We all have that one teacher who made a huge impact on our lives, either through pure determination and encouragement or by finding a fun way to teach us that made us understand a topic. Studies have proven that a positive learning experience at a young age leads to the quality of colleges that students attend. This, in turn, shows an increase in students’ future salaries, as well as the quality of their neighborhood, and even their participation in their own retirement planning.

In today’s world of virtual teaching, the intimacy of the person-to-person classroom is lost. Teachers have an additional obstacle to break through in order to make a difference in a child’s life. Despite this hurdle, here are a few qualities that make a teacher stand out.

When teaching a class with a stereotype around it, such as math, be empathetic to the students entering your classroom from day#1. Some of them might already be flustered because of stories that have been passed down. They might also be handicapped by their own insecurities. Communicating with the class as a whole, in addition to meeting privately with students who have concerns, is a great way to help open up those students who might be struggling but are too afraid to ask for help. This is because knowledge is a great way to overpower fear. Apply math to real-world examples such as hobbies of interest or real-world scenarios. This helps students understand that there is a real-world use for this topic. 

In addition to teaching, it is just as important to really listen to your students when they have a question or comment. Active listening not only makes a student feel validated and heard, but it also helps the teacher to adjust their teaching style to fine-tune their methods to help the student the best way possible.

A good teacher also knows to toss the ego to the side when it comes to working alongside seasoned staff members. Take the time to reframe this as an opportunity to learn and gain insight on how to improve your own techniques as an educator. In addition, it’s also important to keep an open mind and be open to changes throughout the academic year. Sometimes life just happens and we need to go with the flow.