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Teaching Strategies: Qualities of Effective Educators

Janelle Cox

There are many qualities and teaching strategies that effective educators must possess. They must have a love for teaching, demonstrate a caring attitude, and be able to relate to his/her students. Think back to when you were a child. What qualities did your teachers have that made them special? While there is no exact set of qualities, it does take a perfect blend of several qualities and teaching strategies to truly make an effective teacher; one that will be genuinely remembered and have a lasting effect on every student.

Here is a list of the qualities and components that make an effective teacher. Use this list to reflect on the components that are important for effective teaching, and apply them to your teaching strategies.

Teaching Strategies: Personal Qualities

1. Caring – Shows concern for a student’s emotional and physical well-being. Displays interest about a student’s life outside of the classroom, and is an active listener.

2. Enthusiastic – Takes pleasure in his/her teaching, shows joy for the material that is being taught, is involved in activities that correlate with what they teach outside of the classroom.

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3. Motivated – Provides students with meaningful feedback (positive as well as negative), and returns student work on time.

4. Respectful – Shows utmost respect for all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender.  Responds to misbehavior on an individual manner, and prevents situations from occurring where students are disrespected by their peers.

5. Fair – Treats all students equally and is unbiased and objective.

6. Appropriate – Maintains a professional role at all times while still being friendly, playful and joking when appropriate. Values what students say while interacting and showing interest.

7. Positive – Displays a positive attitude about school and life in general.

8. Dedicated – Is dedicated to teaching and lifelong learning. Seeks professional development and participates in collegiate activities inside and outside of school.

9. Reflective – Uses reflection to improve teaching methods, knows their strengths and weaknesses, as well as sets high classroom expectations for themselves.

10. Responsible – Accepts all responsible that go along with being an educator.

Qualities of Classroom Management

  • Classroom Manager – Establishes rules, procedures and daily routines, orchestrates smooth transitions, is able to multitask, balances a variety of activities, challenges students, and uses their space to access troublesome areas and potential problems.
  • Classroom Disciplinarian – Uses appropriate discipline measures, implements rules of behavior, responds to inappropriate behavior promptly, and reiterates positive behavior.
  • Classroom Organizer – Organizes classroom space effectively and efficiently, prepares classroom materials ahead of time, handles all classroom tasks promptly.

Qualities for Instruction

1. Engages Students – Varies instructional activities that engage students, leads, directs, and is clear of explanations and expectations.

2. Has High Expectations – Sets high expectations toward growth in classroom, stresses students’ responsibilities and accountability, and offers clear examples and practice.

3. Employs Strategies – Employs a variety of instructional techniques that are meaningful and hands-on.

4. Uses Questioning – Uses questioning to maintain student interest and classroom momentum, questions reflect objectives of lesson content, and is patient while waiting for students to answer.

5. Differentiates Learning – Understands that each student learns differently and applies that knowledge to all lessons and activities.

6. Utilizes Technology – Effective teachers embrace technology and are not afraid to use it. They stay up-to-date with the latest in the digital world and use this knowledge in the classroom.

7. Thinks Outside of the Box – Is willing to try new things and be creative as well as adaptive. They utilize different strategies and understand that every child does not learn in the same way.

Qualities for Organization of Instruction

Time Management – Maintains a consistent schedule, handles tasks in a timely and prompt manner, prepares classroom materials in advance, and maintains classroom momentum.

Classroom Instruction – Organizes content carefully, explores student understanding, considers student attention span, considered student learning styles, links objectives with activities, develops activities that are appropriate for all students learning styles.

Qualities for Student Potential

An effective teacher monitors all student progress. They give clear and specific feedback so that students can be successful, and they offer help for those who did not master content. They suite their instruction based on students individual needs and monitor their progress throughout the school year. Effective teachers use a variety of grouping activities and strategies to adapt to all learning styles and achievement levels.

An effective teacher has a true understanding of the content that they teach. They challenge their students and push them to work hard and be successful. The most effective teachers are the ones who are usually the students least favorite, but are later remembered as the ones who prepared them for their future. Being an effective teacher is not always easy, you may not always be liked or the student’s favorite, but you will be the one that they will want to thank later in life.

What qualities do you think effective teachers should display? Do agree with the list above? Please share your insight in the comment section below, we would love to hear what you have to say.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators