Good teachers have an array of qualities and many of these abilities are already God-given. Those which are required but you don’t yet have will certainly be learned in time. Some people are unaware that they have these gifts until they are required to use them. One requirement that teachers need which should be apparent is being a people person. We have probably all had that teacher who should never have got involved in the profession because it was obvious they were not sociable in the slightest. It is especially important to have an affinity with the age group you intend on teaching. You are doing no one any favors if you find yourself stuck teaching elementary school kids despite the fact that you hate young kids! Under these circumstances you cannot be a success as your dislike for the class will cloud your judgment as well as adversely affecting your performance.
It seems obvious, but having the ability to see past appearance is vital. If you are not fair-minded your students haven’t got a chance. It goes without saying that anyone harboring racial or religious prejudices should steer clear of the teaching profession. There is no reason why you should allow your petty grievances to wreck a student’s chances of enjoying a good education. In fact, if you are the type who hold grudges in general, then this job is not for you. The best teachers have the ability to wipe the slate clean and judge a student purely on academic performance if necessary. Of course it is only natural to have a bias towards someone who you see is trying hard but not getting results.
As a teacher you have to be the ‘adult’ at all times. You cannot lapse into child-like behavior at any stage because it is your responsibility to keep the classroom under control. You are a general and the class is your battalion that must be disciplined and kept in line at all times. There will be occasions when you will be in charge of their safety, like on school trips for example. This is where you will need common sense to ensure that situations do not get out of hand. The keyword in this instance is ‘responsibility’.
Although it’s pointless being an expert at a subject and not being able to teach it, it is also equally useless if you’re a great teacher in general but have no clue about the topic at hand. The older the students you teach, the less subjects you will teach but also, the more in-depth knowledge you will require. It is pretty embarrassing when you get something wrong and a student points it out to you. While we learn something new everyday, it is not professional to be taught by those you are charged with teaching.
So, being able to deal with people, having an open mind, being able to use common sense and being proficient in the subject you are teaching are yet more requirements for good teachers. The last installment will explain the last few gifts each teacher should have.