Monday, September 22, 2014 9:13 am

Qualities of a Good Teacher

Posted by on Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This article was posted in Philosophy, Popular Posts, Writing category and has 9 Comments so far.


This article was originally written by Alex for the Helium.com title: The characteristics of a good teacher”.

Questions: Have you ever had a good teacher? Even a great teacher? What did you like about him/her? Comment here!

I’m writing this article as a thank you to a great teacher I had in high school named Brad Vickers. He embodies what makes a good teacher and every day I’m glad he was able to teach me. He inspired me to work in the field of graphic design, and I owe a lot to him. As a tribute to his teaching abilities I am going to discuss the strengths, qualities, and criteria that make good teachers. Brad Vickers had all of these characteristics, and I hope everyone has an opportunity to be taught by a teacher as awesome as him.


In a lifetime, we may be graced with the presence of few great teachers. These people end up shaping our lives for the better because of their greatness, and we deeply admire them for that. A good teacher has many faces. They may typically be a professor or teacher in the classroom, but often they can be our family, friends, coworkers, and neighbors. It makes no difference who they are really, or what their profession, but good teachers all have one thing in common. They instill inside us values, knowledge, hopes and dreams. Once they’ve been taught to us, we are changed for the rest of our lives.

Teachers who teach for a profession have high expectations to meet. They hold our young children’s minds in their hands and mold them like pieces of fine clay. Greatness is expected from these teachers as they are responsible for helping bring our children into their adult lives. This is partly why it is important to find the characteristics that these great teachers share. If teachers are to be taught themselves, they must be taught the excellent traits of their peers before them.

Let’s take a look at the qualities that define a good teacher:

1. Love What They Do

There is no question, that awesome teachers love to teach. Not doing it for the money, prestige, or glory, they teach because it brings them an incredible feeling of satisfaction knowing they are contributing positively to the futures of others. If a teacher doesn’t have this inner satisfaction, and does not enjoy what they do, they’ll never be able to make lasting impressions in their students minds. Passion has great impact, and this is something that all really good teachers have.

2. Good Communicators

A teacher has the responsibility of bridging the gap between themselves and their students, so good communication skills are a must. It’s difficult sometimes to relate to people, especially children, so that learning can happen in their minds, but excellent teachers are masters of this. Relating to students on the student’s level, these teachers have developed many ways to reach their students, and communicate using terrific speaking skills, visual aids, and even in their body language.

3. Admirable

In order for a teacher to be great, they must be admirable. These teachers lead lives of high moral ground, and they set an example to their students because of it. Really though, admirable teachers are more credible than others. We as people are much more likely to listen to those we admire, because we wish to be like them. Models of who we would like to someday be, really good teachers help show us the way.

4. Positive Reinforcement

Instead of using strict punishment to discipline students, good teachers know how to use positive reinforcement to discipline instead. These teachers understand that negatively hinders how their students learn, creates resentment in the students minds, and ends up breaking the ties of the student-teacher relationship. Often these teachers reward their students for doing a good job, so they are more apt to doing it in the future.

5. Fair & Just

Equality is an ideal that good teachers hold dear to themselves. They treat their students equally, yet giving them the individual attention they need. No child is left out in the mind of a wonderful teacher, and they make it a mission to teach them all the same. In doing so, they end up teaching their students the importance of equality and fair treatment, even if the teacher hadn’t intended to do so.

6. Leadership

Good teachers are leaders. In the classroom, they own the spotlight, and have the responsibility of being strong instructors so that students listen to them with determination. They have to lead their students on the right path through the learning experience, and help by showing the obstacles that may stand in the student’s way.


7. Committed

There is no doubt that a great teacher is committed. They go above and beyond the time requirements of a typical teacher, and are willing to help students whenever they need it. Good teachers are very committed to the curriculum they teach, and like their students, are always continuing to learn in the hopes of becoming even better teachers.

8. Understanding

Great teachers understand their students better than most people. They understand where their students came from, who they are, and know the best avenue to take them to who they will become. Good teachers have an uncanny understanding of what they teach, because they are experts in their fields of knowledge.

9. Compassion & Caring

There is suffering in the world, and a good teacher recognizes this and has the inner desire to help. Great teachers help by teaching, because they know that by giving knowledge to the next generation, they are creating individuals who will have the skills, compassion, and dedication to ending suffering. Good teachers care about the world and what they do and wouldn’t have things any other way.

10. Confidence

A teacher can’t teach without confidence. Students won’t believe in a teacher that first doesn’t believe in there-self. Good teachers are confident that they know how to teach, and in what they are teaching. Nothing stands in the way of this confidence, and the teacher does their best not to become arrogant about the job they do.

11. Prepared

Excellent teachers are prepared. They know they steps necessary in their curriculum to teach students, and follow them well. These teachers are always ready to go when the time calls for it and they never leave their students lost and not knowing the direction they are headed. Good teachers stick to the plans they’ve prepared, in order to teach the beat way possible

12. Professionalism

Professionalism is the sign of a great teacher. They know that as someone who is responsible for helping people learn, they must take their work seriously. Terrific teachers dress well, have good hygiene, and treat their students with respect. They believe in timeliness, and are never late and rarely miss days they are assigned to work. In do so, their students respect them, and are more willing to learn from them.

There are many qualities that make up a good teacher, and these are some of the most important ones. The next time you think about that awesome teacher you had, whomever it may be, think about these qualities and what it takes to be a person who lives a life of admiration. If we truly learn from these people that have shaped our lives, then maybe we can become great teachers too.

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9 Responses to “Qualities of a Good Teacher”

  1. 13 August, 2008, 19:18

    Great blog, Alex. I’ve been lucky enough to have three great teachers. Each inspired me to do what I’m doing now. Teaching. :)

    BTW, thanks for the comments on my blog. :)

  2. 14 August, 2008, 0:09

    Hey Alisha. Yeah, I’ve had one or two really awesome teachers. One was a commercial art teacher I had in high school named Brad Vickers. He really motivated me into learning graphic design, I wish I could still learn from him.

    Thanks for taking the time to comment!

  3. 16 August, 2008, 22:35

    My favorite teacher was my 1st grade teacher, Ms. Majors — probably because I somehow ended up being the teacher’s pet, and I knew it.

    Great post … I’ll have to pass it along to my wife, Lori. She just began teaching this past spring.

  4. 17 August, 2008, 5:02

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  5. 17 August, 2008, 11:30

    There’s nothing wrong with being the teacher’s pet Firerobin. I’ve been there once or twice. It does make things difficult sometimes getting along with the other students, which is why I think it’s important for a teacher to treat his/her students as equally as possible. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Sara
    25 February, 2011, 16:05

    it really helps me to write an outline, thank you :)

  7. Satya Ranjan Sarkar
    4 July, 2011, 1:31

    In my student life i never forget the High school teacher , Named Dr. Rabindra Nath Sarkar of Palashi high school , in Bangladesh. Whatever you describe in the above articles , he have all the virtue or qualities .The personality, dignity, determination , deepthness of the subject everything was attracted to the students. It was the year 1968-69 all the teachers of that high school was so dedicated for their students, now we cant think how they motivated their students without self interest. Selflessly Mr. Sarkar teach us Mathematics, English, Bengali all subjects. In my whole life I bow down to him and respect to him as a good teacher and Guide.
    Thanks You.

  8. [...] teacher needs to be an effective communicator to be able to facilitate learning. Some teachers will break down the barriers that are present and [...]

  9. Kate An
    9 September, 2011, 23:13

    :) awesome essay :)

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