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What Makes a Successful Teacher?

Teacher in the classroom

According to a RAND Education study, among school-related factors that can affect a student’s academic performance, it’s the teachers that matter the most.

The research, which assessed student scores on standardized tests, also revealed that students taught by an effective teacher fared better than others, reinforcing what a lot of us already know, in part through experience: Good teachers have transformative powers and their impact can go beyond the four walls of the educational institution.

But what qualifies someone as a good teacher?

Attributes of a Great Teacher

If you look on the web or education discussion boards, you’ll know soon enough that there’s no one definition of a good teacher. Even harder is to quantify what makes a teacher “good.” But we can agree on the fact that good students are generally the result of good or effective teachers.

With that in mind, what skills must you develop as you work toward becoming a leader in the education field?

Here are a few:

Focus and Energy Management

Time management is a myth. Time waits on no one. No matter how hard you try, it cannot be managed. What you can manage, however, is your focus and energy.

A good teacher doesn’t ramble on about unrelated subjects only to realize there’s no time left on the clock to discuss the lesson for the day. Additionally, an effective teacher follows a well-planned syllabus to ensure the required topics are covered by the end of the year or semester.

Related Article: Using Psychology Principles to Motivate Your Students

Active Listening Skills

Communication, as they say, is a two-way street. Teachers don’t just convey messages; they receive them, too. Active listening lets you identify student needs, assess their understanding and defuse brewing conflicts.

Excellent Organizational Skills

Paperwork is, unfortunately, a big part of the teacher’s life. As such, it’s critical that you develop an efficient filing system for memos, assessments, individualized lesson plans, etc.

Ability to Build Relationships

Classroom management calls for good relational skills. Teachers must, at all times, strive to provide students with an environment conducive to learning. Students thrive when they feel appreciated. Simple things such as asking students about their day, greeting them with a smile, and showing that you care about them mean a lot.

Eagerness to Try Something New

There is no single way to teach. Besides, the same teaching style throughout the school year will make your lessons boring. Vary your classroom approach from time to time to keep things fresh and lively.

Related Article: Can Learning Analytics Make You a Better Teacher?

A Lifelong Learning Mindset

In the teaching field, every day is a new day. And often, the best way to learn is on the job. When you keep an open mind, you can learn a lot from your colleagues and students. Self-education through online, organizational, collaborative and other modes of learning will hone your creativity, help you overcome challenges and transition more seamlessly into new roles.

Become the Good Teacher You Want to Be

Overnight success, in the true sense of the word, rarely happens. Success can, however, be achieved through preparation and deliberate practice. The best time to prepare and practice towards becoming a good and successful teacher is now.

Northcentral University has an ongoing partnership with TeacherReady, an online teacher certification program. If you’re a TeacherReady graduate, taking NCU’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT), nine hours will be credited toward your MAT. In addition, you get a ten percent reduction in tuition. Call us at 1-866-776-0331 or use our online form to request information.