Anthem Education Group

7 Characteristics of a Great Teacher

What makes a great teacher? I’m sure you all have your own ideas and opinions on this subject, but have you ever wondered if there was evidence of specific characteristics of a great teacher?

In 2010, The Atlantic magazine set out to answer this very question with some help from Teach for America. The subsequent article, titled “What Makes a Great Teacher?” sheds some light on the traits that are often shared by the best and most effective teachers. According to their findings, great teachers:

  • Set big goals for students
  • Constantly reevaluate what they are doing
  • Enthusiastically engage students and their families into the process
  • Keep the focus on student learning at all times
  • Plan exhaustively and with a clear purpose
  • Work relentlessly no matter what kind of obstacles they or their students face inside and outside the classroom

Teach for America also notes the fact that great teachers check frequently with students to make sure they understand what’s being taught. However, it is more than asking students if they have questions. I’m sure many of you can remember a time when you were confused about something, but when the teacher asked if anyone had any questions, you were too nervous or embarrassed to ask about it.

Well, great teachers have to get creative and find ways to get the feedback they need to make sure students understand.

Take Allen Wiseman, for example. Wiseman is a general education instructor at Anthem College – Maryland Heights who recently spent 15 weeks observing another instructor’s class. His goal was to identify and evaluate teaching methods that increased student engagement in the learning process and would help make him a better teacher.

One thing he noticed in his colleague’s class was that the teacher asked lots of questions and refused to answer them himself. Students could only squirm in silence for so long before someone spoke up. Asking multiple questions helped point students in the direction of the correct answer while increasing their understanding of the concept being taught.

You can read more about Wiseman’s experience in his paper: Classroom Observations.

Anthem Education is dedicated to employing great instructors who are passionate about the subjects they teach and have professional experience in their fields. Learning from experienced instructors is an important part of our students’ education because our programs help train them for specific careers.

If you would like to learn more about our programs and services or find a campus near you, please visit our website.

Tell us: Have you experienced what it’s like to have a great teacher at Anthem? Who was it and what makes him or her “great” in your opinion?

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