Are you thinking about becoming an elementary school teacher? If you possess all or most of these qualities, you might be the perfect candidate for inspiring positive change in children through education.

There is no static formula for what makes an excellent educator but these personality traits can be found in most successful instructors and leaders.



The best teachers are patient, understanding, and kind. They work to understand what their students are thinking and feeling in order to anticipate their needs. When a student is struggling, good teachers work harder to show that child that they are capable and cared for. They will try everything in order to help every student achieve success in and out of the classroom.

This task is often challenging but great teachers know that putting extra effort into holistically caring for their students makes all the difference. Teaching might be right for you if you have heart and soul to spare.



Effective teachers are universally passionate about two things: children and learning. Teachers with fervor for children and learning pour themselves into helping their students reach their full potential. Their excitement for education is often so contagious that it sparks enthusiasm in their students and even fellow teachers.

While maintaining a high level of passion over the course of a long career is certainly challenging, outstanding teachers are devoted to always practicing with the same level of thoughtfulness and grit as when they first began teaching. Sometimes that means finding creative ways to reignite their love of teaching or just reminding themselves daily of the impact they get to have on their students.



Giving up is not an option when you're teaching. Teachers are confronted with trials and tribulations almost daily that test their endurance and will but diligence and commitment are what make learning possible. Obstacles and setbacks are part of the job description and teachers never run out of problems to solve.

The fate of hundreds of students will be in your hands if you become a teacher—this is a massive and amazing responsibility. If you love a challenge and know that you have what it takes, you should consider a life in the classroom.



Just as teachers must be persistent, they must also be brave. There will be times when students don't meet expectations, family or administrative conflict presents itself, and things are out of your control entirely. Don't let these situations defeat you.

Teachers must maintain single-minded focus on both short- and long-term objectives, never expecting the path to be smooth. Rather, effective teachers accept the inherently difficult nature of their profession and celebrate how fulfilling all of it can be. A commitment to excellence is about having the courage to face challenges that haven't even happened yet head-on.



Though teaching is about so much more than academic instruction, the focus on standards and assessment only gets stronger every year. Teachers face pressure to get results and are heavily scrutinized based on numbers and data. They are held accountable for how their students' performance.

Because of this, strong teachers are results-oriented and know that they must use all tools at their disposal to help students grow, whether that means keeping up on the latest pedagogical techniques, involving all hands on deck (families, support staff, administration, etc.), or committing more time to lesson-planning. No matter what, student triumph is the name of the game.


Creative and Curious

Empowered teachers accept the dynamic nature of classroom teaching and don't try to fight it. They tap into their inner curiosity about what makes individuals tick and use innovative means of meeting unique needs. The most effective teaching happens when teachers think outside the box and fearlessly try new things.

Instead of finding this process exhausting or frustrating, the best educators learn to embrace the unknown. You will never feel bored or under-stimulated if you choose to teach because you will be always be strategizing and recalibrating.



Teaching is not for those prone to doubtfulness. Self-fulfilling prophecies prevail when low teacher expectations force poor student outcomes, which is why it is so important to maintain high expectations for all students and encourage them to reach. High-quality teaching requires healthy doses of optimism and visualizing student success long before it happens. The most magical aspect of teaching lies in the small everyday successes.



No two days look alike in the life of a teacher—nothing is "typical" or "ordinary". Good teachers must approach each day with an open mind and a sense of humor in order to get through inevitable chaos and confusion. They are not deterred by issues big or small because they expect them and have developed strategies for managing unfamiliar territory.

With a multitude of factors impacting every minute of every day, strong educators bend easily with a smile. You might not be able to predict what will happen when you teach but you can always count on going with the flow.