An excellent question! I think there are several things to consider when thinking about what a good teacher is. Personally, I feel that they all revolve around investing:
1) Time – In order to be a good teacher (or good anything), it takes a lot of practice and time. Every moment of experience counts towards improving your skills. From observations, to lesson planning, to interacting with students and parents, to reflecting…they all matter and are extremely important. Moreover, teaching is usually not an easy 9-5 job, but rather involves spending time creating lesson plans, grading, reflecting and resource-gathering outside of the traditional work day hours. For some, this is expected, but for others this may be a challenge. You may also want to volunteer and gain experience that way. I highly recommend doing this, since the more experience you get, the easier it will be when you have your own class.
2) Energy – You need energy to be a more effective teacher. When you are teaching, you are spending literally 100% of your time leading others and making sure they are invested in you. You are also constantly assessing students’ behaviors, actions, understanding and questions, all while focusing on your own lesson plans and activities. At first, this seems like a lot of work (and it is). Plus, not every day will be good and sometimes it will really test you and your emotions. However, it gets much, much easier the longer you teach. And more importantly, the rewards you get from getting to know your students and seeing them succeed vastly outweighs the feelings of being tired from a full day.
3) Resources (and sometimes money) - Being a good teacher means doing whatever you can to make learning comprehensible and effective for students. This means having to do research for activities, learning styles, educational trends, and resource gathering. Also consider reading about best practices, research articles and educational technology. At times, this also may mean spending your own money in order to be able to do an amazing activity or field trip with the students. But it will be worth every penny if it’s done well!
4) Talking with others – Like any job, if you truly want to continue improving, you should talk with others about how to best do this. In teaching, you have administrators, coworkers, staff, students, parents and community members. In other words, you have a TON of resources and will never have to worry about finding people to talk to. Talk with them about their experiences, how they feel about teaching and education, any advice they have (or praise for you!) and keep track of what they say.
Yes, this is a lengthy post, but being a good teacher means positively affecting so many people, so it’s worth a little extra time. We need a lot of good teachers now and I wish you the best of luck! Please let me know if you have any questions or would like to talk further!
Joel recommends the following next steps:
"They don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care." I'm not sure who said it, but in teaching, I've found this to be very true. A couple of times I've found myself frustrated with a particular students performance and/or behavior, and it would either cause the student to flare up with the behaviors or shut down. But when I could demonstrate to them some type of connection-to them, to what they're going through, to anything they valued-they would open up and improve behaviorally, which often led to an improvement academically. Yes, pedagogy is important, and a passion for and knowledge of the content matter are important, the really good teachers make sure you know that you will always have a fan in them. If it is your heart's passion to teach, then you will be a good teacher.
Thank you for considering a career in education - we really need dedicated individuals in this field. You must know that teaching is very rewarding work, but it is also extremely challenging!! There are different ways to become a teacher nowadays. You may earn a college degree in education with teacher certification, or you may earn a degree of your choice and attend an alternative teacher certification program that is offered by the school district or other education agency.
To be considered a "Highly Qualified" teacher, you must major in or obtain at least 21 hours in the content you choose to teach (for example, math, reading, art, etc.). You will also have an opportunity for hands-on training as a student teacher, which is part of most college education programs.
I suggest that you begin researching different school districts, with regard to their mission statement, student population, size, staff development/training opportunities, etc. to get a feel of which school district you may be interested in working for. Do not forget to consider school districts out of state, but be sure to check on the requirements for obtaining a teaching certificate in those particular states (some states will not accept other state's certification).
Teaching, in my opinion, will always be a noble profession...plus, you get your summers off (if you choose)!! Good luck with your career choice!!
Surround yourself with a group of high character/quality personnel (teachers, teacher assistants, administrators)
Understand that no one is perfect and we all make mistakes. Take time to focus on yourself and build your personal foundation first and then you will have the strength to fulfill the lives of others around you.
Communication. Make sure you maintain constant communication with students, parents and fellow teachers who teach the same subject as you, this way everyone is on the same page.
Continue to learn and improve yourself. Join an educational community or group. Become a mentor. Participate in seminars and other learning workshops to strengthen your knowledge and skills.
Intangibles is what you will need to work on, then tangible success will come. Good luck.
Dear Jayaprasad Yadav K.
I have one simple answer .... If you want to become a good teacher, you have to really believe that all children can succeed .... that they are special ..... that there is no challenge too great .... If you believe in these things, you will do your best everyday to help your students to reach their highest potential. That is what makes a good teacher ...
If you want to become teacher then go ahead who is stopping you?
This is the life, if you want to achieve something then add some courage into you and learn to believe that what you are doing is right.
That's it, don't make it complicated.
Good Teachers Listen Well
Good Teachers Focus on Collaboration
Good Teachers Are Adaptable
Good Teachers Are Engaging
Good Teachers Show Empathy
Good Teachers Have Patience
Good Teachers Value Real-World Learning
Good Teachers Share Best Practices
Good Teachers Are Lifelong Learners