Ten Traits of Highly Effective Teachers

Last Sunday 17October 2010, a new Professional Development workshop was conducted. The workshop was very effective as teachers responded positively identifying the various traits of highly effective teachers and linked them to the appropriate National Professional Standards justifying their choice of certain standards for each trait. Staff are now totally familiar with the traits of highly effective teachers and can apply them in their own teaching.

The main objectives of the workshop were to:

  • Identify the ten traits of effective teacher
  • Link the ten traits with the appropriate NPST and give reasons
  • Suggest ways to improve teachers’ performance

The ten traits are listed in the following section with some elaboration on each of them.

1. Know your stuff

  • Deep knowledge of your subject matter is a must.
  • Effective teachers have extensive training and skill development in their academic content area, and keep their skills and knowledge current and sharp.

2. Plan it

  • Good teachers prepare lessons in advance so class time is not wasted.
  • They also collaborate with other teachers on planning and ensure they align lessons with the national standards and other benchmarks for students’ success.

3. Know how to assess and evaluate

  • Effective teachers use a systematic programme to assess their own efforts and to make appropriate changes.
  • Good teachers’ evaluation of students flows from primary learning objectives that are clear to learners and their families.

4. Understand your students’ learning styles

  • Different students have different learning styles. One size does not fit all.
  • Effective teachers tailor their instructional style to fit the needs of both individuals and whole classes of students.

5. Motivate

  • Effective teachers create learning opportunities through hands-on work, small group activities, peer to peer coaching, and individually guided instruction.
  • They make learning fun by making lessons interesting and relevant, and encourage students to speak up in class.

6. Create  safe, productive, well-managed classroom

  • Effective teachers know firm discipline policies contribute to a healthy academic atmosphere, and emphasize the value of regular attendance, promptness, respect for teachers and other students, and good conduct.
  • Students respond to consistency, fairness, and structure.
  • Good teachers make special efforts to ease the stresses and adjustment difficulties of children with special needs.

7. Get technological

  • Effective teachers integrate technology into classroom lessons, and ensure they understand and have training in how to use state-of-the-art technology.
  • Technology is a tool for increasing student interest, motivation, and achievement.

8. Appreciate diversity

  • Effective teachers clearly communicate their expectation that all children can and will achieve to the best of their ability.
  • They will not accept discrimination, bigotry, bullying, or harassment, and promote tolerance, curiosity, and respect for other genders, races, and cultures.

9. Forge the links

  • Effective teachers promote strong home-school-community relations by getting to know their students individually and building bridges between homes and classrooms.
  • Good teachers create multiple channels for communications with parents and the community members.
  • They try to see the “whole child” and provide extra help, referrals, and assistance for children facing challenges out-of-school.

10. Commit to lifelong learning

  • Good teachers are always growing and learning.
  • They share successes and challenges with other teachers and see themselves not as “experts” but part of a community of lifelong learners.
  • They commit to professional development.

The workshop ended by inviting teachers to suggest ways to improve
teachers’ performance.

You can download the presentation here.