Be an epic teacher

Qualities of an Effective Teacher #gesf

What are the qualities of an effective teacher? This was one of the main questions that one of the panels at the 2015 Global Education and Skills Forum tried to answer. Over and over again, all the panelists seemed to list the same characteristics that they believed an effective teacher possessed: knowledge of the subject, motivation, emotional intelligence and empathy, stamina, and passion.

[callout]This session was recorded at the Global Education and Skills Forum. Student Elizabeth Glass writes her views on this session which she attended at the forum in Dubai. — Vicki Davis, Teacher

Studies show nothing is as critical to a child’s education outcome than their teacher. However, in many societies the role of the teacher has been strongly critiqued. This plenary explores how we might rethink education systems so that they champion the teacher in society.

Moderator: James E. Ryan, Dean, Harvard Graduate School of Education, USA
H.E. Vedran Mornar, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia
H.E. Esteban Bullrich, Minister for Education, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Geoffrey Canada, President, Harlem Children’s Zone, USA
John Bangs, Senior Consultant Education International and Honorary Visiting Fellow at Cambridge University, UK
Jacqueline Jumbe-Kahura, Bofa Primary School, Kilifi, Kenya

Find out more at:[/callout]

  1. Knowledge of the Subject: First off, this quality is an absolute necessity to being an effective teacher. It does not matter how motivated, passionate, or creative you are if you cannot teach your students what they are there to learn. How can you expect them to learn if you don’t even know what they are supposed to be learning?
  2. Motivation: To be an effective teacher one has to be motivated, motivated to learn and to help others learn. That motivation for learning and self-improvement is what separates the truly great teachers from the rest. They are always trying new ways of teaching and engaging their students and they never tire of being students themselves. Effective teachers are always learning different ways of doing things and take the time to learn from other effective teachers.
  3. Emotional Intelligence and Empathy: Understanding your students is an integral part in being an effective teacher. Being able to connect with students on an emotional level and help them through the problems that come with growing up is what effective teachers do. For many kids, teachers are the ones they turn to for support when they can’t find it anywhere else. This emotional intelligence and empathy can go a long way in not only helping those students be able to learn but in changing their lives as well.
  4. Stamina: As most teachers will agree, it takes a lot of energy to teach and keep students engaged. It also takes a lot of stamina, because you never know what will happen next. Every day as a teacher is an adventure, and you have to be able to handle it in stride and keep on going.
  5. Passion: To me, this is the most important characteristic of an effective teacher. Passion in teachers is what inspires students to want to do their best and to dream big dreams. Passionate teachers are not those who chose to teach because they could not do anything else. Passionate teachers are those that find true happiness in their profession and in the everyday aspect of helping kids discover who they are and who they want to be.

Teachers are some of the few people who have the power to change the world because the future of the world is sitting in their classrooms. Those teachers who have knowledge, motivation, emotional intelligence and empathy, stamina, and passion are able to make an impact in the lives of their students. They inspire them to dream their wildest dreams while giving them the tools to achieve them and those are the ones who have the greatest impact.


Never miss an episode

Get the 10-minute Teacher Show delivered to your inbox.

Powered by ConvertKit
Picture of Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

All Posts »


Achalapathi Venkat Kamarajugadda April 16, 2015 - 6:02 pm

I give top priority to Passion. Once you have passion, you will be motivated to improve your knowledge and other things will follow. One should feel that he produces makers of the society

Tsisana April 20, 2015 - 12:18 am

This is a great list, Vicki! Hard to think of anything to add… It made me think, though, if students would come up with the same list of qualities of an effective teacher :) The most common qualities I’ve heard from my students were patience and “ability to explain”. Would those fall under emotional intelligence and knowledge of subject matter? Quite an inspiring post, thank you!


Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

The Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis writes The Cool Cat Teacher Blog for classroom teachers everywhere
Update Required Flash plugin