Ministry of Education, Guyana

What Personal & Professional Characteristics Are Necessary for Effective Teaching?

Effective teaching requires well-rounded instructors who are confident in the material they teach as well as their own skin. Students have a keen ability to sense if a teacher is nervous, unsure or lying. Being genuine is one of the most important personal characteristics that a teacher can possess. There are other personal and professional characteristics as well that are necessary for effective teaching.

  1. Teachers must be knowledgeable about the subject they are teaching. They must understand the concepts thoroughly and be able to explain and articulate them in detail. They must have the knowledge to engage students and to judge where and how to be of assistance. They also ideally have practical, hands-on experience with the subject matter.
  2. The best teachers care about their students and are passionate about the material. If a teacher is bored with the material, then the students will also be bored and less likely to learn. Passion and enthusiasm draw students in to learning. It excites their minds, creates curiosity and inspires them to raise their energy levels in class.
  3. Humans have an innate sense of what is just and what is not. Favoritism and unfair treatment can scar students for a lifetime. The best teachers do everything they can to ensure their classroom is fair and just. Students can only grow and learn in an environment they feel is safe and honest.
  4. Students quickly disrespect teachers who are unprepared. Being unprepared shows your lack of care about the students and the material. It makes you appear incompetent. Be prepared for every class in order to win and maintain your students' respect
  5. Creativity lets teachers think outside the box and work around problems. Creativity helps teachers reach students in enjoyable, memorable ways. It cures boredom and raises moral and enthusiasm in the classroom.
  6. Students learn best in a positive atmosphere. Humor is the best way to break the ice and dispel awkward or negative situations. Teachers who are comfortable enough to laugh at their own mistake are strong examples of confident, witty individuals. Humor is also an effective way to teach students difficult and dry concepts.
  7. Respect others to gain respect in return. Teachers who respect their students are respected themselves. Teachers who respect their students' privacy, who speak to students individually after class and who are sensitive to their students' needs and feelings tend to be the most respected.
  8. Being in a position of authority, teachers must know how to take the lead. There is no room for shyness and timidity. Leaders must have a vision, a goal toward which they are directing the students. They must inspire and encourage students to implement action. The best leaders are the best listeners.


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