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Being a teacher is one of the most valuable and important occupations out there. After all, teachers are partially responsible for shaping the futures of young minds (and as a result, the world as a whole) and interacting with children in their key formative years, when thoughts, study habits and ideas are just beginning to form and come together.
Fairness and justice are two important components for being a dedicated teacher. This means not playing favorites and treating everyone in an equally respectful manner. Even very young children can detect signs of injustice. This does not mean, however, that teachers should not be able to pick up on the strengths and weaknesses of individual students and focus on how to accommodate, accentuate and eliminate them.
Accessibility is vital for being a good teacher. If a child has a question and wants to learn more, it is very important that he is not afraid to approach the teacher. Students are able to thrive in an educational environment when it is friendly, warm and non-threatening. If a child feels stupid about not knowing something and asking a question, it could turn him off to learning in general.
Teachers are responsible for heading up large groups of students. As a result, it is very crucial for them to possess strong organizational skills. Students need a structured atmosphere in order to learn effectively. Stability and predictability can help students feel secure. From grading times to timeliness, good organization can help a classroom run smoothly and productively.
Empathy also is a beneficial quality for dedicated and devoted teachers. This is particularly important for teachers of young children, who oftentimes can be especially sensitive and vulnerable. If a child is having learning difficulties, she will need someone who has the ability to feel compassion for her. If a teacher is able to put himself in the shoes of another, it can be a valuable asset on his path to being a quality educator.
Intellectual curiosity also is a strong quality for teachers. Well-rounded teachers are fascinated by the concept of learning, which in turn can rub off on students. If a teacher is continually asking questions and trying to learn more (to better assist her students), she is showing genuine passion and love for her career, rather than simply waiting for the clock to strike 3 every afternoon.
Dedicated teachers also often have strong expectations of their students. These teachers encourage their students to reach for the stars and not to settle for anything less than the best of their capabilities. When a teacher has a "who cares" attitude about his students' learning, his students will have no fear of letting him down. Promoting a healthy sense of accomplishment is vital in a classroom setting.
Effective interpersonal communication skills are crucial for being a good teacher. A teacher needs to have the ability to clearly articulate her expectations to her students. In turn, it is also important for a teacher to possess strong active listening skills. If a student comes to a teacher with a problem, she needs to be able to properly examine the situation and help the individual come up with a solution or plan of action.
Lars Tramilton has been writing professionally since 2007. His work has appeared in a variety of online publications, including CareerWorkstation. Tramilton received a bachelor's degree with a focus on elementary education from Kean University.
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