What are the 10 Qualities of a Good Teacher?

What are the 10 Qualities of a Good Teacher?

Teaching is one of those professions that you can’t just distill into a bottle, pass it off on to someone else, and turn that person into a decent teacher.

We all know that. No one is reading this thinking it’s a cheat sheet for teaching.

But if pushed, we could probably pin down 10 qualities for making a good teacher, right?

I certainly hope so, or this is going to be our shortest article yet… 

Qualities of a Good Teacher

So, in no particular order, let’s start with the obvious:


If you don’t want to be a teacher then it’s going to show.

We all had teachers who would make us think ‘why on Earth did you choose to work with students?’ 

People who do not want to be there cannot effectively teach.

So be enthusiastic about teaching, be enthusiastic about your subject, and be enthusiastic about your students.

What are the Most Important Qualities of a Good Teacher?

Being a good teacher isn’t something you just wake up being. It takes work to get there.

One of the most valuable skills you can have as a good teacher is, of course:


You’re going to be in charge of the entire room, so be in charge of that room.

Whether you’re teaching online or physically in the classroom, you’ll need to be a good leader.

Leadership itself can be broken down into a multitude of subheadings; but for the sake of not drowning you in terminology, let’s just say a good leader looks after the people in their group, and actively works towards ensuring they meet their potential.

Qualities of a Teacher at School or Online

One of the essential qualities a good teacher must absolutely possess is:


You’ve obviously got the immediate face-to-face communication of having conversations with people; but you’ve also got the more subtle communication of showing your students that you care about them.

You need to communicate ideas clearly too, and make sure your students walk away from your class knowing more than they did coming in. 

What exactly are the Qualities of a Good Teacher?

To paraphrase someone else, but I don’t know who (it definitely wasn’t Darwin – people think it was, but they’re wrong): it’s not the strongest nor the most intelligent species that survives, but those most adaptive to change. Or something.


You’re going to be constantly encountering new challenges as a teacher.

A good teacher needs to be able to adapt on the fly – to roll with the punches – to take it in stride.

You’re going to be teaching students from all different backgrounds, and trying to make them understand materials from various areas of expertise.

You’ll need to be able to adapt.

What are some decent Teacher Qualities?

Some of your students are going to try you.

You’ll be challenged in ways you’ve never been challenged before. 

This means you’ll have to have an exceptional reserve of:


Whether you’re working with children or adult learners, teaching online or in the classroom, you’re going to need to have patience.

Your students won’t know how to do many of the things you might expect them to be able to do. 

Particularly if you work with children, you might find you need to reassess what you understand about them.

But you can’t lose your cool, you can’t count them out, and you can’t make your problems their problems; but you must make their problems your problems. I think that makes sense…

What are the Qualities of a Good Teacher?

Often in life, you’ll need to put yourself in the shoes of others.

It’s a useful skill and one that can take you far, if you learn how to do it well.


For many people, empathy is a useful trick to have up their sleeve. But for teachers it is essential.

You’re going to be working with students, possibly children, during very important times in their lives.

Not everyone is able to get inside the mind of another person, but if you can crack the skill then it’s a little like playing a video game with cheat codes.

Good Qualities of a Teacher, big and small

When you’re faced with a challenge it’s important to figure out how you’ll deal with it before charging straight in.

You need to be able to think about how you’re going to deal with it, and that thinking needs to be done critically. From which, you’ll probably guess our next quality for being a good teacher is:

Critical Thinking

Nobody ever got anywhere by just blindly following orders. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no anarchist; you should do what you’re told.

But don’t only do what you’re told.

Think outside the box a little, try to come up with some alternative approaches – and if one of your students is visibly struggling then think critically about why this might be.

Critical thinking isn’t just thinking about important things – it’s vigorously evaluating situations to ensure the best possible outcome. You know, like good teachers do… 

The Characteristics of a Good Teacher change from day to day…

You need to have it in you to meet each new challenge as it comes.

One of the key aspects of confronting challenges is, of course:


Be sure of who you are, know your abilities, and keep one eye on your weaknesses.

Constantly be evaluating where and who you are, and you’ll be a good teacher.

Good Teacher Qualities are not hard to come by

Many people have what it takes to be a good teacher, but just as many do not… 

One of the key qualities a good teacher must possess is:


We all remember the nasty teacher at school who made life hell for students, for reasons known only to themselves.

Don’t be that teacher.

Make sure your students, whether they be adult learners or children, feel like they can come to you with their problems. 

And just before we finish this article, it’s worth keeping in mind that a good teacher must employ:


When you’re working with a group it’s important to remember that you are a part of the group.

If they fail, you’ll fail. Lift your students up and make them something to be proud of.

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About Scott

Scott is a writer that is fascinated by the world of education and the English language.

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