The character of a teacher always determines how effective he or she is in passing knowledge t students and helping them achieve their academic and co-curricular goals. In this paper, the researcher focused on analyzing the current personal characteristics and those who should be developed in order to teach properly. Creativity and the ability to engage learners actively in a learning environment have been identified as the main characteristics that I currently possess. Dynamism and self-confidence are the characteristics that I will need to improve on as I strive to become a better teacher.
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Teaching is a unique career that differs from other professions not only because it involves handling human beings, but also managing their feelings, attitude, and morale so that they can capture the concepts taught. A teacher must have some characteristics that will make him or her respected and, at the same time, likable at all times. He or she must inspire the students to achieve greater success in their academics and other co-curriculum activities.
The teacher must also relate well with other staff members to ensure that they can work as a team for the betterment of the learners in all spheres of development. It is, therefore, important for a teacher to evaluate his or her characteristics from time to time, and determine the current traits and other traits that need to be developed in order to enhance the learning environment. In this paper, I will review my current characteristics as an aspiring teacher and the characteristics I need to develop in the near future. I will also look at factors that influence the development of the chosen characteristics based on the existing theories.
Characteristics of Effective Teacher
Handling children and young adolescents aged 4-13 years in a learning environment comes with a number of challenges. It requires specific characteristics that will guide one in molding the children into adults who are responsible and successful. Shul (2013) argues that molding young children and adolescents into responsible members of society requires specific characteristics. This section will look at these characteristics.
Characteristics that I have
I have some characteristics that may be very helpful in handling young learners, especially children aged below 13 years. The following are some of these characteristics which I consider unique.
I am a very creative teacher who knows how to understand the unique needs of students and come up with ways of managing them. I can work with a highly diversified group of learners and be in a position to offer them instructions in the best way possible.
I strongly believe in student engagement when passing instructions in a classroom setting. I often ensure that my learners remain active throughout the lessons by asking questions, answering questions, or participating in debates.
Characteristics that I would live to develop
I have conducted personal assessments and realized that I have some weaknesses that I will need to address in order to become a better teacher. The following are some of the characteristics that I will need to develop as a teacher.
I will need to embrace dynamism, especially in the field of information technology, that is increasingly becoming critical in the learning environment. I need to know how to embrace changes in the field of education as and when they occur.
I need to improve in the area of self-confidence when handling learners, especially the sensitive teenagers who have numerous social issues that they are trying to understand. I should know how to address some of their unique needs in a polite but emphatic manner.
Factors that Influence Development of the Chosen Teacher’s Characteristics
Each of the characteristics discussed above needs to be developed over time. It is not possible for one to say that he or she is perfectly dynamic or creative (Stronge, 2007). There is always room for personal development. Embracing continual growth in these characteristics is very important for a teacher. It enables him or her to grow in skills and experience. In this section, I will review the factors that influence the development of the characteristics mentioned above.
It has been stated above that creativity is one of the major strengths that I have that can help me handle young learners effectively. The development of this characteristic can be defined by Social Cognitive Theory. As used in education, Shuls (2013) says that this theory “holds that portions of an individual’s knowledge acquisition can be directly related to observing others within the context of social interactions, experiences, and outside media influences” (p. 45).
It means that to develop my creative skills further, I will need to observe how other teachers are dealing with their unique problems in a classroom setting. I will need to observe their creativity and learn from it. According to Stronge (2007), creativity can be learnt by observing how others deal with their unique problems. For example, I will need to monitor how creativity influences the childhood development in highly diversified setting.
Student engagement is another very critical strategy of teaching because it emphasizes on active participation of learners in the learning process. This characteristic is defined in the Engagement Theory. Stronge (2007) defines engagement theory as “a framework for technology-based teaching and learning whose fundamental idea is that students must be meaningfully engaged in learning activities through interaction with others and worthwhile tasks” (p. 47).
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Teachers can embrace engagement as an approach of teaching if they get to understand its importance. Engagement is specifically important in academic development of adolescent (Kalogrides, Loeb, & Béteille, 2013). It helps them know how to express themselves.
Dynamism is very important in today’s learning environment where things keep on changing. Behaviorism is one of the basic concepts that can help in understanding the relevance of dynamism in a learning environment. Cakir (2006) says that “the basic idea of behaviorism is that learning consists of a change in behavior due to the acquisition, reinforcement and application of associations between stimuli from the environment and observable responses of the individual” (p. 51).
As such, a teacher should be ready to change the teaching approach as children develop into adolescence stage (Van, Creemers, & Aelterman, 2005). For example, the approach taken in teaching year 4 students should be very different from that used in teaching year 7 students.
The fourth characteristic identified in this paper is self-confidence. This characteristic can be understood clearly using Theory of Self-Efficacy. Ni (2008) defines this theory “as one’s belief in one’s ability to succeed in specific situations or accomplish a task” (p. 93). When one has strong belief in his or her own capabilities, then he can disseminate knowledge in a confident manner. I will use strategies of my current teachers an example of how I should influence mental development of my adolescent students.
Teachers play a very critical role in imparting knowledge in learners and transforming them into better people in the society. To be an effective teacher, there are some fundamental characteristics that one has to exhibit. One such characteristic is creativity. A teacher must be able to address unique problems of the learners uniquely. Self-confidence, dynamisms, and ability to engage learners are other important characteristics that a teacher must have. These characteristics are mastered through practice and experience.
Cakir, H. (2006). Effects of teacher characteristics and practices on student achievement in high-schools with standards-based curriculum. Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University.
Kalogrides, D., Loeb, S., & Béteille, T. (2013). Systematic Sorting: Teacher Characteristics and Class Assignments. Sociology of Education, 86(2), 103–123.
Ni, H. (2008). Student characteristics valued by Chinese teachers as reflected in narrative student evaluations. Hoboken, NJ: Cengage.
Shuls, J. V. (2013). Do teacher characteristics affect student achievement: Evidence from a rural state. New Delhi, India: McGraw Hill.
Stronge, J. H. (2007). Qualities of effective teachers. Alexandria, Va: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Van, K., Creemers, B., & Aelterman, A. (2005). Relationships Between Teacher Characteristics, Interpersonal Teacher Behaviour and Teacher Wellbeing. The Journal of Classroom Interaction, 40(2), 34–43.