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The Professional Qualities of a Teacher Explored

What Are the Professional Qualities of a Teacher?

Teaching is one of the most important jobs on the planet, and it takes a special kind of person to be a good one. A teacher can make a big difference and have the ability to influence and change the lives of their students. Since all teachers are different, as well as students, what are certain qualities that really stand out and are needed to make an impact as a teacher?

Some of the most important and effective qualities a good teacher should hold are excellent communication and listening skills, having the ability to adapt, having the ability to show empathy, and having a lot of patience. Additionally, good teachers are able to earn and show respect and trust with their students, they will actually teach rather than solely instruct, and bring real-world value to the classroom. 

Listening & Communication Skills

Listening & Communication Skills

Having good communication and listening skills can help students build their confidence and face their fears. Showing these qualities, in the beginning, is a way to get connected with your students, gain respect, and most importantly, trust. Being able to assess the needs of students often comes with communicating with them, and listening to their needs and problems.

Communication is key when it comes to assessing the needs of students in and out of the classroom, or whatever the teaching environment may be. The only way for teachers to be effective with their teaching strategies is to communicate openly and honestly with their students.

Having good listening skills give teachers the ability to pick up on what isn’t being said out loud. Students with mental or anxiety issues, or problems within the home, are often shown through habits or other ways of communication, without actually speaking about the problem. The earlier any problems or issues are recognized, the sooner they can be addressed and the teacher can adapt as needed.

Ability to Adapt

Adaptation and change are not something that everyone is very comfortable with. As a teacher, it is something you learn very quickly. Everyone has different learning styles, and the same teaching strategies are not going to work well with every student.

Teaching children is different from teaching adults, just like teaching in your own country is going to be a lot easier than teaching in an unfamiliar place. Some students will learn best with hands-on projects, while some learn better by reading and retaining information. Whatever the reason may be that calls for adaptation, a teacher can face it head-on with full confidence.

A good teacher has the ability to adapt to students, environments, schedules, and whatever else may come their way. Teachers are able to understand that not all expectations will always be met and that there is always room for improvement. Change is constant, and having this quality is vital for teachers’ success, in addition to student success in and out of the classroom.

Teaching Rather Than Instructing

There is a big difference between teaching in a classroom and just being an instructor. A good teacher’s main concern is that their students are actually learning and retaining the content they are being taught, not just memorizing material to get a good grade or pass a test. Successful teaching comes when a teacher is focusing more on comprehension and understanding, rather than getting through a lesson or looking good for their school district.

A teacher knows that only instructing a class by giving a lecture and taking notes, is not going to be as effective as actually teaching material through examples and real-life examples. Engagement in the classroom goes hand in hand with effective teaching skills.

A teacher will never stop being a teacher, even outside of the classroom. A good teacher holds qualities that are always on alert and attentive to people needing help or are in need. They want to help others, in any way that they can, especially students of their own.

Have Empathy

Have Empathy

A good teacher will be empathetic with their students. School is not the only aspect of a student’s life, they have a life out of the classroom just like the teacher does. A teacher has the ability to understand they don’t know what else is going on in their lives, what else they are having to deal with, or what kind of environment they have at home.

Being empathic also shows sympathy and understanding. Accidents can happen, or something that you thought would work actually had the opposite effect. Life happens and not everything always goes according to plan. Instead of adding to the already present stress and anxiety, teachers empathize with their students and address the issue in a new way.

A good teacher will also be able to sympathize with their students. Just like a student has their own personal problems, so does the teacher. If there is an established relationship set within the classroom already, students will return the favor and be empathetic with their teacher as well.


When it comes to having patience, this may be one of the most important qualities a good teacher needs to possess. No matter what kind of environment you are in, or what kind of students you have, there is no doubt that a teacher’s patience will be tested in the classroom, as well as out of the classroom as well.

Every student will have their own unique struggles, as will a teacher, they will have their own struggles throughout their career. Patience will help a teacher and students overcome their struggles, and it will help balance the learning environment in the classroom. Students will be unique in their own way, some need more patience and leeway than others.

In addition to having patience, stress management is just as important. Stress management is key to having a controlled and effective classroom environment. Being a professional teacher means being able to control your temper, and not have arguments or major outbursts in a professional setting or in front of your students. This can disrupt the learning environment, and diminish trust and respect between student and teacher.

Ability to Earn & Show Respect

A good teacher has the ability to earn and show respect. Respect and trust in a learning environment are important not only for the lesson and teaching practices to be effective but also for what you do with that information matters as well.

Respect should not only be given but earned. Earning respect from your students shows a teacher they are doing a good job, and that they are having a positive impact on the lives of their students, in some way or another.

The same goes for trust. The more a student trusts their teacher, the more they are going to take what they say to heart. They are going to incorporate what they are taught in the classroom into their daily lives. They will be able to recognize that intentions are good and that teachers only want to help as much as possible.

Give Real-World Value

Give Real-World Value

Learning how to pass a test, read and write, and basic history and science knowledge are all important skills to know in life, but real-world values are just as important, if not more. Teachers who can incorporate these things into their teaching structure can make a difference in other aspects of life too, not just their education.

A good teacher will encourage their students to go after their dreams, stick up for what they think is right, and never stop learning or trying to be better. Showing support and understanding that not all students will go down the same path will show them that anything is possible, and there is not only one path in life.

Being an engaging teacher can starlight these kinds of qualities. Teach with real-world experiences and give examples, be real with your students. Adapt to their learning ability and show them how to incorporate what they are learning now, into their own lives and futures.

Teachers hold a variety of qualities, and the longer they continue with their careers, the more skills they will gain and develop. Location, environment, types of students, and many other factors will have some kind of effect on teachers, and that will determine which qualities are needed more than others. Students will never remember all their teachers, but they will remember the good ones who really cared about their future and made an impact.

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Written by Moneywise Teacher Staff

This post was written by an awesome member of the Moneywise Teacher writing staff!

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