Five Characteristics of Highly Effective Teachers

By Huntington Learning Center

You got into teaching for a reason: to make a lasting impact on students’ lives. So how can you do that? Here are five characteristics of the best, most effective teachers:

  1. A passion for the craft of teaching and for helping students learn is essential to being an influential teacher. The best teachers let their enthusiasm show in the classroom. They aren’t afraid to share why they love a subject, and that excitement is often contagious.
  2. Excellent teachers want their students to learn. That means they’re always willing to take the time to help them understand something and overcome challenges. They are committed to guiding students toward greater learning.
  3. Compassion is important in teaching. And a patient, kind disposition is likely to be more successful than one that is more authoritative in nature. That’s not to say teachers cannot be strict and hold students to high standards. However, teachers can create great outcomes when they get to know their students as individuals and show them that they care.
  4. Some students are more naturally motivated than others, but great teachers are good at connecting all types of students to a subject. They try to make subjects interesting, of course, but they are also skilled at convincing students of the value and importance of learning. They pay attention to how their students respond to their methods and adjust when needed.
  5. Embracing a growth mindset. Every teacher wants their students to believe that they are capable of growing their skills and knowledge if they put in the effort. When they embrace this stance, it rubs off—and they will see increased student growth and motivation.

Learning isn’t easy for all students, but the more you can make your classroom a safe space where students are treated as capable learners, the more effective you will be.


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