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What Makes a Good Teacher

Parashar Joshi
What makes a good teacher? What are the traits and qualities that a successful teacher must have? Keep reading to find out this and more...
In India, September 5th is celebrated as Teacher's Day. It is a day when men and women all over the country remember, meet, felicitate, and thank their teachers for having molded them from nervous little children into confident young men and women. The value of a teacher is something to be felt and experienced.
Rarely can it be put into words, and on the rare occasion when it is done, seldom does it do justice to what a teacher really is. Therefore, we will stay clear of that aspect and instead, pen a few thoughts on what we think are the character traits of a good teacher. Take a look.

Qualities of a Good Teacher

Considering the fact that responsibilities of a teacher are a dime a dozen, what do you think makes a good teacher? What are the traits of a good teacher? Is it the results that he or she is able to produce? Is it a strict, disciplinarian approach? Is it a warm, friendly attitude with his or her students? Well, here is my opinion on the subject.


A good teacher connects with her students. A teacher who merely enters a classroom, stands for an hour, reads aloud or dictates, and leaves hurriedly when the school bell rings, is not really a very good teacher.
A teacher should be able to strike the right chord with his or her students. He or she should be able to feel the pulse of the classroom and adjust or modify his or her teaching style or mode accordingly. Maintaining a high level interest among the students regarding the subject being taught is very important.


Communication is vital for anyone with a teaching job to succeed at his or her place of work. A teacher should be both, effective as well as efficient when it comes to communicating with his or her students.
Lack of communication skills will only end up with students either not understanding the subject matter at all, or understanding it incorrectly (which is equally bad, if not worse). Remember, all good communicators may not be good teachers, but all good teachers are always good communicators.

Love for Teaching

This is by far, the biggest factor that differentiates between 10 average teachers and 1 great teacher. All great teachers are people who teach simply because they love doing so.
It isn't about the money, or the prestige, or about earning the respect of their students, or anything else. It is all about the love for teaching. It has always been that way, and it always will.


This is an important quality of a good teacher and unfortunately, a quality that one gets to see very rarely. A teacher with a I-know-it-all attitude will no doubt impart all his/her knowledge to the students, but rarely will he or she earn the respect or the affection of the students.
On the contrary, a teacher who, when in doubt, doesn't hesitate to admit his or her lack of expertise on the subject matter and is open to 'reverse learning', i.e., learning a thing or two from the students itself, will no doubt go down well with the students.

Listening Skills

A good teacher is always a great listener. He keenly listens to all that the students have to say. If a point is debatable, he does not hesitate to throw open the topic to the whole class and invite individual opinions on the matter.
A teacher plays a crucial role in child development. In addition to the aforementioned points, here are a few more traits that make an influencing teacher.
A good teacher always motivates a student, no matter how tough the situation is, or how weak the student may be.
A good teacher is one who freely jokes around in the class, but is dead serious when the need arises.
A good teacher is one who, in a short span of time, can turn the dullest and the most disliked subject into your all-time favorite subject (Thank you Mrs. Oliver...I still love Geography!)
A good teacher is one who is a leader, but also a friend.
Last but not the least, a good teacher is one who always remains a student from within.
So, this was our perspective. A job as a teacher is not easy by stretch of the imagination. Becoming a teacher does require the fulfillment of certain academic qualifications, but becoming a good teacher requires something much more than that. By now, you must be aware of what that is.