By Teachers, For Teachers
What makes successful teachers? Is it their confidence, knowledge for their subject matter, effective teaching strategies, or their experience working with children? While all of these traits may be a factor in what makes a successful teacher, one thing that we can all agree upon is that successful teachers know how to reach their students. They are effective because they are memorable, and in some way or another they have used teaching strategies that have made an impact on their students’ lives forever. We can learn a lot from successful teachers and what they do. Here five traits that I feel contribute to a happy, successful teaching career.
The most effective teachers hold reasonable expectations for their students. They know what their students are able to achieve, and what they cannot. They also believe in each and every one of their students, and they make it known that they expect great things from them and nothing less. When children know that their teacher has high expectations for them, and think that she believes that they can do anything, it will give them the confidence to soar and try that much harder.
Successful teachers think outside of the box. They are creative and try and make every lesson and activity exciting for their students. They use this creativity to design experiences that are unique and stimulating. They seek ways to give their students a real thirst for knowledge and try and take them on memorable ride that they will never forget, even if it’s outside of the norms of education. They make learning fun and aren’t afraid to be silly.
We are all familiar with the teachers who are stagnant and stick to their lessons year after year, or the ones that are just counting down the days until they retire. These teachers are not flexible or curious. While they may have been a successful teacher at one point in time, they are not successful now. Successful teachers are flexible and ready for anything. They don’t mind if their principal gives them a new student mid-year, or if they are expected to change their schedule around. They embrace the new teaching strategies that the first-year teachers are doing, and are curious about the new technology that is coming out. These teachers are confident in themselves and can handle anything that comes their way.
Successful teachers never stop learning. While they may be good at their craft, they always have the mindset that they could be even better. Instead of ignoring new technology, they embrace it with open arms. They seek new information and knowledge in their subject matter and are open to challenges, questions, and problems. They know that there is always room to grow, and embrace new innovations and practices that can improve the way they teach, as well as their student outcomes. They have strong core principles, but somehow still evolve and know how to change with the times.
Effective teachers know that communication is the key to student success. They create an open path of communication between parents, and recognize that a united front between parties lowers the chance that any student will ever get left behind. They create a robust parent/teacher communication plan and stick to it all year long. They design this clear and consistent plan because they know that without the parent’s involvement, their students may fall behind.
For teachers aiming to obtain success in their teaching career, you can learn a lot from what successful teachers do. Although it can be quite intimidating to think about all of the things you must do in order to reach your students, it is possible to master these five essential traits. All you have to do is take it one day at a time, and success will be in your future.
What traits do think makes a successful teacher? Feel free to add to the list and share the qualities and skills that you think are essential to reaching students in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.