Qualities and characteristics of effective teachers

Written by eileen baylus
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Qualities and characteristics of effective teachers
An effective teacher has confidence in her abilities. (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

There are many theories of what makes a good teacher. What a teacher does in one classroom situation may not be as effective in another. But no matter what the classroom situation, there are characteristics and qualities that effective teachers have in common. The qualities and characteristics work together in gaining the children's respect and making the classroom a fun, dynamic arena of learning.


A confident teacher conveys information in a manner that is exciting, not overwhelming or frightening. Confidence is contagious. If a teacher speaks in a clear, confident manner and exudes authority, the students sense her confidence and react positively. A teacher challenged during a lesson plan shows the students respect, maintaining her confident attitude. Listening to the argument, and not merely dismissing the student, goes a long way in solidifying a teacher's position as the authority figure in the classroom.


Effective teachers are passionate about the learning process. The teacher needs to have an excitement in her as she enters the classroom. If the teacher truly believes in what she is teaching, that passion will rub off on the students. If the teacher cares, the students will. The passion for teaching comes out naturally in effective teachers.

Patience and Consistency

The most effective teachers refuse to give up even if the students do not grasp a new concept. A calm demeanour reinforces not only that the concept is important, but also that the students are important enough to warrant extra teaching effort. This combination of consistency, perseverance and patience will give the students and teacher a positive experience when the subject matter is learnt.

Sense of Humor

The ability to find humour in a situation will go a long way in establishing credibility for the teacher and put the classroom at ease. The ability to laugh, point out the humour in a situation, and tell a story allows a teacher to connect with students. When a teacher makes a mistake and laughs it off, it shows the students that he's human and not afraid of messing up. That makes it easier for students to make mistakes, realising that everyone makes mistakes.


Routines and rules are important in the classroom, but so is flexibility in adjusting those routines when something unexpected happens. Effective teachers know how to make adjustments in the lesson plan when called for, and maintain their positive attitudes when doing so.

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