8 Characteristics of Effective Teachers

Teaching Is Much Too Important to Be Taken Lightly

There is a great need in each generation for effective teachers. It has been said, “The cost for educating a child today is immense, but the cost of not educating a child is incalculable.” The greatest example of an effective teacher is Jesus Christ. Nicodemus is recorded in Scripture as saying to Jesus, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God.” Are you a teacher who is being effective knowing that God sent you for a specific purpose? The following are a few characteristics of effective teachers:

1. Organization

Effective teachers are organized. They turn in projects on time, and they have papers, grades, and attendance records accurately organized. Effective teachers plan curriculum in a way that makes it interesting to their students.

2. Relevant

An effective teacher knows how to make what he is teaching relevant to his students. The result is that he positively impacts the student for eternity. Psalm 144:12 gives a great goal of the effective teacher, “That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth; that our daughters may be as corner stones, polished after the similitude of a palace...”

3. Caring

The effective teacher genuinely cares about his students. He takes time to build a relationship with them. He sends notes to them, is quick to offer a word of encouragement, and prays regularly for them. Henry Drummond said, “The people who influence you are the people who believe in you.”

4. Learning

The effective teacher works well with and learns from others around him. He is always growing.

5. Passionate

Effective teachers are passionate about their subject matter. They maintain their desire to learn and are excited about the learning process. Such excitement is always passed on to the students. Your students ought to hear this often—I love (fill in the blank with your subject), and I am excited about this subject, and I can’t wait to learn (a unit in your curriculum) next week. Andrew Carnegie said, “The average person puts only 25% of his energy and ability into his work. The world takes off its hat to those who put in more than 50% of their capacity, and stands on its head for those few and far between souls who devote 100%.”

6. Listening

An effective teacher is a good listener. He is interested in what students say and about parents’ concern.

7. Demanding

Demanding the best from students is another characteristic of effective teachers. Abraham Lincoln said, “You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should be doing for themselves.” Be demanding if you expect your students to reach their potential!

8. Sharpening

Not only do effective teachers demand the best from their students, but they also demand the best from themselves. They are always sharpening their skills. Do not settle for second best by using rationalization. Rationalization uses excuses such as “It has been very busy, or I could have done better on this lesson if…, and I don’t have the time to really do a good job on this.”

If teaching is a priority, give it the proper preparation time it demands. Reschedule your time if you have to, but do not come to the end of the year and realize that you have not done your best! “You cannot kindle a fire in any other heart until it is burning in your own.”

Are you a teacher who is demanding, but caring? Are you relevant and organized? Does your passion burn brightly for your students and your subject matter? Are you effectively influencing those within your sphere of influence?

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