You might not want to leave the classroom but you still are a leader. Teachers are leaders! As a result, there are qualities every teacher should have. These qualities are necessary for every teacher in order to have an impact with students.
The understanding that feedback is a gift
Great leaders challenge themselves to give as much feedback as possible to students prior to assessments. They study students and talk with them to get an idea of what they’re thinking so that they can give feedback that, if applied, will make a difference. Feedback is not generic like a gift card. It’s tailored to the individual, which makes it special and impactful. It is challenging to find the time in a busy schedule to shower each student with constant feedback. I encourage you to ask students for help by sending the message to students that the quality of support you can give greatly depends on the questions they have for you.
Ability to train students to focus on input
Students are conditioned to pursue points. (Sadly, well-meaning adults can be a part of this problem) Their experiences have taught them that if they get more points, the better they feel. The unfortunate side effect is that when resistance presents itself to the student, it becomes more challenging to get those points and experience that happy feeling. Some students can deal with this delay and some students can’t. Great classroom leaders are able to hold students accountable for those ungraded tasks and exercises (input) that ultimately lead to the positive output (grade/points) that everyone wants. In other words, the seemingly insignificant things are magnified and mastered. This means that students are engaged in a lot of practice with constant feedback and the ability to reflect.
Always giving ownership to students
One of the most pleasing things for me when I was in the class from was the glow of a student’s face when they realized they figured it out on their own. There would be times when I answered their question with a question. They were unsatisfied at first until they began to think. in that moment I was giving them feedback while also giving them ownership of their problem. This is one of those teacher qualities that takes a lot of practice. You have to become comfortable with students complaining that they don’t have enough to move forward. It’s like an athlete in the gym bench-pressing. They can’t get stronger if they don’t lift or attempt more than they think they are ready for. Ownership can also extend to class procedures and traditions. This kind of environment motivates students and offers multiple cues to them that they need to remain engaged.
These are just a few qualities every teacher needs. What teacher qualities would you add to the list? Share in the comments section.
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