passion and Qualities of Good Teachers

There are many internet sources that post lists of qualities that all great teachers should possess. These lists range from 10-15 characteristics, but I believe that they can be summed into a love for children, not only a firm knowledge in their content area but passion as well, and that they take the time to get to know their students by developing a healthy student-teacher relationship. In his book Qualities of an Effective Teacher, James Stronge subcategorizes qualities into the teacher as a person, as an individual, and he lists specific qualities that show caring and responsibility for students.

However, I believe what it really boils down to is a joy of being around students and a love for the job. If a teacher genuinely loves children, he or she will do whatever necessary to help that child succeed, including planning, mentoring, differentiated teaching, etc. Harry Wong states in The First Days of School that the students are going to want to know the teacher as a person and if the teacher will treat them with respect.

Therefore, effective teachers will take the time to show the students respect and involve them in their own learning process. I don’t think that there is a difference between good and effective. I think that is just a matter of semantics. Of course we might be able to specify a good teacher is one who has a joy and gets the students motivated to learn while an effective teacher is one who performs the preparation tasks well: good planning, classroom management, monitors student progress.

However, I think that if a teacher has such a joy for teaching and is enthusiastic, he or she will want to be effective as well and keep good records and plans, etc. The same is true for those teachers who are great at the behind-the-scenes tasks. If someone is so well-prepared, why wouldn’t he have enthusiasm and be able to motivate the students? Therefore, I believe separating these two words is impossible, for all good teachers are effective and vice versa.