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The Most Important Qualities That Make a Good Teacher

July 30, 2023

Teachers significantly impact the lives of their learners. They challenge their students to confidently think outside the box and counter new challenges. 

A good teacher will also support their learners when they take in new challenges and fail. They build their confidence to try again, inspire creativity, and encourage exploration and competition. 

Teaching is not a job but a calling. It is, therefore, crucial to acquire and perfect the required skills to efficiently inspire and grow students in their classrooms. 

Good teachers model behaviors of patience, empathy, communication, and understanding. Qualities that they can help grow in their learners. 

In this article, we discuss ten qualities of good teachers that should serve as motivation if you hope to impact the lives of your learners positively. 

teacher teaching her class

The Value of a Teacher’s Role

A teacher’s role is essential not only in the education system but also later on in the lives of their students. 

You can make a difference in your student’s life by influencing everything, from educational goals to after-school success. 

Good teachers help their students reach more success, understand themselves better, and make well-thought decisions that will help them make the right choices to propel them to greater heights in life. 

To be good at your job as a teacher, you must love it. Passion is infectious; your students will feel passionate about the subject if you are passionate about it. 

Also, you can cultivate self-esteem, self-confidence, and self-worth in your learners in your daily interactions. 

Your interactions with your students also guide them into laying the foundation for meaningful relationships, understanding their feelings, and navigating challenging situations. 

10 Qualities of a Good Teacher

Outstanding teachers have certain qualities that make them rise above the rest of their student’s lives. Such teachers have a way of remaining in our memories no matter how far removed from our school years. 

Studies from the Economic Policy Institute show that good teachers contribute more to student achievement than learning facilities and school leadership. 

Here are our top ten qualities that make a good teacher:

1. Great communicators

When you possess excellent communication skills, you will know how to teach your subject in a learner-friendly and engaging way. 

This will, in turn, improve their understanding and achievement as it will bring you closer to them and help them present any concerns they may have regarding any learned content. 

For instance, a finance class will be easier to understand if the teacher uses everyday examples with which the students are familiar. 

2. Experts in their field

Your students will be motivated to learn if you are an expert in your field. If you love your teaching area, you will show that expertise in the classroom. 

Once you have mastered the content in your subject area, you can use different angles to explain the subject matter; hence be very resourceful when teaching. 

For instance, a math teacher can use the rows and columns in the class to enhance understanding of matrices. 

3. Collaboration

Collaboration in teaching creates a growth-based learning environment that increases student learning processes.

You should work closely with other teachers and your students if you aim for great results. 

Collaborating with other teachers helps you learn from each other, allowing you to brainstorm new ideas. This is significant in improving learner outcomes. 

A good teacher is also interested in learning from parents about their students. This equips you with an understanding of how to help your students better.

Empathy is how you understand your learner’s emotional, social, and intellectual situations. A good teacher can respond empathetically to a learner’s admirable and ugly emotions without losing focus on student learning. 

For instance, if your best student failed a test. Your first instinct might be to reprimand them and for an explanation for their poor performance. On the other hand, consider putting yourself in their situation, imagine how they are feeling, and empathize with them. 

Seek to understand how they feel about the dismal performance, what they think they did wrong, and then suggest ways to improve the result. Assure them that they have a chance to turn things around. 

When your learners feel physically, mentally, and emotionally safe, they will engage better in your subject as they feel loved and understood. 

You can grow your empathetic touch by reading books on such, taking courses on empathy, and attending seminars that build on this. 

5. Loving challenges

A great teacher loves challenges. A classroom environment is full of varied challenges; therefore, embracing them is a sure way to manage them. 

Once you love your challenges, you will teach your learners more effectively. This is because a teacher who loves challenges will grow to challenge students. Students love challenges, provided they are presented in a kind spirit. 

You can draw your students to love challenges by asking thought-provoking questions that get learners to think about sequencing and predictions. 

Challenging them will push them to work harder, improve, and achieve beyond their imagination. 

6. Creativity

Although not all subject areas promote creativity, they can all be taught creatively. 

For instance, a biology teacher teaching about different kinds of plants would take students to the natural habitat to exploit the topic practically. Also, a literature teacher would more creatively use film to enhance the mental correlation of a play the learners are reading as a literary text. 

A science teacher would use real solutions more creatively when teaching learners to test for bases and acids. Learners always appreciate the extra mile. 

When you creatively motivate your learners, they are motivated to do this in education and their lives after school. 

7. Constant growth 

Teachers need a growth mindset that prepares them for the classroom environment. Continuous learning will equip you with invaluable knowledge to progressively inspire your students. The growth mindset is essential because it will enable you to collaborate with your learners with the understanding that they can learn it to a higher level. 

A view that continuous growth is essential will create a love of learning and resilience in just one area. It empowers your learners to believe they can develop their abilities with brains and talents as starting points. 

The need for growth will motivate you to focus on creativity and intelligence, the two factors that result in success in both your academic and professional lives. 

8. Patience

When managing learners, your patience is constantly tested. You will also deal with learners, parents, and colleagues with differing perspectives, backgrounds, and characters. This requires patience. 

For instance, with your learners and their parents, you must be patient in repeatedly dealing with the same questions and issues.

Also, some of your learners will have difficulties understanding various concepts; it’s essential that you keep going but should continuously try out new ways of helping them succeed. 

9. Adaptability

Your environment as a teacher is constantly evolving. This demands that you continually adapt to the constant changes and adjust your teaching methods to suit the age and intellect of your learners. 

Also, with the continuously changing educational frameworks, being able to adopt those changes makes you a good teacher. 

Adaptability is also one of the essential skills that you will require if you are educating learners of varying grade levels or those with different learning styles. 

10. Respect

Many educators imply respect, but few understand how to use it in the classroom. 

As a good teacher, you must be mindful of any imbalance in respect and ensure that your students feel respected and heard. 

In stories from American Teacher Week , Maggie remembers her seventh-grade language teacher for the respect she fostered and reflected on her students. The feeling that her teacher valued and respected each of them taught her a valuable lesson about the significance of fostering the respect you demand.

students and teacher planning

Desired Classroom Skills

Besides the teaching and communication skills you should possess as a good teacher, excellent class management skills are critical.  

Some of the desired class management skills include:

  • Setting high but achievable expectations for your students – You can do this by teaching them about growth mindsets. They should believe that success is within their control. Reinforce in them daily that they can succeed if they put in the effort. 
  • Good planning skills – With good planning skills, you will help students identify their goals and guide them in deciding what their priority is. Teach them how to plan their learning by breaking their tasks into steps to make them more manageable. Teaching learners how to plan will also eliminate uncertainty in the mind, which in most learners results in procrastination. 
  • Creating a sense of community- A sense of community will create a social connection and a sense of belonging among your learners. You can establish this community within your students by consistently holding class meetings every morning to focus on building social and emotional skills and establishing relationships among them. 

Common Weaknesses of Teachers

Teachers, even the most experienced, are helpful with some weaknesses. Every teacher would like to see themselves as being perfect, but admitting that we are all flawed in different ways is the first step to becoming better teachers tomorrow. 

Here are some common weaknesses in teachers: 


Making mistakes is a normal part of human life. Perfectionism is a fear-based pattern whose short-term rewards are getting the job done and exceeding expectations. Its long-term effects, however, include burnout, compromised quality of work, and missed deadlines. 

Being afraid to make mistakes primes us for burnout and overwhelms us with fear, factors that distort our functioning as teachers. 

Dealing with others as a perfectionist is challenging since you will always want them to do things your way, allowing little room for the ideas and imperfections of others. 

Perfectionism also prevents you from taking constructive criticism from colleagues who may want to share relevant observations on your interaction. 

Though no one is perfect, some teachers seem to have it together, and this may be the basis for our comparison. Comparison can hinder your success as a teacher if you are constantly comparing yourself with colleagues you view as perfect. 

Learning helpful hints and new ideas from teachers with the strengths we would like to possess would help you overcome comparison.

For instance, if a colleague is better at relating with learners and they look up to her more for guidance, instead of getting all jealous and bitter at her, seek to know what she does differently to get the students to open up to her. 


If you are a spontaneous teacher, you act without planning but will rely on previous experience teaching diverse classes and using different approaches to teaching. 

Spontaneity in learning is not all bad, as it helps adjust the power imbalances in a typical classroom. Spontaneous teaching, however, can have some adverse effects on learning. This can result in a lack of structure to your lesson and poor lesson organization. It may also limit your degree of learner assessment of learner progress and achievement. 

To avoid the adverse effects of spontaneity, find a balance between flexibility and structure in the lesson. Consider the individual learner’s needs and learning abilities when deciding on the instructional method. 

Becoming a Good Teacher

A chosen path can guide you into becoming a better teacher. Many specialties are available, so knowing what grade you want to teach and what subject area you are passionate about is essential. 

Here are some steps to take toward becoming a good teacher. 

Bachelor’s Degree 

A bachelor’s degree is crucial to becoming a good teacher. Though most states will require a bachelor’s degree in education, alternative routes to licensure are also available. 

 It will allow you to learn essential skills that will help you become a better teacher. Such include:

  • Cognitive skills : A degree program grows your ability to recall, integrate, and analyze information. You will be able to foster critical and creative thinking skills that guide fluency, originality, flexibility, and adaptability in developing and adjusting to learner programs. 
  • Communication skills: Acquiring communication skills enables you to interact and collaborate effectively with your learners in delivering and assessing knowledge acquisition. Efficient communication is necessary when also engaging with students’ families and colleagues. 
  • Research skills: The skills to initiate and complete data collection concerning learner performance and curricula are essential in effective instruction. A bachelor’s degree program will guide you into effectively demonstrating, considering consequences, information presentation, and record keeping. 
  • Social skills: A good teacher is sensitive to ethical and integral processes of establishing functional relationships with all the school community members. The program will develop compassion, empathy, interpersonal skills, and internal motivation, skills you will require to impact your learners and effectively relate with your colleagues positively. 

Here is a list of some bachelor’s degrees that would guide you into initial certification as a teacher:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Special Ed. and Elementary Education
  • Bachelor of Special Education (mild to moderate)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mathematics Education (middle grades)
  • Bachelor of Science in Science Education (Secondary Biological Science)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music Education
  • Bachelor of Science in STEM Education

Master’s Degree

Besides attaining a bachelor’s degree, aspiring teachers should also think about acquiring a master’s degree. A master’s degree will upgrade your knowledge and help you learn more about your subject area. You will also acquire more effective ways of curriculum instruction. 

Teaching Certification

To get hired after completing your degree program, getting certified to teach in the state where you are interested in teaching is essential. 

Getting certified gives you credibility as a teacher and is one of the states’ quality measures for hiring teachers. 

Most states will therefore require teachers to have certificates to teach. 

Teachers are crucial in changing lives, inspiring dreams, and pushing individuals to realize their potential. Teachers educate the next generation, promoting positive attitudes that shape society. 

Middle School Teacher Salary in Texas in 2023

July 30, 2023 by bryan

what makes a good teacher thesis

Texas Teachers Certification Areas

Texas teachers currently offers 50+ certification areas:.

  • Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources 6–12 (272)
  • American Sign Language (ASL) (184)
  • Art EC–12 (178)
  • Bilingual Education Supplemental (164)
  • Bilingual Target Language Proficiency Test (BTLPT) Spanish (190)
  • Business and Finance 6–12 (276)
  • Chemistry 7–12 (240)
  • Computer Science 8–12 (241)
  • Core Subjects EC-6 (291)
  • Core Subjects 4–8 (211)
  • Dance 6–12 (279)
  • English as a Second Language Supplemental (154)
  • English Language Arts and Reading 4–8 (117)
  • English Language Arts and Reading 7–12 (231)
  • English Language Arts and Reading/Social Studies 4–8 (113)
  • Family and Consumer Sciences EC-12 (200)
  • Health EC–12 (157)
  • Health Science 6–12 (273)
  • History 7–12 (233)
  • Journalism 7–12 (256)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Arabic EC–12 (600 & 605)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) French EC–12 (610)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) German EC–12 (611)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Latin EC–12 (612)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Japanese EC–12 (602 & 607)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Mandarin Chinese EC–12 (601 & 606)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Russian EC–12 (603 & 608)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Spanish EC–12 (613)
  • Languages Other Than English (LOTE) Vietnamese EC–12 (604 & 609)
  • Life Science 7–12 (238)
  • Marketing 6–12 (275)
  • Mathematics 4–8 (115)
  • Mathematics 7–12 (235)
  • Mathematics/Physical Science/Engineering 6–12 (274)
  • Mathematics/Science 4–8 (114)
  • Music EC–12 (177)
  • Physical Education EC–12 (158)
  • Physical Science 6–12 (237)
  • Physics/Mathematics 7–12 (243)
  • Science 4–8 (116)
  • Science 7–12 (236)
  • Social Studies 4–8 (118)
  • Social Studies 7–12 (232)
  • Special Education EC–12 (161)
  • Speech 7–12 (129)
  • Technology Applications EC–12 (242)
  • Technology Education 6–12 (171)
  • Texas Assessment of Sign Communication–American Sign Language™ (TASC–ASL™) (073)
  • Theatre EC–12 (180)
  • Trade and Industrial (T&I)

what makes a good teacher thesis

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  • v.98(2); 2005 Feb

The qualities of a good teacher: how can they be acquired and sustained?

The introduction of problem-based learning (PBL) in undergraduate medical courses necessitates the special training of teachers and monitoring of their performance. 1 In traditional courses the emphasis is on transmission of factual knowledge; teachers are the main source of information and students are offered few opportunities to identify their own learning needs or reflect collectively on their learning experience. 2 Then, if the outcomes are unfavourable, the blame lies with the student, for lack of skills or motivation. By contrast, in PBL courses the responsibilities of teachers include: encouraging critical thinking; fostering self-directed learning and curiosity; monitoring group progress; and creating a learning environment that stimulates all members in the group, generates deep understanding, and promotes teamwork. 1 , 3

These activities demand special attributes. Over the past five years I have run over forty workshops for would-be PBL tutors as well as refresher workshops for existing tutors who wish to enhance their skills as PBL facilitators. These workshops usually begin with a session titled What makes good teachers? and I ask participants to write down the name of the best teacher they have ever had and list his or her good qualities: ‘In what way did your best teacher help you to grow?’ Certain qualities are common to many of these teachers—for example, ‘He treated me with respect and was interested in helping and supporting me’; ‘She motivated me to love the subject she was teaching’; ‘She created a positive impact on my life that reshaped my vision and purpose’; ‘He was able to keep us engaged in his lessons, think, and ask good questions’; ‘I realized that learning can be fun and a life-long experience’. These responses stimulated me to examine the qualities of a good teacher in a more systematic way.


Role modelling is thought to be an integral component of medical education. We identify people as role models when they inspire imitation and influence people working with them to develop new skills and achieve their potential. 4 , 5 Students learn from continuous observation of the ways their teachers handle difficult and stressful situations, how they relate to their patients, and how they deal with ethical and moral issues.

In one recent study, the most highly regarded teachers in a large department of medicine were asked to specify the personal qualities, teaching skills and clinical competencies they considered most critical for effective role modelling in medicine. 6 The findings indicated that good teachers are enthusiastic, friendly, easy-going, able to develop rapport with learners, committed to the growth of their students, approachable, interested in learners as people, and always conscious of their status as role models. The participants were then asked to list barriers to effective modelling and these included being quiet, being overextended, having difficulty remembering names and being impatient and impulsive.

Is ethnic background or culture relevant to the choice of role models in medical schools? The answer is yes, 7 , 8 and this needs to be borne in mind in selection of faculty teaching staff and appointment of teaching and assessment committees. 9 All medical educators should be aware of the impact of cultural differences on learning.

A search of the Medline and HighWire databases under ‘good teachers’ and ‘mentors’ indicates that the subject attracts growing attention. From January 1978 to December 2003 the number of publications was 1061, of which just over half appeared in the last 4 years. Box 1 lists the qualities of a good teacher highlighted in this published work, under categories derived from my own experience.


In PBL courses, the usual rewards for excellent teaching are personal prizes, grants for research in education, or funding to attend professional development courses. Among the benefits are the encouragement of young tutors to develop careers in medical education and establishment of links with local and international educators and researchers in medical education. A good tutor training programme fosters the arts of facilitation, group dynamics, and feedback. 10 – 13 Faculty training and mentoring programmes should be part of university policies for the promotion of academic excellence. 14 One initial training session for faculty development at the beginning of a project (e.g., introduction of PBL) is not enough. Follow-up mentoring, coupled with opportunities to share ideas with other tutors as new skills are developed, is crucial to successful implementation of a new curriculum. 14 , 15 The academies of medical educators at Harvard Medical School and the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) are two examples of current trends in medical and health education. At Harvard, the academy aims to reward excellence in teaching and provide a forum for the exchange of ideas across departmental and institutional lines. 16 The academy at UCSF likewise rewards talent and has also initiated a mentoring programme to help junior faculty members enhance their teaching skills. 17 One aim of faculty development programmes is to improve teachers’ abilities to write high-quality and reliable test questions. Assessment of students’ cognitive skills is a much neglected area in curriculum change. 18

Box 1 Twelve qualities of a good teacher or mentor

  • Focuses on educational needs of the students
  • Works with passion
  • Keen to uphold the university's values
  • Enthusiastic about work and about teaching
  • Does not stereotype or speak negatively of others
  • Nurtures and encourages diversity
  • Seeks and encourages understanding of, and respect for, people of diverse backgrounds
  • Communicates effectively with others
  • Encourages input from others, listening deeply and giving credit for their contributions
  • Acts with integrity
  • Provides a model of high ethical standards
  • Shows a caring attitude
  • Encourages students to achieve their goals
  • Provides constructive feedback
  • Monitors progress of students and fosters their success
  • Teaching is clearly presented and stimulates high-order thinking skills
  • Presents difficult concepts comprehensibly
  • Brings appropriate evidence to the critique
  • Teaches memorably
  • Contributes to course design and structure
  • Contributes to publications on education
  • Evidence of self-development in an educational context
  • Demonstrates creativity in teaching strategies
  • Committed to professional development in education
  • Creates a climate of trust
  • Encourages students to learn from mistakes
  • Helps students redefine failure as a learning experience
  • Encourages student questions and engagement in the learning process
  • Encourages student growth with appropriate behaviour-based feedback
  • Teaches students how to think, not what to think
  • Encourages students to organize, analyse and evaluate
  • Explores with probing questions
  • Discusses ideas in an organized way
  • Helps students to focus on key issues
  • Trains students in strategic thinking
  • Motivates students to create new ideas
  • Fosters innovation and new approaches
  • Builds links at national and international levels in education
  • Encourages students to work in teams
  • Encourages collaborative learning
  • Seeks to learn and incorporate new skills, and information teaching
  • Seeks feedback and criticism
  • Keeps up to date in specialty
  • Listens to students and discovers their educational needs
  • Values students, never belittles
  • Helps and supports people to grow
  • Teaches students how to monitor their own progress.

The emerging changes in medical curricula and the role of medical teachers necessitates the development of standards for medical education at international as well as national levels. 19 – 21 As research becomes the main criterion for promotion in academia, faculty time for education is at risk. 22 This is one of the main challenges facing educators in universities worldwide. Vice-chancellors and deans need to reassess the criteria for academic promotion and allocate more credit for education. A second challenge is the lack of training and mentoring programmes in medical and health professional schools. Although the introduction of PBL has necessitated the development of training programmes in most schools, these need to be backed by mentoring and continuous support for new tutors. A third challenge is the separation of research from education, and the consequent lack of established knowledge in areas such as staff development and enhancement of teaching skills. 23 A fourth challenge is the lack of resources for training teachers and junior faculty academics.


The advent of PBL has cast a spotlight on the qualities of a good teacher. Excellent teachers serve as role models, influence career choices and enable students to reach their potential. Some of the necessary qualities are inherent, others can be acquired. In medical schools the good teachers must be nurtured and rewarded.

Note The author chaired the Subcommittee of Excellence in Teaching Awards, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, the University of Melbourne, 2003–2004.

What Makes a Good Teacher?

A girl in class with her hand raised

In the conversation about closing the United States’ widening gap in student achievement, much attention has been focused on policy, funding, test scores, and parent involvement. Research shows that each of these factors indeed plays a part in determining how much a student learns; however, improving student success starts directly in the classroom—with great, quality teachers.

Good teachers make a tremendous difference in the lives of students, from improving academic success to providing emotional and social support—and the research backs it up.

  • One study found that, in a single year, the top 10 percent of teachers impart three times as much knowledge to their students as the bottom 10 percent of teachers do.
  • Quality of teaching more directly affects student learning than family income, school attended, or class size, according to another study, and the effect is stronger for disadvantaged and minority students.
  • Teachers have two to three times the impact of any other school-related factor on student success in reading and math tests—surpassing the impacts of school services, facilities, and leadership.

But what is a good teacher? And what are the qualities of such a teacher? According to educators, students, and education researchers, good teachers:

Earn your online Master’s in teaching and learn more about what it takes to become a great teacher.

  • Have a grounding in pedagogy
  • Establish their own standards for success
  • Build a community of democracy and respect in the classroom
  • Participate in a community of teachers who inspire them to keep learning, shifting, and improving
  • Are fully committed to their classrooms and students

1. Having a Grounding in Pedagogy

Pedagogy, simply put, refers to the method and practice of teaching. A given teacher’s pedagogy will determine a number of things:

  • How a teacher responds to student challenges, unexpected situations, and apathy
  • How a teacher introduces difficult subjects, holds students’ attention, and makes a given lesson relevant
  • The ability of a teacher to adapt the presentation of instructional content to suit the needs of his or her students
  • How a teacher interacts with students of varying levels of academic ability
  • The quality of a teacher’s interactions—both social and emotional—with his or her students

A strong pedagogical grounding is not something that future teachers are born with; they develop a pedagogical understanding and practice over time through high-quality teacher preparation programs, ongoing teacher training, experience in the classroom, and discussions with other teachers. Professional development that expands a teacher’s range of teaching strategies and content knowledge can also boost a teacher’s impact on student achievement.

For would-be teachers to give themselves the best shot at becoming a great teacher someday, they should give careful thought to where they begin their own pedagogical training.

On-the-job learning and performance

While comprehensive education is an important foundation for teaching, a strong resume is not necessarily the most reliable indicator of a high-quality teacher. A great teacher is more effectively defined by his or her success and performance in the classroom.

2. Establishing Their Own Standards for Success

Favorable metrics are one thing. Real student progress is another. Rather than adhering too closely to predetermined markers of student “success,” good teachers also articulate for themselves the higher-minded differences they hope to make in the lives of their students.

In one way or another, this comes back to those findings regarding the importance of teacher quality in the lives of students: if teachers are aware of such findings and take them seriously, they can begin to chart out the ways they want to use their unique influence in the classroom.

Individual missions will look different among teachers, but many will take into account the following factors:

  • Development of students’ curiosity
  • Students’ trust in their own ability to learn and improve
  • Understanding of their role within a larger community and the value of that role

Good teachers may also measure their success by the development of relationships both among students and between themselves and the students, or by taking stock of the type of environment that they’ve helped to create within the classroom. They may look for growth in the responses to some of these questions:

  • Are students inspired?
  • Are students respectful of one another and of the teacher?
  • How do students handle conflict?
  • How do students feel about the teacher as a person?

3. Building a Community of Democracy and Respect in the Classroom

Most classrooms aren’t devoid of rules or authority figures, but the best teachers understand that those things can exist within an environment of collaboration that cultivates a sense that the classroom community is a mini-democracy where every voice is heard when making certain decisions.

Involving students in their education

Classrooms are a place for taking tests, but they are also a place for learning how to peacefully coexist in society and recognize one’s own responsibility to the common good. After all, a classroom is essentially a microcosm of a greater society, and good teachers make efforts to impart knowledge that will help students succeed outside of school.

If students are involved in their education, establishing the way their classrooms are run, and deciding how their days are structured, they will naturally be more invested in their learning. One study showed that teachers can have a “more positive influence on student achievement when they allow students to have a voice in classroom decisions.”

Fostering respect

Good teachers continually challenge themselves to find new ways to incorporate this sense of democracy into the classroom, first by being good role models themselves. Other ways a teacher can encourage respectful and democratic interactions include:

  • Facilitating a group discussion to try to move toward a consensus and see the opposing side’s point of view before voting on a classroom decision
  • Working to move students toward productive action when they step forward to complain about how something is done
  • Empowering the students by encouraging student-led learning and giving them a say in how a lesson is carried out

Fostering an environment of respect within the classroom is another goal that quality teachers will seek to achieve. By learning within a respectful classroom, where everyone is committed to getting along with each other and treating each other with empathy and kindness, students will benefit in ways that go far beyond their success in academic subjects.

4. Participating in a Community of Teachers Who Inspire Them to Keep Learning, Shifting, and Improving

Great teachers don’t achieve that high threshold without a supportive group of more experienced peers. They learn more quickly by pairing their own experiences with stories from other teachers, talking through the issues they may be having with challenging students, and learning about new pedagogical theories and practices from others dedicated to a lifetime of ongoing improvement.

Relying on networks

Starting with a strong graduate program means you will always have a strong alumni network to draw from, along with colleagues, online teacher networks, teacher conferences, and continuing education classes and workshops.

Collaborating with others

Connecting with other teachers and administrators within a teacher’s own school is also essential for a teacher’s success. Connections between teaching colleagues can foster support and enrichment that help a teacher with his or her own students and curriculum, while maintaining open communication with administrators helps to ensure teachers are supported in the necessary ways.

5. Fully committing to their profession and their classrooms.

Being a good teacher requires one to dedicate a significant amount of time to his or her students and profession. While a teacher’s workday at school may simply be from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., it takes much more than those hours to be able to achieve greatness as an educator. Good teachers take the time to:

  • Prepare for class and review student work
  • Get to know students and their parents
  • Work individually with students outside of the classroom when needed
  • Maintain steady involvement in school committees or extracurricular activities

All of these things require time beyond classroom hours—but that commitment is an important quality of a good teacher. What’s more, great teachers are passionate about their jobs and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure they’re able to provide the best possible environment and education for their students.

As a teacher, achieving the mantle of “great” requires a passion for the profession beyond anything tied to financial reward or recognition. After all, teaching is tough work that requires plenty of diligence, long hours, and ongoing education. Anyone who is motivated by the idea that teachers have real and unique positioning in the classroom to improve students’ lives has the potential to be great.

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10 Qualities of a Good Teacher

An educator exhibiting the qualities of a good leader while he helps a student on her laptop.

A good teacher can make a world of difference in a student's life, impacting everything from their classroom learning to their long-term success. If you're considering a career in education – or looking to boost it with a Master of Education  (MEd) – it's important to explore the qualities of a good teacher.

Research from the Economic Policy Institute shows that good teachers are the single most important factor that contributes to student achievement in the classroom, more important than facilities, school resources and even school leadership.

A study from the American Economics Association (AEA) found that improvements in teacher quality positively impact everything from the quality of colleges students attend to students’ future salaries, the quality of their neighborhood and even their future participation rates in 401k savings plans ( AEA PDF source ).

So, What Makes a Good Teacher?

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU) education faculty and university students shared their thoughts on the qualities that make effective teachers stand out.

1. Good Teachers Are Strong Communicators.

Dr. Daniel Tanguay with the text Dr. Daniel Tanguay

Tanguay got his start as a high school math teacher and said that many students came to his class feeling afraid of math, discouraged by their prior experiences and too overwhelmed to approach the subject positively. 

By communicating with students at the beginning of the year about how math applies to their favorite hobbies, sports and future careers, Tanguay said his students were able to approach the subject in a more enjoyable way that better supported their learning.

“I’m a firm believer in communication in all forms,” he said. “As a leader, communication is a tool for overcoming fear.”

2. Good Teachers Listen Well.

Kristine Ducote with the text Kristine Ducote

Great communication doesn't stop when the teacher is done talking. Listening well is one of the most important skills needed to be a teacher. 

“Teachers that are skilled in listening and observing often pick up on what isn’t being said, such as any anxieties a student may have, and can then help the student build their skills and confidence levels," said student  Kristine Ducote , who is earning her bachelor's in criminal justice .

Student Latricia Maddox , who is studying for a bachelor's in business , said that effective listening skills also help a teacher better understand their students and tailor lessons to reach them how they learn best. 

“If an educator can truly hear a student, they can learn how to reach them where they are,” she said. “This will open the door for them to receive and learn the lesson that is being taught.”

3. Good Teachers Focus on Collaboration.

Latricia Maddox with the text Latricia Maddox

Working in education means you’re never truly working alone. From paraprofessionals and teaching assistants to other classroom teachers and school leaders, working as a teacher often means working effectively in a group. It's also important to keep an open mind and learn from other educators. 

The key to success in this kind of environment, Tanguay said, is the ability to collaborate. "You really need to be able to fill various roles in order to collaborate effectively," he said. "If you already have someone on your team who is going to be the one to critique all of the suggestions made, then you don't need to join in on that. Instead, maybe you need to be the person who is going to come up with creative ideas. You need to have that flexibility."

4. Good Teachers Are Adaptable.

Dr. Audrey Rogers with the text Dr. Audrey Rogers

Effective teachers need to be able to work in a constantly evolving environment and adjust their teaching methods based on the age of their students, the resources available and changing curriculum, practices and requirements.

As a teacher since the 1980s, SNHU education professor and on campus undergraduate program chairman Dr. Audrey Rogers said she’s seen tremendous changes in the education field throughout her career, particularly with the rise in access to the internet, computers and other technology. What is teaching going to look like in another 30 years? The only thing certain, Rogers said, is change.

“Change is a constant,” she said. “Learning how to adapt and adjust, that’s been one of the skills that’s been most helpful in my career. It’s about keeping my finger on the pulse of who my students are over time and all the trends, standards and new research, and being able to continually improve.”

Adaptability is also one of the key skills needed to be a teacher who may be educating students of varying grade levels or different learning styles, Tanguay said. 

“You have to be able to adapt based upon your audience,” he said. 

5. Good Teachers Are Engaging.

Being able to engage students with humor, creative lessons and a strong classroom presence is an important part of what makes someone a good teacher, Tanguay said. 

“If you were to envision that teacher that you would want in your life, even now, you’re going to want someone who is very engaging in front of the classroom,” he said. “A good teacher will perform for their students to keep them going... It’s not about sitting back and just lecturing, it’s about engaging in the work.”

What an engaging teacher looks like will vary depending on grade level and subject matter, Tanguay said. 

In kindergarten, an engaging teacher might be one who gets down on the floor to do activities with their students on their level. In high school, an engaging teacher may be one who thinks outside the box, adds humor to their lessons and finds creative ways to bring learning into the real world.

6. Good Teachers Show Empathy.

Another key to engaging students and improving their learning is to treat each student as an individual, by being empathetic and understanding to what may be going on in their lives, Tanguay said. 

“We need to take a moment to think back and think about what could be going on in this student’s life,” he said. “It’s so important to be observant, attentive, empathetic and always have a positive attitude.” 

Rhonda Garrison with the text Rhonda Garrison

“Something that may be easy for one student may not be so easy for someone else,” she said. “Everyone learns differently, whether it be faster or slower than normal, learns better by writing, reading or hands-on. Teachers need to always keep this in mind and always pay close attention to ensure each student is on the track they need to be.”

7. Good Teachers Have Patience.

No matter what grade level you're teaching, your patience will be tested while working as an educator.  

Whether you’re managing classroom behavior, working with colleagues with different views, or communicating student issues or progress with parents, patience is one of the most important skills to practice as a teacher. 

“More often than not you actually have to have more patience with the parents than you do with the students,” Tanguay said. “Parents are coming in with their perceptions of what happened to them when they were students or previous experiences that may have been detrimental to their child... You have to be patient and understanding of them.”

8. Good Teachers Value Real-World Learning.

Teachers who bring their students’ learning into the real world are often some of the most engaging. But it’s important for teachers to bring their own learning into the real world, too.

One of the best preparations for effective teaching is to ensure that education students get plenty of classroom experience early on in their degree programs, Rogers said.

For education majors  in SNHU's on campus program, this preparation includes embedded coursework that begins in a student's freshmen year. They spend time at a local school once a week to collaborate with teacher partners and apply their learning to the classroom. A year-long student teaching experience is also a powerful way to ensure soon-to-be teachers have the time to hone their teaching skills, Rogers said.

"Our students have that benefit of seeing the practical application (of) what they're learning in the moment they're learning it," she said.

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9. good teachers share best practices..

A willingness to share knowledge and experiences with others is one of the most important qualities of a good teacher, Rogers said. 

Education is a hands-on field and often requires experimentation within the classroom to discover which methods of communicating with students work best. Part of being an effective teacher is sharing your findings and best practices with others in the field, Rogers said.

“I always challenge my students to think, ‘What is your contribution?’” she said. “Are you brave enough to post on Twitter about your ideas on technology integration in the classroom? Your willingness to share your practice, to keep an open door, to be transparent and to be observed are an important part of your teaching.”

10. Good Teachers Are Lifelong Learners.

One of the key skills needed to be a good teacher is a dedication to continued education and a love of learning. 

Jennifer Gardner with the text Jennifer Gardner

Whether you’re learning more about your subject area, learning new methods of communication or even exploring how to bring more technology into your classroom, continuing to expand your own knowledge is key to expanding that of your students.

“Those dedicated to their subjects with a passion for learning make the best teachers," said student Jennifer Gardner , who is earning a bachelor's in mathematics . “They also need to have a desire to pass on that knowledge.” 

Ducote said it’s important for teachers to never feel as though they’ve learned it all, and to remain open to new experiences.

“No matter your education level, you can learn something from everyone you encounter, including fellow educators as well as students,” she said. “Being willing to continually add tools to your toolbox – even unconventional ones at times – will keep things new and exciting, as well as giving you excellent skills.”

Learn the Characteristics of Effective Teaching

Donna Whisman with the text Donna Whisman

If you’re interested in starting a career in education, it’s important to first focus on your own learning. Whether you’re seeking a bachelor's degree in education, an education master’s degree or even a Doctor of Education  (EdD), building a strong foundation of knowledge and real-world experiences is key to becoming a good teacher.

No matter where your career path takes you – whether to an elementary school, secondary school or even to the university level – your teaching can have a profound impact on the lives of students, and your education is the foundation for that work.

“Teachers make such a huge impact on their students’ lives,” said student Donna Whisman , who is earning her bachelor's in communication . “I believe that being a teacher is a very special gift, and those that have that gift make a positive, lasting impression on the lives of their students that can totally change the trajectory of their lives.”

Danielle Gagnon is a freelance writer focused on higher education. Connect with her on LinkedIn .

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International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching pp 803–816 Cite as

Effective Teaching: an Emerging Synthesis

  • Thomas L. Good 3 ,
  • Caroline R. H. Wiley 3 &
  • Ida Rose Florez 3  

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Part of the Springer International Handbooks of Education book series (SIHE,volume 21)

In this chapter we discuss research on effective teaching. Effective teaching can be defined in many ways including teacher behavior (warmth, civility, clarity), teacher knowledge (of subject matter, of students), teacher beliefs, and so forth. Here we define effective teaching as the ability to improve student achievement as shown by research. As noted, this is but one way to define effectiveness. However, teacher effects on student achievement are the preferred definition of high quality teaching by American policy makers, and those in many other countries as well.

After discussing what is known about how effective teachers teach, we then turn to an examination of one of the many either-or debates about research on teaching. Our discussion focuses upon the strident but self-defeating arguments that student learning is best described by a behavioral or a constructivist conception of learning. We contend that a more powerful explanation of good practice is achieved by combining these two theoretical approaches.

  • Student Achievement
  • Effective Teaching
  • Classroom Management
  • Teacher Belief
  • Improve Student Achievement

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Good, T.L., Wiley, C.R.H., Florez, I.R. (2009). Effective Teaching: an Emerging Synthesis. In: Saha, L.J., Dworkin, A.G. (eds) International Handbook of Research on Teachers and Teaching. Springer International Handbooks of Education, vol 21. Springer, Boston, MA. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-0-387-73317-3_51

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  • How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

How to Write a Thesis Statement | 4 Steps & Examples

Published on January 11, 2019 by Shona McCombes . Revised on August 15, 2023 by Eoghan Ryan.

A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . It usually comes near the end of your introduction .

Your thesis will look a bit different depending on the type of essay you’re writing. But the thesis statement should always clearly state the main idea you want to get across. Everything else in your essay should relate back to this idea.

You can write your thesis statement by following four simple steps:

  • Start with a question
  • Write your initial answer
  • Develop your answer
  • Refine your thesis statement

Table of contents

What is a thesis statement, placement of the thesis statement, step 1: start with a question, step 2: write your initial answer, step 3: develop your answer, step 4: refine your thesis statement, types of thesis statements, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about thesis statements.

A thesis statement summarizes the central points of your essay. It is a signpost telling the reader what the essay will argue and why.

The best thesis statements are:

  • Concise: A good thesis statement is short and sweet—don’t use more words than necessary. State your point clearly and directly in one or two sentences.
  • Contentious: Your thesis shouldn’t be a simple statement of fact that everyone already knows. A good thesis statement is a claim that requires further evidence or analysis to back it up.
  • Coherent: Everything mentioned in your thesis statement must be supported and explained in the rest of your paper.

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The thesis statement generally appears at the end of your essay introduction or research paper introduction .

The spread of the internet has had a world-changing effect, not least on the world of education. The use of the internet in academic contexts and among young people more generally is hotly debated. For many who did not grow up with this technology, its effects seem alarming and potentially harmful. This concern, while understandable, is misguided. The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education: the internet facilitates easier access to information, exposure to different perspectives, and a flexible learning environment for both students and teachers.

You should come up with an initial thesis, sometimes called a working thesis , early in the writing process . As soon as you’ve decided on your essay topic , you need to work out what you want to say about it—a clear thesis will give your essay direction and structure.

You might already have a question in your assignment, but if not, try to come up with your own. What would you like to find out or decide about your topic?

For example, you might ask:

After some initial research, you can formulate a tentative answer to this question. At this stage it can be simple, and it should guide the research process and writing process .

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what makes a good teacher thesis

Now you need to consider why this is your answer and how you will convince your reader to agree with you. As you read more about your topic and begin writing, your answer should get more detailed.

In your essay about the internet and education, the thesis states your position and sketches out the key arguments you’ll use to support it.

The negatives of internet use are outweighed by its many benefits for education because it facilitates easier access to information.

In your essay about braille, the thesis statement summarizes the key historical development that you’ll explain.

The invention of braille in the 19th century transformed the lives of blind people, allowing them to participate more actively in public life.

A strong thesis statement should tell the reader:

  • Why you hold this position
  • What they’ll learn from your essay
  • The key points of your argument or narrative

The final thesis statement doesn’t just state your position, but summarizes your overall argument or the entire topic you’re going to explain. To strengthen a weak thesis statement, it can help to consider the broader context of your topic.

These examples are more specific and show that you’ll explore your topic in depth.

Your thesis statement should match the goals of your essay, which vary depending on the type of essay you’re writing:

  • In an argumentative essay , your thesis statement should take a strong position. Your aim in the essay is to convince your reader of this thesis based on evidence and logical reasoning.
  • In an expository essay , you’ll aim to explain the facts of a topic or process. Your thesis statement doesn’t have to include a strong opinion in this case, but it should clearly state the central point you want to make, and mention the key elements you’ll explain.

If you want to know more about AI tools , college essays , or fallacies make sure to check out some of our other articles with explanations and examples or go directly to our tools!

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A thesis statement is a sentence that sums up the central point of your paper or essay . Everything else you write should relate to this key idea.

The thesis statement is essential in any academic essay or research paper for two main reasons:

  • It gives your writing direction and focus.
  • It gives the reader a concise summary of your main point.

Without a clear thesis statement, an essay can end up rambling and unfocused, leaving your reader unsure of exactly what you want to say.

Follow these four steps to come up with a thesis statement :

  • Ask a question about your topic .
  • Write your initial answer.
  • Develop your answer by including reasons.
  • Refine your answer, adding more detail and nuance.

The thesis statement should be placed at the end of your essay introduction .

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What Makes an Effective Teacher? Analytical Essay

An effective teacher.

From the image of an effective teacher, the analysis will be based on the teacher’s qualification as well as career history, her skills of instruction, her professional characteristics as well as the classroom setting or management (Jones, Jenkin, & Lord, 2006).

In general, there are three major factors espoused from the image and include the setting of classroom, skills of teaching and professional characteristics.

As depicted from the image, each of these factors provides not just complementary ways, but also unique ways that the teacher can comprehend their contribution. It must be understood that they all work or interact to avail value-based teaching.

Pedagogy and practice

From the image, effective teaching entails making hard and principled decisions, making cautious decisions, as well as respecting the intricate nature of the mission of educational (Farr, 2010).

On top of the technical skills and knowledge the teacher uses in his everyday practice, he or she must be conscious of his profession’s ethical direction.

Based on this, the primary mission of the effective teacher depicted in the image is to encourage the advancement of dispositions, skills as well as understanding, whilst recognizing considerately and sensibly an array of learners’ conditions and requirements.

According to Stronge (2007) teachers who are effective should have a collection of instructional strategies and methods, and also remain reflective and critical in relation to their practice. In general, his or her professional characteristics or responsibilities should be focused on providing education to students.

The way these factors interact

In nature, these attributes of an effective teacher different. From the image, it can easily be made out that skills of instruction and professional aspects are key factors relating to what is brought to the job by a teacher.

In the image, the professional features are basally the continuing trends of behavior that are blended to drive the activities of the teacher (Farr, 2010). The micro-behaviors are some of the examples of these things and are covered by the skills of instruction.

Generally, in as much as skills of instruction can be acquired through learning, managing to carry them forward for the time the teacher is still actively involved in his work depends on the nature of professional aspects.

Different from the two factors discussed above is the classroom setting. Generally, it connotes or denotes a measure of results delivered by professional characteristics and skills of instruction.

The classroom setting allows the instructor to fully comprehend or know the level of contentment of her students in class. The contentment is in the context of different dimensions of classroom setting created by the teacher and which functions to instigate or initiate student motivation to learn.

From the image, the professional skills or characteristics help the teacher to hold his student to account. This generally involves setting up clear objectives as well as parameters in order to hold students responsible for their performance in class.

This behavior pattern makes it easier for the instructor to fully display skills of instruction such as offering opportunities for students or learners to be in charge of their conduct or to be accountable in their studies.

When this happens, skills of instruction are put into use and students are likely to feel that there is some feeling or sense of orderliness in class or even some form of support that allows them to attempt novel things (Farr, 2010).

This should not be generalized as it is only an example relating to the image used in discussion. Other methods of instruction might turn out to be highly effective in other settings with different students.

It must be emphasized that in education, there are many ways that determine the way instructors choose the approaches to employ in classroom in order to fully influence the way his or her students feel about the instruction in general.

Professional Characteristics

According to Farr (2010) professional aspects of an effective teacher are behavior patterns, which are regularly displayed. From the image, professional characteristics are how the teacher manages to execute his job.

They mainly involve things such as values and self-image or simply, the inspiration that drives performance, as well as the manner in which the teacher routinely approaches or responds to circumstances.

Teachers who are effective always depict unique combinations of features that foster or generate success for their students (Jones, Jenkin, & Lord, 2006).

As seen in the image, the professional aspects are grouped into a number of classes including thinking, professionalism, leading, prospect, and relating with other people and, setting and planning.

For one to be called an effective teacher, he or she must have strength in each of the mentioned aspects. When the mentioned aspects are strongly held and enacted they form a powerful foundation for professionalism in the teaching job.

Access and fairness

Respect for other people, as factor, emphasizes all things that are done by a teacher who is effective, and is normally concerned with ensuring that everyone treats not just pupils but also other school members with respect (Jones, Jenkin, & Lord, 2006).

Teachers who are highly effective unequivocally regard others with high value, as well as respect the diversity within their school. A teacher who is effective usually manages to create a great feeling of community not just in the class, but also in the entire school.

Teachers who are effective also provide support and challenge. That is, they do not only cater for the needs of students, but also continually express the expectations as well as build the self-esteem of students in a way that can succeed in life and as learners.

In most circumstances, teachers who are effective usually display confidence, expressing hopefulness regarding their own abilities to deliver in class. The confidence grows as time goers by to a point that the teacher feels like he or she can now deliver in most situations.

Teacher who are effective draw on their own experience to help the not just students but also the entire school to achieve their objectives (Jones, Jenkin, & Lord, 2006). This can be done through shaping policies and procedures used in schools.

Because teachers who are effective are always committed, they are usually consistent and fair, and spend most of their class time building trust with their students.

Teacher who are effective are have been known be genuine and usually create the conducive environment that allows students to venture out, express themselves fully and are usually not troubled about making mistakes. In the teaching profession, this is a very important point for initiating learning.

The progress of these teachers in their profession is partly based on the fact that they stick to the objectives or believes of their profession.

These teachers are usually supportive of their students, and their professional feeling is at the core or center of effective teaching. When taken together, these characteristics of a teacher who is effective result in increased concern for students as well as their success.

Classroom climate and management

According to Stronge (2007) classroom climate or setting is the general perception by students of the way it feels like being in a classroom of under a particular teacher. In this case, such perceptions or feelings impact the motivation of every student not just to learn, but also perform according to their abilities.

Jones, Jenkin and Lord (2006) indicate that teachers who are effective use their behaviors, skills as well as knowledge to create, in their classrooms, a learning setting that effective. These teachers create settings that optimize learning opportunities, in which students are not just well managed, but also encouraged to learn.

Order in classrooms is always important; therefore, from the viewpoint of students, they are always anticipating an instructor who can create orderliness and a sense of security as such aspects gives them an opportunity to take actively part in the class.

Jones, Jenkin and Lord (2006) indicate that the setting in classroom also depicts considerable relationships with professional aspects and teacher skills.

That is, the level or extent that a teacher is willing to develop their characteristics as well as skills that impact classroom environment, can engage or motivate his or her students effectively.

As Stronge (2007) established, the progress of students is considerably impacted by an instructor who exhibits both high levels of teaching skills and professionalism. These factors can result in the establishment of favorable environment in classroom.

Farr (2010) based on lucid proof of the progress of students in classroom; the teaching profession is a platform for professional development. In particular, it stresses the significance and influence of teachers in enhancing school and classroom standards.

Impact of Educational Reforms

Generally, teaching that is effective develops on a daily basis, supported by research that impacts the practices and beliefs of educators. It mainly avails higher standards for instructors mainly certification, as well as provision of in-house training for professional teaching staff (Farr, 2010).

Furthermore, support and training particularly time for teachers not to plan, but also to learn together and from each other.

With educational reform, instructors are repetitively challenged to adapt instruction mainly to diverse needs of students whilst maintaining high teaching standards (Jones, Jenkin, & Lord, 2006). With inclusion, all students get to learn best, especially when respect diverse ways of carrying out things.

The nature of learners and learning

With time and with effective instructional guidance and support, learners who are successful can easily create consequential, consistent representations of knowledge. In addition, the strategic learning aspect requires students to be led towards the set goals.

In other words, students are supposed to not just generate, but also pursue goals that pertinent (Stronge, 2007). Effective teachers in this regard must create student learning goals that are meaningful and in line with their educational and personal aspirations and interests (Stronge, 2007).

In addition, they are supposed to assist learners to integrate and acquire knowledge and also learners to develop, apply, and assess their strategic skills of learning using approaches such as thematic organization.

Farr, S. (2010). Teaching as leadership: the highly effective teacher’s guide to closing the achievement gap. San Francisco, SC.: Jossey-Bass.

Jones, J., Jenkin, M., & Lord, S. (2006). Developing effective teacher performance. Thousand Oaks, CA.: Paul Chapman.

Stronge, J. (2007). Qualities of effective teachers. Alexandria, Va. : Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

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  • Teaching Practices Observation and Evaluation
  • Education Philosophy of a Learning Instructor
  • Basic Methods of Instruction for Teachers
  • University Classroom: Dynamics of Interaction
  • Classroom Assessments: The Impact on Teachers and Students
  • Differentiated Instruction, Its Sense and Advantages
  • Defining Curriculum and Instruction
  • Flipped Classrooms' Advantages and Disadvantages
  • Differentiated Instruction’ Strategies and Benefits
  • Individualizing Instruction for Gifted in Mathematics
  • Teachings Methods in Modern Educational System
  • Vision for Your Teaching and Learning & Role as a Teacher-Leader or Teacher-Researcher
  • Conceptual Framework of a Study About Teachers` Practical Knowledge
  • Health Instruction in Teaching
  • Development of Teaching Study


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