What Traits Must a Teacher Have?

CharactersWithout a doubt, the place where I failed most spectacularly as a teacher was at the corner of Organization Street and Process Avenue. I’m sure there were days when my students didn’t know what to expect from me; however, the work we did was consistent and the way in which we approached it rarely veered off course. Sure, there was the time I allowed an entire language arts class (okay, possibly two) to morph into a lesson on the Coriolis effect. And the time I allowed one student’s insistence on being wrong to turn into a class-wide oral presentation project (but they were due for a new oral report assignment anyway). But do shortcomings in one or two areas mean I was a failure across the board?

Recently, I read another education blog post in which the author discussed the traits of a great teacher. These included being a master of classroom management; unconditional love for children (Am I too grumpy for that?); a generally positive outlook; patience and compassion; really good problem-solving skills; a sense of humor; having high expectations of students; and a commitment to engaging learners in every possible way—to name a few.

I’d like to hear from you. Would you provide one, two, or three of the top traits you think every teacher should have? Let’s compile a list and see if we can create the Nearly Perfect Teacher!

11 thoughts on “What Traits Must a Teacher Have?

  1. Must love children or you won’t commit to doing what it takes to care for your students holistically; Must be a lifelong learner…willing to lead through example; Must be a team player…the needs of your students must drive all aspects of your professional agenda.

  2. I have a gifted son. He was in 3 private schools and was only 5 years old. Now we homeschool. Based on my experience, the perfect teacher should be knowledgeable about what is like to be a gifted child and how to work with them, be willing t be part of a team and must LOVE to teach children. The teachers who met my child had absolutely no clue as to what gifted meant, or how to work with him, they didn’t want to follow any of the suggestions the psychologist gave and when asked for a written plan which I had to pay, was not willing to follow it. They were in a classroom but could care less. One told me she wanted to retire but couldn’t do it because of financial need.

  3. Perseverance-because often it takes time for changes/learning to occur, but when it happens, it is well worth the time and effort!

  4. You must love to learn; learn everyday something new or relearn something old but love the learning process! But most of all you must love children. ALL kinds; the gifted, the average,the strugglers and the ones who drive you nuts!

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