Traits, Skills and Qualities of a Teacher

By Bronwyn Timmons, Demand Media

Teachers put their creativity on display in the classroom.

From the ABCs to trigonometry, teachers are to thank for educating the youth of the nation so they can become tomorrow's leaders. It takes a special kind of person to push students to reach their goals, and a successful teacher needs a certain set of traits, skills and qualities. These qualities are often the driving force behind a person’s desire to become a teacher, but an aspiring teacher also can cultivate them to provide the best possible classroom experience for her pupils.

Attitude and Patience

Teachers need a positive attitude when dealing with their students as well as a little patience. Children feed off the attitudes of those whom they interact with, and a positive attitude usually will be met with positivity. Patience is helpful for working with struggling students who may not learn as quickly as their peers. A positive attitude can make dealing with the politics of teaching and the stress of testing and teacher-parent relationships much easier to handle. Enthusiasm in the classroom can encourage students' love of learning and turn even the dreariest topic into something interesting. Enthusiastic, positive teachers tend to have happy classrooms and successful pupils.

Organization and Time Management

Keeping a classroom organized is crucial for a successful teacher and a productive school year. Teachers are responsible for a large amount of paperwork, textbooks and sensitive information, all of which must remain organized. Lack of organization can lead to a breach of student privacy if student information is misplaced. Disorganization can cause stress when dealing with student grades and preparing for standardized testing. Often, teachers are tasked with covering a large amount of material in a small amount of time, so it's imperative that teachers develop excellent time management skills to get the most out of the time they spend with students.

Communication Skills

Whether communicating with fellow teachers, parents, students or staff, a teacher's ability to relay information in a timely manner is crucial. Teachers need excellent speaking skills to provide clear directions and explanations that are easy for students to understand. Additionally, teachers need active listening skills so they can process student questions and provide appropriate answers.

Flexibility and Problem Solving

Things change and they often change quickly when dealing with a classroom full of students especially if those students happen to be young children. If a teacher can't deal with unexpected changes in behavior or performance with a flexible demeanor, he likely will find himself constantly feeling frustrated and stressed out. Teachers sometimes have to face the reality that their current methods are no longer working, and it's essential that they develop new methods to solve problems and to maintain learning. Being ready to try new things while maintaining control of the classroom is critical to keeping the stress level of a teacher down no matter the level of instruction.

Instructional Skills

Concepts that seem simple to an adult are often overwhelming for students unless those concepts are broken down and presented in a way the pupils can relate to. Instructional skills are essential for any teacher regardless of the subject or level of instruction. Teachers must have the ability to convince a room full of uninterested students that the concept they are presenting is necessary and keep them engaged in the lessons.

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