Qualities of a Good Teacher (for Success!)

Are you a dedicated English teacher looking to enhance your teaching skills?

According to reports from We Are Teachers, nearly 80% of students say that teachers encouraged them to follow their dreams and over 50% believe that teachers has helped them through a difficult time.

It’s said that:

“Children are like a pot of flowers. If we give them proper attention, it’ll grow up, but if we’ll give them either lack of attention or extra attention, it’ll be ruined.”

-Munir Moosa Sewani (ArticleCity)

Teachers give students the avenue to grow their skills and pave life’s opportunities. Teaching is a serious job and you should value the time and commitment you put into changing a students’ life.

Adults and children who are learning new skills, in most cases, need teachers to teach them. If you think about it, they are like flowers. If you provide them with proper care, they will grow. If you do not provide them with care, value, and knowledge, how will they grow? You are partly responsible for their growth and you can help them become even better. 


Here are some qualities of a good English teacher. If you haven’t got these skills yet, you should think about how you can develop them to become not just a good, but a great English teacher.

As an ESL teacher, these are the traits I believe you should develop to improve your teaching style and enhance your professional career.

Qualities of a Good English Teacher

How to be an effective teacher, make your job easier and get on with students? Good teachers have many skills and qualities and below we list some of the most important ones you can develop to unlock your true teaching potential!


Listening Skills

Listening can be as important as talking, for three crucial reasons:

  1. Listening allows new ideas to take shape
  2. Students feel part of the conversation and enhance learning
  3. Teachers can learn by listening to students needs

Every student has their own story and no two students are the same. They also have their own unique learning style. Students trust teachers and have lots of expectations.

Being a teacher, you should develop a connection and listen to them. By understanding their needs and abilities, we can help them reach their true potential. 

Students can form their own ideas and opinions, speak about them and deepen their learning. Teachers can listen and understand where they are, and provide them with the resources and tools them need to accomplish their learning tasks.

Dedicate time to listen and learn from the students. They have a lot to teach us too.


Preparation Skills

Prepare for your lessons in advance or at least, have some idea what you will be teaching. Organise your time and prepare for potential problems.

Even taking the time to look ready for class. Students notice each and every thing in us; from our dress sense to our gestures.

Be prepared to make an impression. Even if the students don’t remember what you’ve said, they will remember you and your teaching.

Prepare to teach different strategies and see what works and doesn’t work. Experiment with your classroom and always strive to challenge your students, while improving your own teaching skills.

According to ThoughCo, preparing your classes help by:

  • Define and shape your teaching philosophy
  • Make the day go by faster as you know what to do next
  • Resonate with students and boost their performance
  • Help you feel more confident and reassured
  • Earn respect from students and other teachers

Problem-Solving Skills

Even when you want to be an expert, there will be times that you will not be able to come to a conclusion or fully explain a concept.

This is part of the learning process as a teacher and it is inevitable. Students ask many questions and sometimes we don’t know the answer.

The best thing you can do is tell them you’ll search for it and provide the answer the next day. In this way, you have time to take notes and prepare an answer. Students will gain trust and confidence as you work together to achieve their learning goals.

You are the teacher, so have the confidence to face every challenge. Continue to learn and don’t overlook problems that need to be resolved.



 Impatience with sincere students is an indication of the teacher’s own shortcomings.

The New Times

There will be times students test you and your patience. Regardless of how you feel, let students share their views and ideas. These ideas might be resourceful and useful.

If students lack maturity and discipline, then this is another story and does not require you to have the patience of a saint.

Set your expectations, and encourage them to follow through. Teach them at the pace they are able to learn, but not to the detriment of the other students’ quality of education.

Learning strategies vary from student to student. If you fall behind, you can wrap it up and give it for homework or ask them to take a look at it the next day.

Rushing them will only discourage the learning process, as students will feel like saying “I can’t.”



By cultivating an environment of encouragement, teachers can foster students’ development. Encouragement can help the students gain confidence in themselves and their abilities, and help them tap into their true potential.

The teachers words have the power to make or break the student, so why not be the encouragement the student needs to continue their studies?

How Can Teachers Offer Encouragement?

  • Provide verbal praise
  • Have a ‘student of the week’ award
  • Offer tangible rewards such as stickers and medals
  • Offer a word of encouragement and support even when they are struggling
  • Be precise, explain what they did well to encourage them to do it again in the future

Never insult or ridicule them in front of other students. The students might develop a sense of phobia about making mistakes, which will discourage them from learning. Praise the students for high quality work and assess their understanding.

The learning curve is full of mistakes. The teacher can easily correct them after they have spoken with the correct sentence structure. Interrupting the student can discourage the student from speaking again.

Never make them feel like they can’t make mistakes. Encourage them for making the effort, discuss what they did well and what they can improve upon.


Communication Skills

You are the teacher, you must communicate confidently with students. You take control of the situation.

You can use communication as a tool to help others overcome fear and obstacles, complete their work and accomplish greater things.

If you have young students, this may mean dealing with parents.

Your presentation skills will develop with every experience. You will become more creative, competent and assuring. You will learn how to tackle each problem and further enhance your communication skills.

You also communicate using body language. Stand tall, and make sure your body language aligns with your confidence. How does a confident person present themselves? Show positive facial gestures, such as a welcoming smile.

Everyone in the room wants to like you and wants you to succeed. They want to have an amazing teacher! Be that role model that everyone is looking for!

With good communication skills, students will feel at ease under your instruction.


Your Personal Touch

A monotoned lesson does not make the cut. Students want stimulation and something to look forward to.

Having a strong presence is part of being a great teacher.

Bringing some positive energy to each lesson will help the students engage and participate. By introducing activities, students get to experience a little more excitement.

Even adding humor will get the students to listen. Think outside the box and be involved. Play games with the student bu using educational technology to your advantage.

Add your personal touch to each lesson so that you will always be the dedicated teacher in their eyes.



With a little attention and experience, the teacher can challenge each student appropriately. You will understand who needs more time to grasp a lesson and who needs to be challenged.

Work with your students to achieve their goals and allow them to learn from each other.

Help introverted students by asking them to be your leader for the week and help you handle things.

Get the students thinking and encourage their collaboration.

Involve everyone with different tasks, build their confidence and don’t neglect any student. Having the capacity to collaborate is an important skill for personal and professional life.



Why develop empathy?

  • Helps the students stay motivated
  • Helps the students feel understood
  • Encourages the students to be more self-aware
  • Helps you gain students’ respect and trust

The reality is that I never really saw myself as a teacher (I am!).

What differentiates my style from others, is that I actually play the role of a friend. I care for them and want to talk to them, discuss ideas, and hear their opinions about something.

When you take on the role of a supportive friend and be empathetic, you help your student feel valued. Often students do not feel understood or even valued. We as humans look for people who treat us with warmth and respect.

Who doesn’t want a friend they can talk to? Of course, you can only take this friendship so far. With healthy boundaries, you can be a great friend, supporter and teacher. 

When you are cold and distant, you will never have the same relationship with your students.

You can develop empathy by

  • Putting yourself in the students’ shoes
  • Considering their feelings
  • Not judging the situation but try to understand what is really happening
  • Use phrases like “I know that…” or “I understand that…” and see if there is a way you can help

Self-Reflection Skills

Teachers who keep a journal can record the learning experiences of the day. This can help see things from a new perspective and identify common mistakes or things that worked well.

This can help teachers write report cards, plan for tests and provide students with specific feedback relevant to them.

Teachers can ask themselves

  • Are things going well? Why/Why not?
  • How can I encourage the students to participate more/work harder?
  • What do students need help with? How can I help them with that?
  • How can I make a difference?

Teachers can even try audio-recording the class. When they play it back they will understand what they could have done differently and make observations that they hadn’t made before.

Teachers can also try to observe other teachers and what works for them. By exposing yourself to other styles and strategies, your own teaching methods can be improved.


These are the qualities that will help you to become a great teacher. Develop your skills and qualities as a teacher!

Teachers are lifelong learners and devote a lot of time to caring and nurturing thousands of students in their life time. If you enjoyed this article, drop a comment below and show your support!

If you are interested in becoming an online English teacher, sign up to our mailing list below. We will keep you up to date with ESL news. If you want to apply for an online English teaching job click here.

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I am an online English teacher from Ireland with a writing addiction. My talents include being more productive than 98% of Grammarly users and teaching online before it even became trendy. This blog aims to help educate you on the existing possibilities of becoming an online teacher.

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