Important Qualities in an Elementary Teacher
Are you ready to make your dreams of becoming an elementary school teacher come true? If you’re considering a possible teaching career, or are already enrolled in the Jones College Elementary Education bachelor’s degree program, read about a few of the elementary teacher qualities we think you should possess!
1. An engaging personality
You’ll spend every day as the leader of a group of students, ranging from a handful of children up to a couple dozen. Teachers possess strong personalities that hold attention through long school days. If you’re to survive, you must be ready to joke, tell stories, play, listen and maybe even sing a few notes every once in a while. Introverted individuals may have a tough time with large, rambunctious groups.
2. Clear lesson objectives
You enjoy creating lesson plans, right? Well, whether you do or don’t, you’ll get used to them as an elementary teacher. Each day should feature a specific classroom goal – you can’t walk in aimlessly and expect to teach the required materials effectively. Children need academic structure, even at an early age. Just make sure that the work is age-appropriate and is in line with your class’s abilities. Speaking of academic abilities, make a habit of reviewing all material yourself before ever teaching it in your class. The only way you can truly help them learn is to know the subject matter yourself.
3. Class management skills
Classroom management, for the most part, is built upon one fundamental concept: mutual respect. As a teacher, you must respect the students both individually and as a group. The same goes for students – they owe you (and their classmates) that same respect, too. It’s a two-way street, but part of your job in an elementary school will be finding the best ways to express your shared respect for one another.
4. Effective discipline strategies
Now, when students are disrespectful toward each other or you, as a teacher you must be ready to administer the appropriate disciplinary actions. The punishments should fit the level of misbehavior, with the intent being to reinforce positive future behavior. We know that you want to have fun in class, but it’s important that you maintain control of the room and promote respectful conduct.
5. Strong communication with parents
A great elementary teacher will actively maintain communication with parents and guardians of their kids. Kids don’t tell their parents everything (you remember, right?). And even if they do tell them everything, believe it or not, sometimes they may stretch or withhold the truth. That’s where you come in – you can fill parents in regarding academics, misconduct or any other issues that may arise while at school. The more open and frequent the dialogue, the better.
6. High expectations
There’s a reason you’re becoming or have already become an elementary teacher – you’re passionate about helping children progress in their development. That’s why the best teachers approach each day in school with high expectations. They expect the best out of themselves and their students. Even though you may be the teacher, your kids will teach you just as much as you teach them. Embrace it!
What other elementary teacher qualities do you feel are most important? Let us know – we’d love to hear your opinion!