What Makes a Good Teacher

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    What makes a good teacher? What qualities does one need to be successful in the classroom? Is there an ideal personality type that is conducive to teaching, or do different personalities work better with different students? 

    These are all questions that many people ask themselves when considering entering into the profession of teaching. There are so many opinions about what makes for a good teacher, but I believe it boils down to three things: intelligence, empathy and passion. 

    Intelligence is important because teachers must know their subject matter well enough to teach it effectively while also knowing how to break difficult concepts down into manageable chunks for students. Finally, empathy comes in handy because teachers spend most of their time interacting with children who come from diverse backgrounds.

    A good teacher can be defined in many ways. For example, some say they need to have the ability to reach each child and teach them at their own level, while others might say a good teacher needs to know how to control a class. But what really makes someone qualified as a "good" teacher? 

    This blog post explores three different qualities that make up an excellent educator. Read on for more information!

    What Makes a Good Teacher: 10 Qualities of an Excellent Teacher

    Being a good teacher is extremely important, and a good teacher is someone who a student will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. But what really makes a good teacher? There are a lot of things to consider when answering this question. Below we will discuss the top 10 qualities of a good teacher that we believe are most important in quality teaching and really creating that strong student-teacher relationship.

    Communication Skills

    Communication skills are on the top of the list of what makes a good teacher. Effective communication is a critical asset to acquire in both professional and in intimate environments. 

    It is the root of successful and memorable relationships. In teaching, having strong communication skills as a teacher is an essential quality for building teacher-student rapport and creating a trusting environment for the students. In addition, strong communication skills are essential for the objective of teaching itself.

    As a teacher, having the ability to constructively express verbal, writing, visual, and body language cues and convert ideas into understandable student structures will deliver knowledge with superior results. 

    A teacher must be able to communicate the classroom’s curriculum in an effective and organized manner that the students will be able to understand. This way, the students will know precisely what is expected of them, including understanding due dates for specific homework tasks or assignments so that students can deliver the work successfully. 

    Suppose a student does not fully grasp or understand the expectations or directions of a particular task or assignment. In that case, the teacher must communicate with them to the best of his or her abilities.

    Listening Skills

    Being a good teacher means having your students listen to you and making sure that you listen and give your students the attention they need by answering all of their questions. The value of listening lies behind, allowing you to understand your students better. Aristotle once said that “those who know, do” and “Those you understand, teach.” 

    Understanding your students is one of the keys to being a good teacher and helps you understand what works and what does not work in terms of teaching for specific students and your student group as a whole. 

    Each student is different and expresses themselves in their own unique way. By asking active questions and carefully listening to what students have to say, a teacher can further improve their communication between themselves and their students. Through strong listening skills, teachers are able to create a stronger, healthier, and higher quality learning environment. 

    Friendly Attitude

    Having a friendly attitude is one of the most essential qualities of a good teacher. Expressing a friendly attitude towards your students makes you more approachable. It is more likely to motivate students to want to learn. By being perceived as more approachable, students will feel more comfortable asking questions. 

    This will, in turn, enhance student-teacher communication and create a more positive learning environment. The best teachers tend to be open, friendly, welcoming, and most importantly, secure in approaching. 

    Something important that comes with having a friendly attitude as a teacher is a trust that can potentially be created within the classroom. When a student views a teacher as friendly, the student is more likely to open up to the teacher, and hence, he or she will be more likely to trust the teacher. 

    A sense of trust will further enhance communication within the learning environment and increase productivity. Students need to feel comfortable in their learning space to perform to the best of their abilities. 

    By having a friendly attitude, you encourage this sense of comfort and trust that can really take your teaching to the very next level. Most importantly, having a friendly attitude can really contribute to making you a memorable teacher, and there is nothing more charming than being able to be that teacher.



    Patience is a virtue, and especially in the world of teaching. Being a teacher and handling multiple children at one time is not an easy task and requires a great deal of patience. In addition, different students will display different levels of aptitude when it comes to learning. Therefore, it is crucial to consider, as this will help students not stay behind and further the teaching environment’s success. 

    Remember, you are a role model, and showing a lack of patients will only negatively reflect on the teacher, offering the students the teacher’s own personal shortcomings. Another factor to note on patience is that a patient teacher is likely to be more adaptable to different teaching environments. 

    Different individual students and age groups will express various difficulties when it comes to interacting, communicating, and teaching. By being patient, a teacher will be more willing to understand each of these individual students and overall age groups. 

    Good teaching comes with experience; however, having patience will allow the teacher to learn and better understand what specific tactics work and do not work when it comes to engaging students within the learning process.

    Strong Work Ethic

    Having a strong work ethic is an essential quality in our list of qualities of a good teacher. A good teacher never quits, and especially not on his or her students. Having a strong ethic will always reflect on your students and the delivery of their work. 

    As a role model, having a strong work ethic will help your students develop a strong work ethic and are an especially crucial component in our list of qualities of a good teacher. 

    With a good work ethic comes professionalism, responsibility, and preparation. However, to express a strong work ethic, you have to take responsibility for several things, including your students’ possible misbehaviour within classroom settings.

    Unfortunately, not all students will have the same attention span or the same level of discipline concerning their attitudes and behaviours. Teachers have to be patient and remember that this is an inevitable part of teaching. 

    By having a strong work ethic, teachers can more effectively become aware of what works and do not work in their specific teaching environment, pertaining to the students. If something does not seem to be working, teachers must try their best to find a solution that works for the objective of teaching itself.

    We have engaged with many recruiters of the school. The recruiters observe subtle behaviours to determine whether a person is the right teacher job candidate and suitable for the job. 

    The actions and expressions during the job interviews reveal the work ethic and attitude. This includes frequently drinking, continually checking the phone, leaning forward too closely or stepping too far away from the webcam, yawning, or other distracting behaviours.

    Additionally, it is crucial to be punctual and attend both an interview and a virtual class on time. We recommend that teachers enter the classroom setting at least five minutes prior to starting the lesson. This gives teachers the necessary time to test their equipment and warm up with students who enter the classroom early. This also means that teachers are expected to end the class when it ends, and not earlier. 

    Teachers are also required to have no absences. Make sure to watch out for the time zone differences and keep in mind that students are coming from all over the world. Some do not have daylight savings like China, which has only one standard time zone even it technically lay across 4 time zones.

    Organizational Skills

    Teachers must be good organizers. Being organized plays an essential role in being a good teacher and is a paramount quality of a good teacher. Without organizational skills, a teacher could really lose grasp of deadlines, expectations, and tasks. 

    Most teachers tend to take notes after their class is completed, with critical points to keep in mind for their next class. This way, a teacher can easily prepare the necessary material for the next lesson and know exactly where they left off. 

    A poor organization could potentially lead to educational waste and a waste of time. On the other hand, being an organized teacher means that a teacher knows exactly where his or her students stand and that they are ready to begin the class with lessons that are effective in enhancing student learning. This way, teachers can better inform students of what is expected of them.



    Preparation is a crucial characteristic of what makes an outstanding teacher. Preparation goes hand in hand with the organization. Therefore, teachers need to prepare for their classes beforehand, by reviewing all of the class material that he or she will be presenting. 

    The majority of the online English teaching platforms and teaching jobs abroad listed on OETJobs already have the teaching plan and materials prepared for teachers. In addition, teachers have the ability to preview their class materials in the classroom on the teacher portal. Teachers can do this 6-12 hours in advance prior to their class. 

    Preparation gives teachers the time to set clear and realistic expectations effectively. This way, teachers can communicate these expectations to their students in a more constructive manner. It is also important to prepare and have all the necessary setups for the online teaching environment, like setting up the lighting, droplet background, whiteboard, etc.

    Discipline Skills

    To answer what makes a good teacher, one has to really take discipline into mind. A teacher who has strong discipline skills will effectively promote positive behaviours within the classroom. Maintaining classroom discipline is vital for creating a positive learning environment, which supports learning. Teachers can do this by expressing and maintaining a list of classroom learning standards. 

    Student Friendly Teaching Environment

    Having a student-friendly teaching environment in your classes is truly a must. As a teacher, you are your students’ role model; thus, you will want to set the best example possible. This means that teachers should not bring their personal issues and negative emotions to the class. 

    Going against this disrupts the classroom system and setting, also cause serious harm to the students’ well-being, especially for younger children, both physically and psychologically.

    Teachers are expected to wear proper professional teaching attire appropriate for teaching environments, especially for particular age groups or toward more conservative cultures. In addition, it is important to keep in mind that a teacher reflects the organization that he or she is working with and for.

    Respectful Attitude

    Respect is everything, in every field of work and, most importantly, in life. Teachers cannot threaten, mock, insult, or tease children in any shape or form. Doing so is bullying and disrespects not only the student but yourself and the classroom. 

    Therefore, it is essential to be respectful to each and every student and the teaching environment as a whole. Showing any form of disrespect is not only damaging to a child’s psychology but can also danger your job and reputation; teachers who treat their students with disrespect could become blacklisted.

    The ESL teaching circle tends to be smaller than most might think it to be. Internal recruiters are also known to often move around different ESL companies. Therefore, it is crucial to be respectful and responsible for your actions as an individual, and most importantly, as a teacher.

    Apart from respect concerning students and the teaching environment, it is critical to show respect to the company you are working for by not speaking at the company’s disposal. Famous sayings claim that respect is something that is earned rather than given. 

    If you are a respectful teacher, you will most likely be treated with respect from your company, co-workers, and, most importantly, your students. Therefore, it is essential to treat your students with the same respect you expect them to treat you with.

    Explainer: What Makes A Good Teacher

    Teaching is a profession that often alludes to us. Yet, while we might know a great teacher when we see them in action in the classroom, our understanding of these professionals’ skills, attributes, and qualities remains limited. 

    Students setting out to learn and adopt the best teaching strategies already hold beliefs about how teaching is conducted, developed through their own school experiences.

    Whether it be watching an expert maths, science or technology teacher, we have picked up ideas about what does and doesn’t work during our own schooling. The problem is that at school, we only ever see what goes on from a student’s perspective, which is what is happening on one side of the teacher’s desk.

    Unfortunately, this also informs our wider public view that suggests teachers work short hours and take advantage of the school holidays. 

    Planning, assessing, reporting, and considering the many and varied needs of young people in classrooms are constant demands on teachers.

    What Defines A Great Teacher?

    The answer to what makes a great teacher lies in educational psychology. Coined by Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky, proximal development refers to the space between what a learner can do without help and what they can do with it.

    In other words, students will already know something about what it is that the teacher is teaching. The good teacher can discern this and build upon it.

    A great teacher knows and understands their learners well enough to shape the learning to fit the zone of proximal development. They do this by gathering evidence of learning from their students in the form of written work and group and one-on-one conversations to inform their judgement.

    How Do You Teach In The ‘proximal Development’ Zone?

    Learning in the zone of proximal development means that the learning is hard enough to be challenging but not so hard that the learner feels defeated and tempted to give up.

    The tricky thing is that the zone isn’t the same for everyone in any class.

    A great teacher differentiates the curriculum by varying the content and process of learning, the pieces of work that students produce to demonstrate their learning, and the pace of learning to ensure that students work in their zone of proximal development.

    In this way, the great teacher nurtures resilience and persistence so that students don’t give up if the task is challenging or become disengaged because the task is too easy.

    Connecting Parents To The Classroom Is Crucial

    Great teachers enter a partnership with parents. They explain what happens at school in an accessible way for parents. As a result, they can relieve parents’ anxiety about big questions: is my child doing OK? How can I best help them at home?

    They may also need to realize that the school was a challenge for some parents and that they may need help in understanding their child’s progress.

    Subject matter expertise is important, but it’s not enough. Great teachers genuinely like children and want to get to know them.

    They understand that education is about much more than the transmission of knowledge, and they’re committed to creating the ideal conditions for learning, for real understanding, for every child in their class, every day.

    Five Qualities Of Great Teachers


    The role of teachers in helping young people discover themselves and the world – and how they can then shape the world – is why teaching is the most important job in the world. But it is also the most important job for the world.

    No other occupation offers as many ways to help others learn and grow in their most formative years and take responsibility for their own lives. As a student and as a teacher, to my current role as the CEO of ACARA (the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority), I've been fortunate to meet many good teachers – but what makes a teacher great?

    Open To Learning And Improvement

    Great teachers will always aspire to be the best teachers they can be. They will be open to learning, aspire to excellence, and constantly think about ways to improve their practice. They will take their professional learning seriously, evaluating those experiences and offerings through the lens of whether it will lead them to change the way they teach for the benefit of their students.

    Providing Respectful, Structured Learning Environments

    A good teacher will be respected. When I was training to be a teacher, at the end of my first practice round, the Dean of Studies at the school commented: ‘There are two types of teachers: popular and successful. You were popular.' Ouch!

    Obviously, the Dean of Studies didn't mean to say all good teachers are unpopular. He himself was well-liked, but he wouldn't admit that. His point was that my relationship with my students is fundamentally a professional one and that the measure of a good teacher is the learning that takes place.

    Good teaching does not depend on compatibility or preference, as friendships usually do, and the relationship is not one of mutual support. This is the basis of, and the rationale for, professional standards and the basis for ethical practices relating to a teacher's dealings with their students.

    That is not to say teaching is not intensely personal. It is not limited to the transmission of subject knowledge, and, at its best, it deeply involves the growth of the whole student as a human being.

    Certainly, great teaching involves having a good relationship with students. But those good relationships are based on trust, expertise and respect, on being fair, reliable, being a person of your word, and offering structure and consistency to provide a classroom environment where learning happens.

    It is true that, often, the realities of the classroom and the school seem light years away from such elevated visions of teaching. Rowdy kids, unsettled Friday afternoons, outbreaks of bullying, encounters with parents who are either too demanding or not demanding enough – all these occur and place far more immediate challenges on teachers. Nevertheless, teaching is a challenging profession.

    But, as many teachers know, it is often through these experiences, not in spite of them, that teachers find the way to relate to their students professionally, which puts their needs as learners at the forefront.

    Subject Knowledge And Passion

    In choosing to become teachers, many of us have been inspired by great teachers we had at school – people who showed they were committed to our intellectual and personal development by the way they taught. In particular, it was their deep knowledge and passion for their subject that was inspiring.

    I had a number of such teachers, but one stands out in particular. His name was Kevin Garrity, and he was my HSC maths teacher. He was slightly eccentric, and he would take any opportunity he could to help us see how mathematics could be applied to our understanding of the world. 

    Kevin would set us tricky calculus problems, and as he wandered around the room, he would often wave a hand-held fan over us. One day, I asked him, ‘Sir, what are you doing?' and he replied, ‘I am fanning the flames of wonder!'.

    ‘Fanning the flames of wonder' is the best summary I have ever heard of the role of teaching.

    Inspiring Questions And Fanning The Flames Of Wonder

    A great teacher has the ability to inspire students to ask more questions, not just to answer them. Their role in leading students to knowledge is not to satisfy their desire for knowledge, but exactly the opposite: it makes them hungrier and thirstier for more knowledge, skills, and understanding.

    A good lesson will conclude with students knowing they have learnt something, but a great lesson will conclude with students being unsatisfied with what they've learnt, wanting to learn more, and asking more questions. That's fanning the flames of wonder. That's great teaching.

    And the nature of their questions will branch out into an ever-widening circle of interests and concerns. Which brings me to the fifth dimension of great teachers.

    Understanding The Wider Purposes Of Education

    The earliest known curriculum document was a two-word inscription on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi in Greece. It read simply, ‘Know yourself. Knowing yourself and examining one's life in a systematic and fundamentally honest way so as to become wise – this is the most profound outcome of a successful education.

    Developing in students a commitment to thoughtful, honest, purposeful human agency, respectful of others and embracing the common concerns of one's communities, this is the wider objective of the calling of a teacher: to help young people come to know themselves and the power they have to change the world.

    When teachers do these things well, their conversations with their students about knowledge and the world under construction will flourish from the creative and critical thinking of a new generation of lifelong learners who understand that they have minds and that they can use them responsibly for the common good.

    A good teacher is one who is able to explain and demonstrate concepts in a variety of ways for a variety of different learners and learning styles. A good teacher is a good learner—they learn how their student(s) learn—and modify their teaching accordingly.

    You'll need:
    • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
    • patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations
    • the ability to create the best conditions for learning or teaching new things
    • leadership skills
    • to be flexible and open to change
    • excellent verbal communication skills
    • maths knowledge
    Here are five roles that a teacher often has to fill in order to be the best educator they can be.
    1. Resource. One of the top roles a teacher must fill is that of a resource specialists. ...
    2. Support. Students are the ones who need support when learning a new skill or piece of information. ...
    3. Mentor. ...
    4. Helping hand. ...
    5. Learner.
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