Qualities of a good teacher: the 14 qualities that top our list (2023)

When you think about your own education, there is probably one teacher who stands out as an exceptional source of encouragement and inspiration. Maybe it was a college professor who inspired him to change careers, or maybe it was a kindergarten teacher whose simple acts of kindness made a positive difference in his childhood. But no matter what grade you're in or what subject you're studying, chances are your favorite teacher has many of the skills and characteristics shown on this list, which details the qualities of a good teacher.

Read on as we explore 29 of the top character traits and teaching skills educators need in 2032 and beyond. We've also included an overview of the credentials, titles, and qualifications needed to become a teacher, both in California and out of state. Whether it's a skill you need to hone, a credential you need to earn, or even a character trait you want to develop, this guide offers dozens of ideas for areas where you can start improving as an educator and start improving your resume in the same hour. weather.

what does a good teacher do?

Whether they are teaching advanced calculus or how to count to 10, effective teachers share certain universal characteristics in common. For example, all great educators have the ability to actively listen, not only to their students, but also to their peers, school administrators, and students' families.

We'll talk more about active listening and why it's important below, along with 14 other traits teachers should try to model. While some are less tangible than others, and potentially more difficult to cultivate, they are all worth it for teachers to actively develop and practice. Read on as we break down more than a dozen of the most important features for educators, including:

  • active listening
  • Adaptability
  • Collaboration
  • creativity
  • Empathy
  • Commitment
  • focus on growth
  • Continuous training
  • Patience
  • preparation
  • Respect
Qualities of a good teacher: the 14 qualities that top our list (1)

The 14 main qualities that make a good teacher

You don't have to have a specific personality type to be an inspiring and effective teacher. However, there are some useful traits that you should develop or strengthen if your goal is to be a more engaging and successful educator.

1. Adaptability

Adaptability is a must for teachers, who need to continually assess what works for their students and, more importantly, what doesn't. Being adaptable and flexible allows you to flow between different learning theories and modes of teaching, something we'll discuss in a moment, without becoming immobilized by stress or indecision.

2. Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand what another person is feeling or experiencing, simply by putting yourself in another person's place. As a teacher, it is vital to practice empathy rather than make assumptions, for example, strive to understand and address the root cause of the problem that is causing a student to fall behind their peers, perform worse than before, or attack in the classroom.

3. Patience

Patience is important both to own and to model for your students, who, as we discussed in our post on learning theories, may look up to you as a role model and emulate your behavior. Having a reserve of patience will make it easier for you to overcome each student's unique struggles and challenges, which can be difficult or slow to overcome.

4. Commitment

Students are perceptive from a very early age and can easily tell when teachers are bored or listless with their own material. If you want to build engagement and enthusiasm in your class, it's imperative to exemplify these traits by showing your students an infectious passion for learning—and all the exciting discoveries and hobbies this can unlock for them!

5. Active listening

Active listening is vital if you want to diagnose and help overcome students' unique obstacles and challenges effectively. Seek feedback, encourage honesty, provide ways for students to communicate with you easily, and be attentive every time you listen, always trying to read between the lines and assess body language as you communicate. Learn more about how and why you shouldimprove your active listening skills.

6. Lifelong learning

The best educators are not only interested in teaching, but also have a passion for lifelong learning, which is reflected in their enthusiasm and commitment as instructors. Continuous learning and professional development provide invaluable perspective, keep professionals "sharpened" and remind teachers of the real-world challenges their students may face, creating a pathway to greater empathy. Find out more aboutthe importance of lifelong learningand how different learning theories can help you teach, or understand, new information.

7. Free from prejudice

As an educator, you will be responsible for teaching an extraordinarily wide variety of students. To combat inequality and discrimination and ensure equity, he must assess the needs of his students in a non-judgmental manner, something that requires him to continually check his own judgments and assumptions about others.

8. Respectful attitude

Even in classrooms with adult learners, there is still an inherent power imbalance between students and teachers. It is imperative that educators are aware of this imbalance and ensure that students feel respected and heard for who they are and what they bring to the classroom.

9. Creativity

Creativity goes hand in hand with adaptability, another key trait we explore in this list. Whether you're teaching first-degree students or PhD students, you'll need the ability to innovate, think outside the box, and find new solutions to challenges that will enable you to meet a wide range of student needs. Being creative as an educator will also help you spark creativity in your students, an essential skill they'll need for countless careers.

10. Collaborative

From parent-teacher conferences and department meetings to teaching tens or hundreds of students every day, education is an intensely collaborative field by nature, involving constant interaction between students, teachers, administrators, and family members. Whether your goal is to become an educator or transition into an educational leadership position, you'll need strong collaboration skills to ensure you can work well with others on a consistent basis.

11. Preparation

In addition to being flexible and adaptable, it is important to be prepared for a wide range of classroom scenarios and challenges. You can increase your overall level of readiness as an educator by learning about your students' strengths and challenges and making sure to consider how each of your students may be affected by your lesson plans.

12. Encourage a growth mindset

In 2006, psychologist Carol Dweck introduced the concept of a "growth mindset" versus a "fixed mindset" in her book Mindset: The Psychology of Success. According to Dweck, people with a fixed mindset perceive assets like intelligence to be determined early in life, which can make obstacles or challenges seem insurmountable or overwhelming. In contrast to a fixed mindset, people with a growth mindset believe that traits like intelligence and creativity can be developed with practice.

13. Meet students where they are

Your students will come to you with different backgrounds, skill sets, and challenges, and you need to be ready to meet them, regardless of where they have reached in their learning. This means being able to accommodate students learning at different rates, using different styles and methods, within the same classroom or group. This is another area where traits like adaptability, empathy, and patience come into play for educators.

14. Multidisciplinary teaching

Drawing on a variety of topics and disciplines, it shows students how businesses work and how problem solving works in the real world, basing their learning on practical, real-life scenarios.

If you don't have all of these traits yet, don't panic, just remember that there may be some areas where you could benefit from a little practice. Whether your goal is to hone weak skills, hone strong ones, or develop new skills, a degree or credential program provides the perfect opportunity to gain the skills and experience you need to advance in your chosen career.

A good teacher starts with a solid education.

These are just a few ofteaching credentialsor careers that undergraduate and postgraduate students can take at the National University. Each option combines rigorous coursework and research with an academic seminar or field experience component, where the student has the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery and ability to apply the subject matter material they have covered throughout the program. .

Bachelor of Arts in Early Childhood Education (BAECE)

oDegree in Early Childhood Educationat National University is an NCATE-accredited degree program that can be completed online or on campus. The course covers topics such as early cognition; early language and literacy; Observation, evaluation and planning; Children with special needs; Emerging Curriculum Design; and Nature, Numbers and Technology. For additional program details, please explore the BAECE program page or contact our admissions office for more information.

Master of Education (MAE)

oMaster of Education, or MAE, is an NCATE-accredited program with the option to conveniently complete the course online. The MAE is designed for students who want to gain field experience, conduct original research, and develop their undergraduate degree with rigorous, high-level study of the historical, philosophical, psychological, and social foundations of today's education industry. Program courses include topics such as learning and development in early childhood education; Fundamentals of adult learning; Community Development in Higher Education; Media-rich instruction; Identity, Inclusion and Equity; and applied critical thinking. To learn more about the National University MAE program online or on campus, contact our enrollment counselors today.

Inspired teaching and learning with a preliminary teaching credential

National University offers bothsingle subjectmiMulti-Subject Teaching Credentialsalong with a wide variety ofteaching credentialsto help you achieve your goals. The credential you need depends on the classes or grades you intend to teach and in which state, along with other factors. For example, according toCalifornia Commission on Teacher Credentialing(CTC), you will need a multi-subject teaching credential to become an elementary school teacher, while anyone "desiring to teach high school in California must obtain a single-subject teaching credential." Finally, "individuals wishing to teach special education students in California must obtain an education specialist instructional credential," according to CTC guidelines.

Keep your teaching skills up to date with professional development

According to the online education resourceTeaching Certificate, “Although the … California Commission onteaching accreditationWhereas 150 hours of professional growth were required to renew a clear credential, clear credentials can now be renewed without verifying any continuing education or professional requirements.” However, this does not mean that educators should ignore continuous learning opportunities. While no longer a CTC requirement, continuing education has a number of benefits for teachers and school administrators, such as increasing marketability, providing professional networking opportunities, and creating a pathway to learn and practice new skills, while The old ones are kept up to date. date.

Before discussing these skills in more detail, it is important to note that theCTC requirementsThe above are specific to California and continuing education or professional development requirements for educators may differ in your state. For example, himstate of snowrequires educators to complete “15 hours each calendar year of professional development or the equivalent of on-the-job training.” Be sure to check with the accrediting organization in your state, such as the California Commission on Teaching Accreditation, to make sure you meet the criteria to maintain and renew your teaching license.

Qualities of a good teacher: the 14 qualities that top our list (2)

15 Important Soft and Hard Skills for Teachers to Develop

As an educator, you meet a new group of students each year, and each year there are new developments around the science and psychology of learning. In short, the needs of students change over time as social media and mobile devices have become essential learning tools among Gen Z students compared to previous generations. EITHERthe student population is also becoming more diverse, not only in terms of race but also disability, along with international students andonline students.

The bottom line for educators? In the face of a changing industry and student population, coupled with the growing importance of educational technology, teachers must develop—and maintain—a wide range of skills to keep up. So what are the essential skills of a teacher and what kind of credentials and qualifications does an educator need to obtain? Here are 15 examples, including seven hard skills and eightsoft skills for teachersMaestro.

  • Ability to practice various modes and methods of teaching.
  • Administrative capabilities
  • Communication
  • Classroom management skills.
  • Computer and technological skills.
  • Educational grades and qualifications
  • emotional intelligence
  • leadership skills
  • knowledge of the curriculum
  • Problem Solving Skills
  • Certificates and Teaching Credentials
  • time management skills
  • work ethic
  • Writing skills and grammar

8 important soft skills for teachers

Important interpersonal skills for teachers include time management skills, leadership skills, strong work ethic, problem-solving skills, high emotional intelligence, and having the necessary knowledge and adaptability to employ a variety of teaching modes and methods.

1. Communication -Verbal, non-verbal and written communication is essential for any educator. Clear communication not only allows you to get to know your students, how they learn, and what their challenges or motivations are, but it also allows you to engage with parents and family members, share information with peers and administrators more productively, and build a better relationship. more inclusive environment for students of diverse backgrounds.

2. Time management—You expect your students to complete their assignments on time, so it's vital that you model the same skills. Effective time management, which canread tips about here, will help you ensure that tasks such as grading assignments, writing quizzes, and meeting with students are completed in a timely manner, according to the syllabus and lesson plan schedule.

3. Strong work ethic— Teachers can be expected to carry heavy workloads. Having a strong work ethic is essential to help you handle the demands of the position.

4. Troubleshooting— From unexpected technical problems to bullying and conflicts between students, teachers are often faced with unplanned situations that must be resolved so that learning can continue. You'll need strong problem-solving skills to ensure you're prepared to deal with a wide range of learning disabilities.

5. Leadership— From the renowned scholar leading a master's course to the kindergarten teacher leading his class in a singing exercise, teachers are leaders for their students. He will need strong leadership skills to keep his students organized, engaged, and focused, while demonstrating respectful attitudes toward instructors and fellow students.

6. Variety of teaching methods— Teachers need the ability to use a variety of teaching methods to meet the equally varied needs of students, ranging from teacher-directed (such as lectures and worked examples) to student-directed (such as collaborative learning). and project-based). For example, it is important to be familiar withTraditional learning methods versus inquiry-based learning🇧🇷 You can learn more about teaching methods and how to implement them in our learning theories guide.

7. Variety of teaching modes— Educators should be familiar with and develop teaching strategies tailored to the various VARK “learning modes,” an acronym that stands for “Visual, Aural, Read/write, and Kinesthetic” learning modes. You can read more aboutpig gentlemen manners.

8. Emotional intelligence— Emotional intelligence is a broad term that describes a person's ability to understand, analyze and manage their own emotional responses. Emotional intelligence is essential for teachers, who need to maintain professionalism and demonstrate leadership even when under a lot of pressure and stress.

7 important hard skills for teachers

Examples of important hard skills for teachers to develop and improve include computer skills and technology proficiency, classroom management skills, administrative skills, writing and grammar skills, and in-depth knowledge and understanding of the curriculum. Educators must also obtain the appropriate additional certificates, credentials, diplomas, and qualifications, which we will briefly discuss below.

1. Computer and technological skills— Computers and other technologies are playing an increasingly important role in education, a topic we explore in our article oneducational technology🇧🇷 Technological competence is vital for teachers in any subject, especially if you plan to teach online or media-rich courses.

2. Classroom management— Passing on information is just part of your job as an educator. He is also responsible for managing his classroom and student behavior, especially for educators teaching younger children. Classroom management skills are essential to maintaining an inclusive, safe and welcoming environment that supports learning for all of your students.

3. Administrative Skills— Management skills include skills such as strategic thinking, strong organization and time management, and the ability to lead effectively while communicating clearly. These kinds of skills are useful for school administrators and educators alike, and several (like time management) get their own places on this list!

4. Writing and grammar skills— It's not just English or creative writing teachers who need a firm command of grammar and spelling. You'll need strong writing skills for routine tasks like emailing parents and administrators, correcting student assignments, sharing whiteboard demonstrations, and possibly even applying for grants or other funding.

5. Certificates and Credentials— In addition to earning your degree, you'll also need to earn certain certificates and credentials, depending on factors like where and what you'd like to teach. For example, to cite theCalifornia Commission on Teacher Credentialing(CTC), “Persons wishing to teach high school in California must obtain aSingle Subject Teaching Credential🇧🇷 For more detailed information on this topic, we recommend exploring our overview ofMultidisciplinary and monodisciplinary teacher training credentials.Available at the National University.

6. Qualifications and titles— Most teaching positions require a bachelor's degree as a minimum, with certain types of teaching positions or academic employers requiring a master's or even a Ph.D. The National University offers a variety of accredited online and on-campus degree programs in education to help prepare you for a career in teaching or school administration, including preparing you for professional exam requirements. Learn about the process to become a teacher or explore the state requirements to become a teacher in California.

7. Knowledge of the curriculum— Having a broad and in-depth understanding of your curriculum is essential for you to lead meaningful discussions and help your students connect to broader ideas. For example, you will need to be fluent in any foreign language you intend to teach.

These are just a few of the many examples of good teaching qualities and skills that must be possessed, no matter what subject you teach or grade level. Learn more about what it takes to become an educator by applying for a National University credential or degree program today.

Qualities of a good teacher: the 14 qualities that top our list (3)

The journey to become a good teacher

Teaching begins with learning. Do both at the same time when you earn your degree or teaching credential from the National University. Through Sanford College of Education, we offer a wide range of teacher credentials, associate degree programs, bachelor's programs, and master's programs, all with regional accreditation, student financial aid options, and the ability to complete courses part-time or 100% connected.

Follow your passion while making an impact on young (or not so young) minds. talk to ouradmission counselorsnearapply to national universityand enroll in our BAECE, MAE, or other teaching credentials and degree programs.


What makes a good teacher 10 qualities of an excellent teacher? ›

Some qualities of a good teacher include skills in communication, listening, collaboration, adaptability, empathy and patience. Other characteristics of effective teaching include an engaging classroom presence, value in real-world learning, exchange of best practices and a lifelong love of learning.

What are the 5 qualities of a good teacher? ›

Characteristics of a good teacher.
  • Patient and approachable. They say that 'patience is a virtue', and this couldn't be more true for teachers. ...
  • Enthusiastic. ...
  • Strong communication skills. ...
  • Strong knowledge and a solid education. ...
  • Disciplined and professional.
Mar 1, 2022

What are the 12 teaching skills? ›

12 Skills Teachers Require to be Effective in Teaching
  • Discipline Skills. ...
  • Classroom Management Skills. ...
  • Observation Skills. ...
  • Student Engagement Skills. ...
  • Strong Communication Skills with Students and Parents. ...
  • Teaching Skills. ...
  • Subject Matter Expertise. ...
  • Time Management Skills.
Feb 12, 2018

What is the best quality of good teacher? ›

The Top 14 Qualities that Make a Good Teacher
  1. Adaptability. Adaptability is a must for teachers, who need to continuously evaluate what's working for their students — and even more importantly, what isn't working. ...
  2. Empathy. ...
  3. Patience. ...
  4. Engagement. ...
  5. Active Listening. ...
  6. Lifelong Learning. ...
  7. Free of Bias. ...
  8. Respectful Attitude.

How to be a good teacher? ›

  1. Love and value students. It should go without saying, but if you don't enjoy the company of young people, elementary education is probably not the field for you. ...
  2. Be prepared. ...
  3. Know your subject matter. ...
  4. Engage students. ...
  5. Challenge students. ...
  6. Teach lifelong lessons. ...
  7. Communicate well, and with varied audiences.

What core values should a teacher have? ›

The core of teaching consists of four basic values: dignity, truthfulness, fairness and responsibility & freedom. All teaching is founded on ethics – whether it be the teacher-student relationship, pluralism or a teacher's relationship with their work.

What makes a good teacher essay 150 words? ›

Paragraph On Teacher – 150 Words For Classes 4, 5 Children

Teachers should always be very compassionate and understanding while dealing with young souls because their sour actions can have a profound impact on them. There are many ways of teaching that teachers can adapt to making the lesson more interesting.

What are the 10 qualities of a good student? ›

Some of the qualities possessed by good students are:
  • Self-Discipline. Discipline is a must in a student's life. ...
  • Diligent. A student should be determined towards studies or any work allotted to him. ...
  • Punctual. Time is money so every student must value time. ...
  • Courteous. ...
  • Team player. ...
  • Confident. ...
  • Responsible.

What is most important for a teacher? ›

Dedication. One of the most important parts of teaching is having dedication. Teachers not only listen, but also coach and mentor their students. They are able to help shape academic goals and are dedicated to getting their students to achieve them.


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