By Nicolas Reynolds
There is no secret formula to what makes an effective teacher. But as you take your place at the front of the classroom, certain qualities can aid you in growing into the person you are supposed to be — progressing as the teacher you are supposed to be. Here are a few qualities we hope will help you lay a solid groundwork.
What Makes an Effective Teacher?
- Effective teachers are encouraging.
Students are guaranteed to fail if they don’t try. Confidence can be — and often is — the deciding factor in students’ success. Instilling encouragement instills potential like fuel to an engine. In encouraging, and showing that you believe in your students’ potential, you empower them to try, to persevere, and to succeed. Encouragement is one of — if not the most important — factor in every student’s journey into success.
- Effective teachers set high expectations.
Contrary to assumptions that teachers must accommodate all levels of learning, research shows that students held to higher standards tend to achieve higher levels of learning. In setting the bar low, teachers cap off a student’s potential, limiting their capabilities — undermining their future. High expectations open up the possibilities for students’ dreams and aspirations.
- Effective teachers are relational.
Have you ever had a teacher who seemed withdrawn and detached from their students? For a student, few situations are more discouraging than a teacher more concerned with curriculum content rather than the living and breathing adolescents in their care. To earn a student’s respect and attention, you must assure them that you care about them and that they are your primary focus.
- Effective teachers stay dedicated.
If you don’t have challenges in the classroom, then you’re not teaching. Dedication is easier in word than in deed. Many believe themselves dedicated — that is, that they are committed to teaching until they choose to retire from their field of work. However, ‘dedication’ is about the day-to-day grind. It is what tips the scales when you’re faced with failing, stubborn, or distracted students. Dedication is what empowers you to overcome the inevitable challenges you will face in and out of the classroom.
- Effective teachers lead by example.
Notable author William Arthur Ward said, “The mediocre teacher tells. The good teacher explains. The superior teacher demonstrates. The great teacher inspires.” A teacher teaches even when they’re not giving a lesson, a quiz, or having a discussion. Because teachers are leaders, they are always teaching through their actions and words regardless if it’s in relation to an academic activity. And while It’s every teacher’s job to convey information, the most effective ones are able to truly captivate their students’ attention, communicate valuable lessons, and inspire learning — to get them to use their critical thinking. It is a quality teachers must possess in order to promote a genuine and lasting impact on students.
So What’s Next?
Good teaching starts with good character. You cannot try to become a great teacher if you are unwilling to grow as a person — holistically. Do you know you’re called to the field of education? Whether you desire tools to become a more effective teacher, or you’re looking to broaden your career’s horizons as an administrator, specialist, consultant, or university professor, you’ll find Regent University offers a world-class master’s in education (M.Ed.) program, education endorsements, and doctoral-level programs in education (both Ed.D. and Ph.D.) Regent is a leader in character education and renowned for its commitment to high-quality, faith-based education, delivered online and on campus in Virginia Beach. For information on degree options and more, visit regent.edu or speak to a member of our admissions team at 800.373.5504.