Teaching is the profession that teaches all other professions.
This proverb very well explains the importance of a teacher in shaping society. Teaching is one of the most important and challenging professions in the world. The qualities of a good primary teacher can greatly impact a student’s life and society, which might stay there forever.
Unlike other corporate jobs, teaching is not just limited to being knowledgeable and finishing your work before the deadline approaches but far beyond that. That is why it requires a lot of enthusiasm and a variety of skills to be a successful teacher, especially for primary school teachers as they lay the foundation for our future.
Key qualities of a good primary teacher
1. Passion for teaching
Passion is something that motivates you to keep going, something that encourages you to rise again when you fall. Not just teaching but every profession demands passion if you want to achieve excellence. A good teacher must be passionate about teaching, sharing knowledge, and helping young children.
To develop a passion for teaching, read books on education, attend teaching conferences, and stay up to date with the latest teaching trends.
Teaching young children can be challenging as one needs to tolerate the mischievous behaviour of children as well as discipline them and build their character. Primary school teachers must remain calm and composed even during a challenging situation. This is why being patient is one of the greatest qualities of a primary teacher.
Practising mindfulness techniques such as deep breathing and meditation, yoga, etc. can help in acquiring and enhancing patience levels.
Creativity plays a vital role in the field of teaching. A primary teacher must be creative with respect to his/her teaching methods and techniques, this will not only help in keeping children engaged and retaining their attention while you impart knowledge but also caters to the different learning style of students. Primary teachers can put to use the aspect of creativity more than anyone else as children are more curious about the world than adults, as a primary teacher you can use your creativity to satisfy the curiosity of children.
Creativity is something that comes from within but trying your hand at different art forms, trying out a new hobby, or looking around to find new ideas can help unleash your creative side or enhance your creativity.
Quickly adapting to the changing environment is known as flexibility. Teaching is witnessing technological changes faster than ever. The method of teaching used 30 years ago has changed a lot because of technological advancements like projectors, virtual classrooms, etc. Teachers must cope with technological changes in order to survive in this field. Due to these changes, the behaviour and psychology of children have also changed. As a primary school teacher, it is important to understand the causes of stress in students and find ways to deal with them.
To be more flexible, be open to feedback, try different ways to do a task, and stay up to date with the changes in the sector.
Management is one of the most important qualities of a primary teacher. As a primary teacher, you can use your management skills for various tasks such as time management, class management, task management, etc. It is also helpful in maintaining a work-life balance. Teachers have to spend some extra time other than working hours to study the concepts to be taught in the classroom, find creative ways to teach them, etc.
Management techniques help in setting up boundaries and maintaining a stable work-life balance. Not just that, management is also helpful in conducting classes peacefully and also resolve conflicts among students if any.
Having good communication skills is an essential quality of a good primary teacher because as a primary teacher one needs to interact with students and understand them and this can be only done through communication. Not just the students, but also the teachers must be able to communicate the ups and downs of a student and ways to deal with them with their parents. Communication is also helpful in promoting harmony and mutual understanding among students and creates a strong bond between them.
You can boost your communication skills by participating in group discussions, allocation competitions, etc. There are also many seminars and workshops which will help you enhance your communication skills.
Students pursue teachers as role models which is why it’s important to have the quality of leadership if you want to pursue a career as a primary school teacher. Leadership qualities not only allow you to hold a firm position in class and manage it effectively but also help in encouraging and motivating students to achieve their dreams and create a positive environment for imparting knowledge.
Taking initiative to do work, positively taking feedback, quickly adjusting to the changing environment, and empowering others are some ways you can enhance your leadership skills.
A teacher is a person who inculcates values and discipline in students which stays with them for life and helps build their character. Before teaching others, a teacher himself/ herself has to practice their teachings because teachers act as role models for the students. Punctuality is one such quality that will help you go long, as it denotes that you value your time as well as that of others, that’s why punctuality is a must-have quality for a primary teacher.
Prioritizing your work, creating a schedule, using tools like a calendar to-do list, etc. can encourage you to work and meet your deadlines.
Empathy is the ability to understand the feelings of others and value them. The quality of empathy is essential in the case of primary teachers because a teacher is not only an educator but also a guide for students when they are unable to make life decisions. With the help of skills like empathy, the primary teacher can connect with their students on a personal level, making it easier for them to address their emotional and academic needs.
To acquire and enhance this quality one needs to look at life from other’s perspectives, practice active listening, and create a safe and supportive learning environment.
10. Inclusive approach
A primary teacher must have an inclusive approach towards students i.e., one should be able to blend well with a diverse background of students and should not practice partiality or discrimination based on gender, colour race, etc., and treat everyone equally. They should be able to recognize and respect cultural differences and adjust their teaching approach to meet the needs of all students. Having an inclusive approach helps all students to learn with dignity and creates a positive learning environment. It also helps to inculcate values of equality among young minds.
Becoming a successful primary teacher requires passion, dedication, and a combination of skills along with training in primary teaching. You cannot master these skills overnight but practising them over a long term will make your teaching more and more effective and will make a positive impact on the lives of your students and eventually on the world, as children are the ones who will run the world in the future.