There are a variety of skills and traits that educators should ideally possess in order to be most effective. In order to convey information to students, teachers must have a strong understanding of their subject matter. It is crucial that teachers be organized and take the time to lesson plan and outline classroom expectations, both academic and behavioral. This lays the foundation for a teacher to maximize classroom efficiency. Educators must then enforce the set expectations to ensure that students are in an atmosphere which encourages learning without unnecessary distractions. Part of enforcing expectations when students engage in undesirable behaviors is for the educator to identify the undesirable behavior and explain what the expected behavior is, always allowing the student to try again. School is one of the few times in a person’s life where they have the opportunity to make errors without significant consequences. Thus, an effective educator provides students the opportunity to make mistakes, as well as to correct them in an atmosphere that embraces making mistakes and the learning that comes from them. Another important characteristic of an effective educator is exhibiting virtues like humility, patience, empathy, honesty, and integrity. The ability to admit to mistakes and admit one’s own shortcomings is crucial to showing the world’s future leaders what an upstanding citizen and role model looks like. Finally, and most importantly, is that an educator develops meaningful relationship with students, parents, and colleagues. The ability to develop positive relationships is the characteristic that most sets apart an effective educator from an indifferent one. Once students feel cared for and develop a sense of trust, their receptiveness to learning increases exponentially, which in turn helps unlock the students’ life potential. While no single attribute guarantees an educator will be effective, the combination of the aforementioned characteristics will ensure that an educator is maximizing their effectiveness and laying the foundation for students to develop into lifelong learners.
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