Traits That Define an Exceptional Teacher

You can become an exceptional teacher by fostering a few traits.

Educators have a lot of power in their hands - they can inspire their classes in addition to teaching a set curriculum, or not. If you're considering getting a masters in education, it's probably because you want to become an exceptional teacher. Of course, the people who make the biggest impact in the lives of their students are the ones with the following traits:

Patience
No matter what age group you teach, the students will test your patience. Whether that one kid falls asleep every day, another tries to text in class or no one seems to comprehend the material, you'll have to face frustration. However, an amazing educator can't give up on their students. Have patience even when a kid has done something terrible for the 9th day in a row. Who knows, your level-headed manner may reach them.

Dedication
People with careers in teaching care deeply about what they do. A lifetime of educating isn't for the faint of heart, and if you are dedicated, you will excel. Put forth the extra effort to attend continued-education classes or learn about the latest research in your field. Wake up early to prep for an amazing lesson, and be on the lookout for ways to engage your students. 

Being dedicated isn't reserved for curriculum, you have show your students you're invested in them. Reach out to those who are struggling with homework or sponsor a club at school.

Open mindedness
You will have to adapt throughout the entirety of your career. You may not teach at the same school forever, and moving to another location can be tricky. You could also have to work with challenging students or learn a new curriculum to teach. Keep an open mind and be ready to get as much knowledge from your students as they get from you. Educate yourself constantly to help shape yourself into the teacher you want to be.

Demanding
Your students should understand that you expect them to succeed. Having high expectations shows your students you feel they can rise to the occasion. Don't be afraid to administer tough love, dolling out the consequences of a missed assignment or failed test. However, remind struggling students that they can achieve solid lesson comprehension if they work hard.

Supportive
No one is perfect, and your students will mess up every now and then. Make sure your classroom is a safe place for them to make mistakes. Students who feel they will be ridiculed for failure may never try at all. 

This article is sponsored by Western Governors University, a non-profit, accredited, online university. WGU's Teachers College offers multiple online degree programs for current teachers or those looking to become teachers. To find out more, please visit www.wgu.edu/wisecareers_teachers​. 

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