There are professions – vocations – and people surrender themselves wholly to these professions.
Undoubtedly, the profession of a teacher is one of them.
The Personal Qualities of a Teacher
Here I want to try to give you an answer to the question: What personal qualities are
desirable in a teacher? Probably no two people would draw up exactly similar lists,
but I think the following would be generally accepted.
First, the teacher's personality should be pleasantly live and attractive. This does not
rule out people who are physically plain, or even ugly, because many such have great
personal charm. But it does rule out such types as the over-excitable, melancholy,
frigid, sarcastic, cynical, frustrated, and over-bearing: I would say too, that it excludes
all of dull or purely negative personality. I still stick to what I said in my earlier book:
that school children probably 'suffer more from bores than from brutes'.
Secondly, it is not merely desirable but essential for a teacher to have a genuine
capacity for sympathy - in the literal meaning of that word; a capacity to tune in to the
minds and feelings of other people, especially, since most teachers are school
teachers, to the minds and feelings of children. Closely related with this is the capacity
to be tolerant - not, indeed, of what is wrong, but of the frailty and immaturity of
human nature which induce people, and again especially children, to make mistakes.
Thirdly, I hold it essential for a teacher to be both intellectually and morally honest.
This does not mean being a plaster saint. It means that he will be aware of his
intellectual strengths, and limitations, and will have thought about and decided upon
the moral principles by which his life shall be guided. There is no contradiction in my
going on to say that a teacher should be a bit of an actor. That is part of the technique
of teaching, which demands that every now and then a teacher should be able to put
on an act - to enliven a lesson, correct a fault, or award praise. Children, especially
young children, live in a world that is rather larger than life.
A teacher must remain mentally alert. He will not get into the profession if of low
intelligence, but it is all too easy, even for people of above-average intelligence, to
stagnate intellectually and that means to deteriorate intellectually. A teacher must be
quick to adapt himself to any situation, however improbable (they happen!) and able
to improvise, if necessary at less than a moment's notice. (Here I should stress that I
use 'he' and 'his' throughout the book simply as a matter of convention and
On the other hand, a teacher must be capable of infinite patience. This, I may say, is
largely a matter of self-discipline and self-training; we are none of us born like that.
He must be pretty resilient; teaching makes great demands on nervous energy. And he
should be able to take in his stride the innumerable petty irritations any adult dealing
with children has to endure.
Finally, I think a teacher should have the kind of mind which always wants to go on
learning. Teaching is a job at which one will never be perfect; there is always
something more to learn about it. There are three principal objects of study: the
subject, or subjects, which the teacher is teaching; the methods by which they can best
be taught to the particular pupils in the classes he is teaching; and - by far the most
important - the children, young people, or adults to whom they are to be taught. The
two cardinal principles of British education today are that education is education of
the whole person, and that it is best acquired through full and active co-operation
between two persons, the teacher and the learner.
(From Teaching as a Career, by H . C. Dent)Standard
The National Professional Standards For Teachers
The seven Standards identify what is expected of teachers within three domains of
teaching. Teachers’ demonstration of the Standards will occur within their specific
teaching context at their stage of expertise and reflect the learning requirements of
the students they teach.
1: Know students and how they learn
Standard 2: Know the content and how to teach it
Standard 3: Plan for and implement effective teaching and learning
Standard 4: Create and maintain supportive and safe learning environments
Standard 5: Assess, provide feedback and report on student learning
Standard 6: Engage in professional learning
Standard 7: Engage professionally with colleagues, parents/carers and the
The word teach is unhelpfully ambiguous. It can refer to our all-encompassing job as educator in the broadest sense
(we are all teachers). It can refer to different kinds of approaches (teach by questioning, teach by telling). And it can
imply a range of purposes (inform, expand awareness, develop performance ability). It can even refer to isolated
teacher behavior, irrespective of the results, as in the old joke, ―I taught them, but they didn't learn.‖ So how should
we best clarify the job of the teacher?
Backward design suggests one answer. The teacher's role, behavior, and strategies must stem deliberately from
established mission and goals, the curriculum, and agreed-upon learning principles. In other words, the particular
approaches, methods, and resources employed are not primarily subjective ―choices‖ or mere matters of style. They
logically derive from the desired student accomplishments and our profession's understanding of the learning
process. We teach to cause a result. Teaching is successful only if we cause learning related to purpose.
More specifically, we can distinguish mandatory from optional teacher roles and approaches by recalling the
categorization of intellectual goals mentioned in Chapter 1 (academic excellence, understandings, key competence,
habits of mind, mature conduct). Mortimer Adler, in The Paideia Proposal (1982), presents us with three broad
categories of instructional roles for teachers related to these intellectual goals: (1) didactic (or direct) instruction, (2)
facilitation of understanding and related habits of mind, and (3) coaching of performance (skill and transfer). (See
Adler's The Paideia Program  and follow-up volumes for further insight into the rationale for the three
categories and how to decide what kind of teaching best suits what kind of objective.)
Didactic/direct instruction. In this role, the teacher's primary goal is to inform the learners through explicit
instruction—that is, telling and lecturing, supplemented by textbooks and demonstrations.
Facilitation of understanding. Facilitative teaching seeks to help students ―construct‖ meaning and come to an
understanding of important ideas and processes. Teachers in this role guide student inquiries into complex problems,
texts, cases, projects, or situations. Their principal methods are questioning, probing, and process-related
commentary, with little or no direct instruction.
Coaching performance. Coaching seeks to support the learners' ability to transfer their learning to succeed in
complex and autonomous performances. The teacher/coach establishes clear performance goals and then
supervises the development of skills and habits through ongoing opportunities to perform, accompanied by specific
feedback and modeling.
The professionalization in teaching
A professional teaching qualification does not make you a professional, in the true sense of the
word. Belonging to a particular profession does not automatically guarantee that the service you
provide is a professional one. Read this article to find out how you can stand out as a true
professional in your field: the classroom and larger school community.
1. Inspire the trust of your clients - the students and parents. Create a good first impression from
day one of the academic year.
Dress like a professional. It is important for teachers to dress tastefully. Revealing clothes are the
number one "no-no" for female teachers. Male teachers should remember that a tie and jacket worn
to work, can easily be removed, should the need arise. Teachers should arrive at work, looking the
Always be on time for work. A professional teacher understands the need to start the day well,
every day. Truly professional teachers will make sure that they arrive at least ten minutes before the
first bell rings, so as to prepare themselves mentally for the day ahead.
Be prepared. Check your diary the night before and plan the day ahead. Professional teachers plan
thoroughly too for every lesson and class. They stick to their work programme and assessment
schedule, to ensure that not only syllabus content is covered, but also the necessary skills for their
students' longer-term success in their specific subject or learning area.
Follow procedures and the protocol expected at your school. Professionals embrace the
corporate identity and values and model these for the clients - in this case, the children they teach.
Take charge of your classroom. Manage your students' behaviour. A professional teacher will not
keep running to school management for assistance with classroom discipline, for example.
Take pride in the process and product. Make sure your notes and handouts are professionally
presented. Professional teachers should never have to be asked to re-do a piece of work because
its presentation is shoddy.
Never miss a deadline. Professionals keep their work up to date and plan ahead. Amateurs leave
work until the last minute.
Keep up to date with your marking and grading of students' tasks. A three day rule of thumb
should apply. If you take too long to hand back class tests and so on, the students will have lost
interest in the task and their results by the time you return their work.
Treat your colleagues and supervisors with respect. Model respect for authority for your
students and gaining their respect will be much easier for you.
Be passionate, positive, and enthusiastic about your work. A professional teacher will not create
negativity in a staff room or engage in mindless gossip and the spreading of dissent.
Embrace change. A professional teacher will not be a doomsayer and throw cold water on new
ideas or suggestions for positive change. A professional will not vocalise negative thoughts like "That
will never work at this school."
Take an interest in every child. The better you get to know your students, the more influence you
will have on their attitude towards your subject, and on their lives in general. Remember the adage:
"Teachers touch eternity, they never know where their influence may end."
Treat your students with respect. Follow the maxim "Do unto others." Never publicly humiliate or
belittle your students. Do not discuss their results or grades in front of other students. Don't
personalise issues with students.Leave their family, background, religion,behaviour, and personal
circumstances out of public disciplinary processes and discussions.
Be a mentor not a friend. Model responsible adult values, exhibit self-control, choose your words
carefully and consider the impact they may have on a particular student or group of students.
Maintain confidentiality. A professional teacher will use students personal information to assist in
helping a child to reach his or her potential. Confidential information will not be disclosed over tea
during recess, or used as a weapon against a student. Confidential information such as the content
of staff meetings too will be treated in the strictest of confidence.
Consult parents. Try to include parents in the educational process and encourage their support of
the school's disciplinary processes and procedures. Be polite and calm when dealing with parents.
Keep reminding them that every discussion about the child needs to be undertaken with the child's
best interests at heart.
Put safety first. Remember that as a professional teacher you are offering a service to the students
and the school community. You are duty-bound to take your "in loco parentis" role seriously. Explain
why certain rules are in place and follow all institutional risk management procedures.
Support your colleagues and school management. Walk the talk. Put the needs of the institution
above your own. Remember you are one person in a group of professionals who share a common
goal and vision.
Let excellence be your aim. Constantly provide benchmarks for improvement for your students.
Give praise when it is due, lots of it. Draw gently alongside those who are in need of help and find
creative ways to assist them to improve their grades.
Take responsibility for your students' results. As a professional teacher, the grades your
students achieve are a reflection on you. Bear this in mind, in all you do.
Behave professionally in public. Always support your school if negative people are bad-mouthing
the institution. Swearing and being drunk in public will cause community members to lose respect
not only for you, but for the profession at large.
Keep abreast of education policy and legislation.
Constantly seek new subject knowledge and share this with your students. Take short courses
to keep yourself mentally stimulated. Your renewed enthusiasm for your subject will be rewarded by
increased student interest and enthusiasm for the subject itself.
Simplify your lessons: Good teachers make it easy to understand complicated things. Use
examples, models and colored pictures and Photographs. Teach in illustrations that your students
can relate to.
Keep your students attention. Teach your students why the knowledge you convey is important
and how they can apply what they learn in their daily lives. Then they are more likely to remember
what you teach.
By DariaBitsigan, 11th year pupil
The Provostial Guidelines also include criteria for the assessment of teaching effectiveness, which might
help you in selecting and contextualizing the information in your dossier. These criteria will be assessed
based both on the information in your dossier, as well as the information provided by your department.
These criteria are:
A faculty member demonstrates capabilities as a teacher in lectures, seminars, laboratories and tutorials
as well as in less formal teaching situations, including directing graduate students and counselling
students. The guidelines for tenure and promotion prescribe in detail the procedures to be followed in the
evaluation of teaching activities. The level of achievement deemed necessary will depend on the rank
being sought. According, there will be some variation in the components and emphases of the
documentation collected for each process, reflecting the different stages of an academic career.
Experience has taught us how effective we can be when supported by a team of colleagues who are equally invested in
the mission of providing high quality, future-oriented educational opportunities for all children, both locally and
globally. We know that we are not just one in this mission. We are many. We believe that educational partnerships are
the key to building and sustaining schools that effectively help each learner reach beyond his or her potential and to
becoming better prepared for the challenges we face both now and in years to come.
Teachers are lifelong learners. In fact, ongoing education is a requirement for teachers of every public
school level, from kindergarten through 12th grade. Known as professional development, this education --
usually in the form of workshops, seminars and training courses -- helps teachers stay up to date with
new trends and learn fresh strategies, techniques and methods for classroom challenges. The overriding
idea behind professional development is that increased knowledge helps teachers improve student
achievement. That's because professional development focuses on what each teacher needs to fine-tune
his or her classroom practice.
for teachers to continue their education. Sometimes there are financial incentives, such as salary
increases. But often, the rewards aren't found just at the completion of professional development, but all
along the way. According to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, professional development
transforms the nation's best teachers. "It's a lot of hard work but arguably the most important growth and
learning you're ever going to have as a teacher,"
Teachers, young and old, new and established should be given the time to develop; to share and to
train in order to meet the needs of an evolving audience.
Trying out new ideas in the classroom has the additional benefit of making the activity of teaching much
more interesting. Having an exploratory attitude towards teaching helps to prevent the feeling of being
stuck in a rut, i.e. working on the same teaching points in the same way year after year.
Becoming more skilful at a certain activity has a lot to do with being aware of one’s own strengths and
weaknesses, which is the aspect that is discussed in the next section.
lately, the teaching profession has never been given so much limelight.