“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and there are as few as there are any other great artists. It might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.” These inspirational words come from famous author John Steinbeck and carry so much weight and validity into what it takes to be a great teacher. The profession of education is not one that you should enter lightly. It is one of the most essential professions in all of society as it affects every aspect of every community in some form. As educators, we are shaping the lives of future generations, and our work directly affects the future of society as a whole.
So what does it take to be a great teacher? A great teacher is not simply someone who does their job “well.” To be a great teacher, you must go above and beyond and have a passion for doing the things necessary that will take your students to the next level and help them reach their full potential. Here are some of the things that great teachers do differently.
An effective teacher knows how to anticipate, address, and learn from any and all challenges, even the most difficult ones. They, in fact, embrace the potential of certain challenges and take them on directly because they know that doing so will help them overcome any obstacle in their way and continue to move forward. This mindset also allows them to inspire their students to do the same. They are able to address any negativity brought into the classroom such as students who have negative thoughts about school or their education. It is a core part of a teacher’s job and development to understand the factors that cause these thoughts and put in the effort necessary to enact a positive change.
They Have A Love of Learning
While you may be a teacher and as such, your job is to teach our students, you must also be willing to learn as well. Great teachers demonstrate a relentless pursuit of learning for themselves while also being fascinated by the learning of others. They do this through engaging in new ideas, building their knowledge and developing new perspectives on both an academic and social level. This new knowledge can come from other teachers, and even from their students. You would be amazed at the kind of things you can learn by paying attention to your students and how they interact. This love of learning also comes in the confidence of admitting that you can never know it all which is fine and an important thing to recognize.
Our world is constantly changing at such a fast pace. As educators, you will often feel the effects of this relentless pace. However, in order to be a more effective teacher, you must be able to accept and acknowledge this change and allow yourself to respond accordingly. Great teachers can recognize that every day will be different. There will be some exciting days, and some challenging and character-building days, but they will always be worthwhile. The key to all of this is simply being able to adapt to the times. You do not want to stay stuck in your ways and ignore everything going on around you. As it pertains to change, you also want to take an evidence-based approach on how you respond. You will find that not all new initiatives are equal. Some may work, and some may not, so you will want to take your time to evaluate each of them before deciding how to proceed.