Top Ten Qualities of a Good Teacher
fair·ness noun. The quality or state of being fair; especially: fair or impartial treatment.
“[B]eing regarded as fair by students is vitally important to how students receive [their educators] as human beings as well as their teachers. It’s difficult to believe that the unfair teacher is either accepted, respected, or effective.” – Robert L. DeBruyn, founder of The Master Teacher, Inc.
wis·dom noun. The intelligent application of learning: ability to discern inner qualities and essential relationships.
“Wisdom teaches students to understand things from diverse points of view across time and space.” - Robert J. Sternberg, professor of psychology and education at Yale University
open-mind·ed adjective. Receptive of arguments or ideas: free from rigidly fixed preconceptions.
The attitude of open-mindedness promotes the “…willingness to entertain different perspectives, coupled with an acceptance of the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us,” and “acknowledgment of the limitations of one’s own perspective.” - Carol Rodgers, associate professor of education at the University at Albany
re·spect noun. High or special regard.
“Respecting students means regarding them with special attention, honoring them, showing consideration toward them, being concerned about them, appreciating them, relating to them, admiring their strengths, and caring for them. Young people are dignified and strengthened by adult respect. The absence of such respect is corrosive.” - Carol Ann Tomlinson, Chair of Educational Leadership, Foundation, and Policy at the Curry School of Education at UVA
ded·i·ca·tion noun. A devoting or setting aside for any particular purpose.
“Dedication refers to a love of teaching or passion for the work, which includes commitment to students’ success. . . . To a student, this means a teacher should be always willing to help and give time.” - Ashley Peterson-DeLuca, Pearson researcher
pa·tience noun. Forbearance under stress, provocation, or indignity: toleration or magnanimity for the faults or affronts of others: courageous endurance.
“Teacher patience is the heart of students' long-term retention of content and skills. Unless we're careful, we'll operate ceaselessly at one speed—impatient—which is death to clear thinking, kryptonite to heroic pedagogy.” - Rick Wormeli, a long-time teacher, consultant, and author living in Herndon, Virginia.
em·pa·thy noun. The action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another.
“Empathy is a powerful tool that can help you better understand what’s driving your students’ behavior and find strategies to help. It can also help you connect and work through difficult moments together.” - Amanda Morin, teacher, intervention specialist, and author of The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education
sup·port·ive adj. Providing encouragement or emotional help.
“Showing students you care about them helps create a positive, supportive relationship and helps build an environment where learning can flourish. And you're modeling behavior that you want students to learn and emulate.” - Leo Buscaglia, professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Southern California
re·spon·si·bil·i·ty noun. The quality or state of being able to respond or answer for one's conduct and obligations.
“Teachers who are responsible come up as trustworthy individuals with a keen sense of professionalism in everything they do. Tagged as highly dependable and reliable resources, responsible teachers pave way to the development of responsible students.” – Edsys blog
cha·ris·ma noun. A personal magic of leadership arousing special popular loyalty or enthusiasm.
“The charismatic teacher is not only good at what they teach, but they can also teach to a level the student can relate with. There is something sincere and genuine about them, and that factor can drive the students towards better engagement.” - Warren “Murph” Fowler, teacher and blogger.