The Key Qualities of an Exceptional Teacher

As a seasoned educator, I have spent countless hours studying and analyzing what sets apart a great teacher. Through my years of teaching and mentoring, I have come to understand that there are certain qualities that make exceptional teachers stand out. These qualities go beyond just having a strong knowledge of the subject matter and extend into the realm of social skills and personal characteristics.Time management skills, leadership abilities, a strong work ethic, problem solving skills, high emotional intelligence, and adaptability are all crucial for teachers to possess in order to effectively educate their students. But what truly makes a great teacher? To find out, I turned to the source: the students themselves. In a longitudinal study conducted with over 1000 undergraduate and graduate students from various countries, participants were asked to describe the qualities of the most memorable teachers who inspired them to pursue a career in teaching. Surprisingly, their responses rarely mentioned a teacher's impressive credentials or awards.

Instead, they focused on personal and professional characteristics that created an enriching, engaging, and challenging learning environment. These exceptional teachers brought more than just their knowledge and experience to the classroom. They also brought their cultural capital - what they have learned and experienced - to their interactions with students, colleagues, and the community. In turn, they were open to learning from their students and were positively influenced by their connections with others. At Teach for America, we have found that past performance is often the best indicator of future success. Recruits who have achieved measurable goals in college tend to excel as teachers.

And two key metrics of previous success are grade point average and leadership achievement - a track record of leading something and producing tangible results. For example, if a candidate has not only run a mentoring program but also doubled its size, that is a promising sign of their potential as a teacher. If you are considering a career in teaching, I highly encourage you to develop these essential qualities. Not only will they make you a better teacher, but they will also have a positive impact on your students and the community as a whole.

Ervín Kirscht
Ervín Kirscht

Total tv geek. Subtly charming explorer. Freelance food scholar. Wannabe coffee scholar. Evil explorer.

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