Job interview question: What are the characteristics of a great teacher?

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A great teacher has the following characteristics:

Expert in the Subject
The great teacher, as the master of his or her subject, exhibits expertise, spends a lot of time on his or her professional development, presents learning the material in a passionate way and thus encourages students’ independent learning skills. 

The great teacher is always organized and has clear objectives. The teacher comes to school prepared, arrives early and is ready to teach his or her students. The teacher presents lessons in a clear, planned, comprehensible and structured way. The lesson is organized in such a way that it minimizes students’ distractions.

Shows, but Not Only Tells
The great teacher shows, displays, but not tells or informs (and does not give orders). The great teacher can clarify a concept or explain a task, but he or she demonstrates it as well. The teacher brings examples into the classroom, draws pictures or diagrams, charts, graphs, maps, etc. In this way, the teacher promotes creativity and plays the role of a facilitator.

Stimulates Creativity 
The great teacher engages his or her students and in this way encourages creativity. ‘Learning by doing’ is his or her primary method of teaching because learning is an active process. Therefore, the great teacher stimulates creativity. It is impossible to pour knowledge into students’ minds like a liquid is poured into a bottle. 

Nice Personality
The great teacher treats all people (without exceptions) nicely not because they are nice. The great teacher treats them nicely because the teacher himself / herself is a nice person. 

The great teacher is always positive and often smiles. The teacher’s positive attitude encourages students to study, provides them with moral support and spiritual power. Being positive when it is hard for the students (especially before exams) can have a remarkably productive and optimistic impact on the students’ performance.

The great teacher recognizes the value and importance of every human being. The teacher is helpful not only to his or her colleagues but also to all students (without any exceptions), colleagues, students’ parents and other people around him or her. The teacher’s kindness helps students feel welcomed, supported, protected, cared for and loved. It makes them feel confident and positive.

Shows Respect 
The great teacher is kind to his or her students and shows respect to them. A bad teacher demands respect from students. The great teacher treats students with respect and therefore naturally earns the respect of them too. He or she is always enthusiastic, accessible and caring.

The great teacher is patient and never loses temper, never shows irritation, annoyance, frustration or anger. The teacher is patient with his or her students’ behavior, and no matter how many mistakes the students make, the teacher patiently explains. Patience demonstrates self-restraint and self-discipline and exhibits an excellent quality in a teacher that will most probably be imitated by the students in the future.

The great teacher speaks and explains things in an easy way and never boasts that he or she knows everything (in fact, nobody knows everything); and never tries to impress students with his or her knowledge and experience. The great teacher never tells lies and is never bombastic, arrogant, grandiloquent or overconfident.

Willing to Learn
The great teacher learns from his or her students (gains knowledge and wisdom from those they teach). What makes him or her great teacher is that he or she is willing to learn because he or she knows (and admits it) that it is impossible to know everything. Therefore, the great teacher is never threatened by students’ difficult questions. By learning, the teacher encourages students to develop their lifelong learning skills (not just learning for a grade), because the teacher is a lifelong learner, too.

Able to Inspire
The great teacher inspires his or her students. It means that even when the course is finished, the great teacher’s students continue learning and showing their interest in the subject.

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