Your Career• 3 Min read

7th October 2020

What Are The Qualities Of A Good Teacher?

Do you have the right qualities to be a great teacher and inspire a generation of young people? Teachers play an important role in developing the minds of future generations and although there is no specific set of traits that guarantees you’ll succeed as a teacher, there are certain qualities that the best teachers often have. There is no ‘ideal’ teacher – children and young people learn in different ways, and one student’s most memorable and inspiring teacher could have completely different qualities to another’s. We’ve put together a few of the qualities that we know make for a successful teacher below!

Practical Qualities

Punctuality, organisation, the ability to plan and a firm knowledge of technology available both in the home and at school are just a few practical qualities that will facilitate your journey to being a great teacher. Teaching should definitely be considered a hands-on job! Leading a classroom, you’ll be front and centre and students will notice if you are struggling to get the whiteboard to work, or haven’t planned enough activities to fill the lesson. These slip-ups can lead to a breakdown in behaviour so having the practical skills to keep lessons moving forward at an appropriate pace and deal with hold-ups and the ability to pre-plan activities to fill unexpected gaps will all help create a calm, stimulating learning environment.


READ MORE: What Makes An Effective Teacher?

Knowledge And Experience

You don’t have to know everything to be a teacher. Learning is a lifelong pursuit and no teacher is expected to know every single thing about their chosen subject. However, being knowledgeable about your subject specialism as well as having a broad range of interests and life experience will definitely help when you are faced with a classroom full of inquisitive minds! Truly inspiring teachers have a passion for lifelong learning which continues throughout their career. 


READ MORE: What Makes An Outstanding Lesson?


Teachers must have the ability to quickly build relationships with 30 or more young people and connect with them on a level that encourages mutual respect.   It’s essential to have an understanding of how your young students are looking at the world, what their concerns are and where they might need extra support and this comes from developing your relationships with them as individuals. The ability to really listen, understand and be empathetic towards your pupils will teach them that you aren’t just there to lecture information, but to support their personal development too.  An age-appropriate reward and praise system encourage enthusiastic participation and positive learning outcomes – find some ideas for behaviour management systems for pupils of all ages on our Pinterest board here! It’s not just pupils either – the ability to develop great relationships with your mentors and fellow teachers is also useful, especially when it comes to managing any pastoral issues that arise.


READ MORE: Our Guide To Behaviour Management Strategies


It won’t come as a surprise that great communication might be the single most important quality for teachers. To start with, your main role is to communicate the subject matter to your students in a way that engages and inspires them. Excellent written and verbal skills are a must for all teachers. Great communicators don’t just lecture, they find new ways to share knowledge, whether that be through written, spoken or practical demonstrations, roleplay or debate.  Being an excellent communicator will also come in handy when sharing pupil progress with parents and guardians as well as discussing your own career development and hurdles with mentors.


READ MORE: How To Prepare For A Parent Teacher Interview


Teachers need to be able to adapt quickly, coming up with creative solutions when pupils are struggling to understand or recall knowledge. You’ll need to dream up exciting, original ways to teach pupils who can become quickly malaised by being talked-at lecture style for long periods of time. Creating varied learning opportunities supports the individual learning styles of pupils in the classroom and keeps your classes engaging and inspiring for pupils of all ages and abilities. Being able to find solutions and adapt quickly to changing situations is important in the journey towards becoming a great teacher. Ultimately, creative teachers are able to develop more innovative and enjoyable learning activities which has a significantly positive impact on their engagement and overall learning experience. Improve your own creative outlook by taking up a creative hobby, seeking inspiration by observing colleagues and their different teaching methods or brainstorming new ways of teaching a staple topic.


READ MORE: Modern Teaching Methods From Across The Globe


There is no exact set of traits that makes the ‘ideal’ teacher, but developing your practical, communicative and creative skills both in and out of the classroom benefits not only your career but the pupils you teach and colleagues that you work with.

Got The Right Qualities?

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