Making A Difference: 5 Signs Of A Great Teacher

Teachers do a great deal of work. They help us learn new lessons and new skills, and they provide us with the tools we need to succeed later in life. Like any job though, there are some teachers who just far outshine others. It may be their teaching style, their dedication to their profession or simply their personality, but the skills needed to being a great teacher is not something that all educators possess.

If you are determined to be a great teacher, you need to make sure that you possess the following qualities.

1. Great teachers actually teach.
Unfortunately there are some teachers who simply sit at the head of the class and don’t do anything all year. They hand their students a book, tell them to read, and give assignments. These aren’t great teachers.

A great teacher is involved with the lessons. They find new and engaging ways to present the information to their students, and they create fun and exciting projects and assignments that are much different than traditional assignments. When a teacher presents information in such an innovative way, it makes their students appreciate their efforts, and they actually take something away from the class.

2. Great teachers have high expectations.
A great teacher wants to see each student do their best. They want their students to push themselves to do the best they can, which is why they set high expectations for their class. Great teachers want to teach students how to succeed and they don’t want their classes to be okay with settling for mediocre. Motivating students to do their best shows that the teacher cares about the students and their futures, and having these expectations for their students is a sign of a great teacher.

3. Great teachers know what they’re talking about.
A great teacher has an even greater handle on their subject. They are constantly searching for new information on their topics and staying up to date on current trends and events that revolve around their subject. They are passionate about what they teach, and this passion is then spread to their class. A great teacher can spit out subject matter in their sleep and will never refer to a textbook or lesson plan for information.

4. Great teachers get to know their students.
When a teacher doesn’t even take the time to get to know their students or their interests, they don’t care. A great teacher knows the names of their students, who their friends are and what they like to do. They know who is in what club or on what sports team, and they have conversations with their students about these things. They treat their students with respect and they make it a point to show their students that they are appreciated.

5. Great teachers stay in contact with parents.
Great teachers make it a point to reach out to the parents of their students, but not just those who are in need of discipline. Great teachers make sure that parents know how well their child is doing in class or even sends general updates to parents about what the students are currently working on in the classroom. Parents should be in the know of the happenings at school, and a great teacher will make sure that they are.

So if you aspire to be a great teacher, make sure that you possess these qualities. It is what will separate you from the mediocre.

Caleb Grant is a high school teacher.  He likes to write about teaching and learning methods in his spare time.  Caleb works for