students learn at different levels and at a different pace. It is important that a teacher be able to take a lesson and adapt it to meet the needs of individual learners. This may take extra time but a good teacher is always willing to put forth the effort.

Teachers must also be good listeners. A good listener is able to pick up on cues that may be very important to a students success.

And probably most important, teachers must care about students. If a teacher doesn't care about the students, the students will not get the education that he or she deserves.

jdslinky eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good teacher must also be a good person. Teachers instill their beliefs, values and morals in everything they say to their students; therefore, they must be centered and act from a healthy moral compass. That being said, a teacher must also know his or her subject matter, as well as her students.

It is essential that teachers not misinform their students, nor jade or sway the students' opinions with their own.

trophyhunter1 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A teacher must be absolutely predictable in terms of her expectations of her pupils. She must stick to her classroom expectations and be very consistent. If a class senses that the teacher is unsure, they will be in charge of that classroom very shortly. Therefore, consistency is a must. Fairness is also important. Being willing to listen and actually hear what a child is saying is an excellent quality also.

amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A good teacher must know his subject matter, know how to teach the same information in many different ways in order to assure student understanding, be able to assess the data collected after tests to determine what students are learning and which subjects they need more instruction, and last, a good teacher should be able to make learning FUN.

broscover | Student

The qualities needed in a college teacher:

  • First and foremost they need to be able to project their voice so that everyone can hear them without any issues.
  • They need to be patient. They need to be able to remain patient even if for example they have to explain the same concept over and over until the students understand it.
  • They need to be caring, a teacher should truly care about the student and want to teach so the student understands the material. The teacher should care about the future of the student.
  • Another quality in a teacher is they should be willing to do anything  necessary to ensure the student is successful in the classroom and in life. When I say anything I mean staying late to help the student who just cannot seem to grasp a concept. They will meet you anywhere and even on the weekends so you are prepared for the big test on Monday.
  • They have to be knowledgeable, if they themselves don't understand a subject or concept then it is impossible to successfully teach it to students and have them fully understand.
  • They should be enthusiastic, because if the teacher is excited about a concept or a math problem etc, it will project to the student
z14 | Student

teacher must be strict

z14 | Student

a teacher that is fun but strict enough to make the students learn

yoobie | Student

The most important thing in a teacher, in my opinion, is not only understanding the students well, but also knowing how much the studen knows, and being able to convey lessons well.

For example, if there's a teacher who is really smart, with PhD's and qualifications. All of that knowledge is useless, and that teacher is not as good with that knowledge, if only he or she can make students understand the theory, or their lesson.

To do this, teachers have to know how much the students know, and how much they can understand. To teach them, they have to know how to be one.

rosefalcone | Student

First and foremost, teachers should sincerely embrace a philosphy that fosters the nurturing, protection, education and growth of the children they teach. There are many teachers who are enamored with their subject area and know their content backwards and forwards but have no business teaching it to children. Teachers require unlimited patience, compassion and perseverance. Teachers must be flexible, accepting and insightful. Teachers should model appropriate behavior in the classroom and in their personal lives. It is important for teachers to establish an environment and routine that fosters productive, respectful and inclusive relationships with students and in so doing will achieve positive results. Teachers should be able to differentiate, meaning using a variety of resources to address the wide range of knowledge, ability, levels, interests and learning styles students bring to the classroom and that address different instructional strategies. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, in my experience, when the students feel loved and cared for they will go to great lengths to please that teacher.

reececup1 | Student

I agree because either way they are getting paid, so why not make the most of their presence.A teacher should be a person you can come to about othyer problems not just reading, math, or science

nusratfarah | Student

A good teacher is the combination of: controller, assessor, tutor, performer, and s/he must be- patient, caring, apt to understand student psychology, and above all must possess the skill to make students understand what s/he teaches, and have good knowledge over the particular subject. In fact, general knowledge about other topics is necessary. A good teacher must be courageous to face a class where there are multiple heterogeneous students.

khwajamus | Student

I want more answers about the qualities of a good teacher.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Different people, including experts as well as ordinary students, teachers and parents have different ideas about qualities of a good teacher. There are may different lists of qualities of a good teacher. Some most common qualities featuring in these different lists include the following.

A basic love and interest in teaching.

A basic desire to help the students. The teacher should be concerned not only about the studies of the student, but their total welfare.

Patience to explain to students in great detail the things that appear very clear and simple to the teacher.

Being able to win the confidence of students so that they take interest in learning what is being taught and persist with it even when they fail to understand how the subject being taught will be useful to them.

Fairness. It is very important that the teacher is impartial in his dealing with all students. The teacher should have the same degree of concern for all his students irrespective of how good or bad a student is in studies. Irrespective of difference in any quality among student there should no favouritism. Each student should receive attention and help from the teacher according to his or her needs.

Empathy. The teacher should be able to understand the feelings and emotions of the students when they are being taught. In addition the teacher should also be able to sense any other problems the students may be having outside the class.

Personal conduct. The teacher should present a role model of good conduct for his or her student.

Good skill in teaching method. It is important that good teaching involves not only explaining thins to students, but also listening to them.

Subject knowledge. The teacher should be thorough in the knowledge of subject that is being taught.

mkcapen1 | Student

In looking at the qualities of a good teacher the first quality that comes to mind is actually wanting to be a teacher.  If one choosing a career in something one likes to do, the joy will flow through and make the learning experience for the students and the teaching experience for the teacher so much better.

A teacher needs to be knowledgeable in his/her teaching field.

A teacher needs to be adaptive.  Each day students enter the classroom in different moods.  One needs to be able to adjust ones;s own mood to help keep a stable mood in the classroom.

A teacher must be pateint and kind.

A teacher should never be condescending.

A teacher should be a team player who works well with other teachers.

A teacher should be creative at adapting materials to fit each individual students learning style.

A teacher should be a life long learner.  New information is developed daily and in order to be the most effective teacher, one needs to continue to gain knowledge.

A teacher should be consistent and fair.

There are so many qualities that a good teacher should have.  My best advice is to tell you to think about the teacher that you disliked the most and don't do anything he or she did.  If it left you with a bad taste in your mouth it would do the same for other students as well.

nusratfarah | Student

As a student I can say, we always consider that teacher truly good who can understand his or her student's psychology and act accordingly.

A good teacher is the teacher who plays these vivid roles together: tutor, controller, friend, feedback etc. The teacher must not be too strict or too retiring. S/he should find out students' demands and fulfill them remaining as much objective as possible. The teacher must not view the class as a place to rule, rather, should better help students feel that they do have an equally important role to play in the classroom. That is why learner-centered classes are getting popularity these days.