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

In most countries, if you’ve got a Bachelor’s degree and a teaching certificate such as TESOL/TEFL/CELTA, you’ll find an ESL teaching job. Countries such as China, Hong Kong, Japan usually prefer or strictly hire only native English speakers. If you’re in it for the money, to save some or pay off your student loans while working and traveling abroad, read on! Here’s the list of top 5 countries that pay the highest salaries for teaching English abroad:

Empower your everyday in the park with funny teaching quotes

1. 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. 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 together with the capacity to convert ideas into student understandable 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. If a student does not fully grasp or understand the expectations or directions of a particular task or assignment, it is crucial for the teacher to communicate them to the best of his or her abilities.

2. 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 better understand your students. Aristotle once said that “those who know, do” and “Those you understand, teach.”

The ability to understand your students is one of the keys to being a good teacher and helps you to 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.

3. 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 to ask 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 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.

People will never forget how you made them feel

4. Patient

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. Different students will display different levels of aptitude when it comes to learning. It is crucial to consider, as this will help students not stay behind and will further the success of the teaching environment.

Remember, you are a role model, and showing a lack of patients will only reflect on the teacher in a negative way, 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.

5. 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. To express a strong work ethic, you have to take responsibility for several things, including your students’ possible misbehavior within classroom settings.

Unfortunately, not all students will have the same attention span or the same level of discipline concerning their attitudes and behaviors. 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 behaviors 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 behaviors.

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 join the classroom setting 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.

6. 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. 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.

7. Preparation

Preparation is a crucial characteristic of what makes an outstanding teacher. Preparation goes hand in hand with the organization. It is important for teachers 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. 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 effectively set clear and realistic expectations. This way, teachers can communicate these expectations to their students in a more constructive manner. It is also important to get prepared and have all the necessary setups ready for the online teaching environment, like setting up the lighting, droplet background, whiteboard, etc.

Online classroom setups for teaching English to children

Behind the scenes virtual classroom

8. 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 behaviors 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.

9. 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. It is important to keep in mind that a teacher reflects the organization that he or she is working with and for.

10. 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 is disrespecting not only the student but yourself and the classroom. It is essential to be respectful to each and every student, as well as 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. 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. It is essential to treat your students with the same respect you expect them to treat you with.

Don’t forget that, after all, you really are a role model for your students.