Initial Thoughts on the Nearly Perfect Teacher

Teacher DisplayWhat traits must a teacher have? I asked and you delivered.

Love to learn. As Darlene Taig and several others said, teachers must have “curiosity about the world.” And I couldn’t agree more. A teacher should be a lifelong learner. “You must love to learn,” said Cheryl Best. “Learn every day something new or relearn something old, but love the learning process!” And Upper Grades Exchange reader Kathy nails why teachers must love the learning process. It’s because teachers must be “willing to lead through example.”

Have a deep well of compassion. “You must love children. All kinds: the gifted, the average, the strugglers, and the ones who drive you nuts!” Cheryl, we couldn’t agree more. Kathy stated it another way: “Must love children or you won’t commit to doing what it takes to care for your students holistically.”

Patience and perseverance. I think these two go hand-in-hand. “Patience with students, patience with parents, patience with administration, patience with other teachers,” said Diane P. Oh yes, oodles of patience. And when your patience wears thin, turn up your perseverance “because often it takes time for changes/learning to occur,” according to Diane Danner. Furthermore, as she said, “When [change] happens, it is well worth the time and effort!” And Michael may hold three keys to fortifying your patience and perseverance: adaptability, creativity, and an even temper.

Passion, as Stacy said. Perhaps this is why teaching is often referred to as “a calling.” The best teachers have a drive and “desire to make things a bit better,” as Darlene Taig said. Teachers create new families every year, nurturing every family member, imparting wisdom and learning. And then they are gone! We teach with the promise that we have done our best and with the hope that each student will flourish in the world and make it a better place.

Of course, there’s more. Be organized. Be a team player. Be knowledgeable. Have you thought of more? Let’s keep this discussion going as we strive to build the Nearly Perfect Teacher.

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