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Attributes of a Successful/Effective Teacher

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Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92246 Points

This discussion thread is for any educators and their preservice teachers who wish to share words of wisdoms or questions about how to be an effective teacher.  Please share your thoughts on what one or two characteristics you think individuals should possess in order to be excellent teachers.  Then respond to one or more of these questions:

Do you equate excellent with effective?   

Do you know or have you been in classrooms where teachers do not possess the important attributes you shared?   

Why are the characteristics you named important for a teacher to possess?

For students in CI 426 at SIU/C, please do this as well:

After making your initial post, go back and respond directly to someone else's thoughts/post.

My response: I have found in my own personal experiences that having the ability to find humor in unexpected places is an important attribute.  Our students need to enjoy being with us and learning in our classrooms.  After the first week of course, it is okay to smile once in awhile.:-)

Your turn...

Emma Lopez Emma Lopez 877 Points

I believe there are so many characteristics an effective teacher needs to possess. Some characteristics that I find very important are great listening skills and communication skills. The teacher needs to know how to convey the material they are teaching in an effective, understanding, and engaging way in order for students to learn. Teachers need to be able to explain things clearly in order to see learning and participation from the students. When working with younger students or students who are having a hard time understanding, teachers need to be able to explain things in a simpler way while still getting their point across. Teachers also need to have a tone of voice in which students feel comfortable talking to them and approaching them. Therefore, good listening skills go hand in hand with good communication skills. Having good listening skills will help teachers get to know their students and their needs. When the teacher has good listening skills it helps the student feel safe and comfortable when talking to the teacher. Having good communication and listening skills helps students feel valued and cared for.

Although I have been in classrooms where teachers have great communication and listening skills I have also been in classrooms where teachers have a harder time with these characteristics. There is a huge difference between these classes. I have noticed that in the classroom where the teacher has trouble with communication and listening skills there are more behavior problems. This could be because the students don’t feel like they are being listened to. This could cause students to not want to share their knowledge or concerns in class. It could also mean they are not understanding what the teacher is asking from them and as a result may act out.

I think to be an excellent teacher, teachers need to build relationships and trust with their students. Not only do they need to do that, they need to make sure they are making a difference in their students lives. Students should be learning something new from their teachers, if they aren't learning something new I would then ask 'Is the teacher an excellent teacher?'. I think even if students learn the smallest thing one day, the teacher was excellent. Of course teachers can't be perfect and they should never pretend to be. Teachers should teach students that it is okay to be wrong and it is okay to make mistakes. In this generation, students grow up thinking everything they have to do in life has to be perfect. Of course that is the wrong mindset for students to grow up having because nothing in life is and will be perfect. Teachers need to be flexible, schedules change and things interfere with lessons such as an assembly in the middle of the math lesson. Rather than teachers freak out because they didn't finish and the test is coming up; just let that lesson flow into the next day and push the test back. Personally, I think flexablity is important! Teachers also need to be kind and welcoming with their students. Teachers need to understand that all students may not be able to understand right away. Students learn at different levels and in different ways. Teachers need to adjust to the needs of their students. 

Back to the initial question, I do not equate excellance with effective. Excellance is trying to be perfect and effective is accepting the fact that things happen and overcoming those situations. 

Alexis Seiwerth Alexis Seiwerth 1058 Points

There are many characteristics that a teacher needs to possess in order to be an excellent teacher. I believe that one of the most important characteristics a teacher needs to possess is knowing how to reach each child and diversify the material to engage and meet the needs of each and every student. This idea incorporates understanding and building a relationship with each child and has the teacher being patient, caring, and kind to each of them to better understand where they come from, how they learn, and what it takes to help grow in all ways. A teacher also needs to be dedicated and ready for anything to be thrown at them with engaging the students in questions, differentiation, technology, current events, and bringing real life scenarios into the classroom. Excellent teacher’s require these characteristics and so much more.  

I think that if you are an excellent teacher then you are effective, so yes I would equate excellence with effective. The characteristics mentioned above are what it takes to be an excellent teacher plus so many more. If a teacher can master those characteristics plus more, and be able to engage and encourage each student then there is an effect on the students and they will be able to learn to their fullest potential.



Aryssa Jassoy Aryssa Jassoy 824 Points

Personally, I do not equate excellence and effectiveness. To me, the word effective is results based. The result of an effective car is that it gets you where you need to go. In relation to teachers, their effectiveness would be determined through assessments, and most schools determine this through standardized testing. I believe if a teacher is effective, this will show through student data. 

Excellence on the other hand, is going above and beyond. Going back to the car analogy, you probably wouldn’t say if a car is effective it must be excellent. That is because these words have much different denotations. An excellent car may be a sports car or one that has many different features. As a teacher, I feel that excellence is something that is more obscure to measure than effectiveness. An excellent teacher may be one that gets to know students on a personal level, includes diverse lessons and reading materials, and nurtures students’ emotional needs in addition to their intellectual ones. 

I have had effective teachers in school. I have learned so much from them and their enthusiasm for their subject. Because of the effective teachers I’ve had, I have grown in knowledge and been excited about learning. I haven’t had to relearn things on my own while being in an effective teacher’s classroom, and I’ve done things like pass AP tests which I never could’ve done without their academic influence. However, what I have learned in excellent teachers’ classes does not compare. I have had few excellent teachers, and I have learned substantial life skills in their class. The teachers who inspire their students to be better people are excellent, these teachers have inspired me to become a teacher myself. While I think our main priority is to educate students, to be excellent we have to do more than that.

Gabe Kraljevic Gabe Kraljevic 4564 Points

Hello Carolyn,

To me, “excellent” means some kind of ranking, while “effective” means that students are learning. I also think “excellent” is completely subjective and means something different to administrators, colleagues, parents and students. I know that I have had students who love the way I teach while others in the same class hated me. The same goes for admin, colleagues and parents!

Unfortunately, the only measure of “effectiveness” we seem to utilize is standards/standardized tests which are fundamentally flawed in my opinion. I taught two classes in the same term, in the same subject, both in the afternoon. At the end of the term I had one class with an average of over 80% while the other averaged 56%! I would have been tagged as the best and worst teacher in the school district. Is labelling a diagram of the cell, balancing equations, or working out physics problems better than having a student leave your class with the willingness to look up answers, weigh evidence before making a decision, and understand how science works?

We work with humans and because we are all different there is no sure way to reach or appeal to everyone all the time. Having said this, I believe there are some conditions that should be in place for any student to at least feel good about being in a classroom:

1) students should feel safe.
Students should not dread walking through your doors. The environment of the classroom should be free from bullying, teasing and judgements.

Mistakes are not downfalls or penalties, simply paths to learning.  If students didn't make mistakes then they really didn't need to take your course.  The teacher's job is to move them past the mistakes.
The teacher needs to be approachable and willing to help struggling students.

2) the teacher should care.
I feel that we encourage teachers to put curriculum ahead of children. To me, curriculum is arbitrary and students should come first. This means a teacher should treat students well, give second (and even more) chances, modify lessons and assessments as needed. Decisions should be made in the best interest of the child, not in the interests of the teacher, school or state.  

3) students should have opportunities to use their strengths
A variety of assignments, projects an assessments should allow students to use their personal strengths and interests. Music, art, writing, acting, video, coding, movement, athleticism all have a place in science classrooms and can motivate students to work harder and take greater interest in your subject.

4) the teachers and students should enjoy teaching and learning

While I always infused humour into my teaching not all teachers can pull it off.  However, I think if we take a step back and put our subject in perspective, we can make learning less stressful, less onerous and more like a challenging journey. 

Hope this helps!

Apartment Patino MARIO PATINO 1295 Points

Great questions! In my opinion, the two words are not the same. Excellence is based on criteria you or others set.  Normally this criteria is subjective and based on values and not always results. Excellence seems more like an assessment of performance instead of the results. To be effective means you were able to plan, execute, and complete a desired task. 

Putting theory into practice and produce results is effective. For instance, using various forms of data to drive learning experiences is effective practice. Having a conversation about a student who is struggling without various forms of information is ineffective practice. Giving students a voice in what they learn and how they are assessed is also effective practice. Such strategies promotes positive relationships, engagement, and motivation.

In my career, I have found more satisfaction in environments which promote 'effectiveness' vs. 'excellence.'  When you operate in being effective, you are able to have difficult and uncomfortable discussions which is not the norm in environments which promote excellence.

Elaine Donovan Elaine Donovan 1064 Points

Excellent and effective to me are two completely different ways of describing how one completes a task. Excellent could mean that you met all the criteria that were given to you but was it an effective method for you to learn and love to learn. Effective also in terms of teaching means giving the students the chance to LEARN the material rather than simply finishing the project with no errors.

I have been working in early childhood for several years now and it is very rare when I come across a teacher that possesses the same attributes to be important as I do. I can say though when you have this kind of dynamics in the classroom it makes for a more engaging and fun environment for everyone involved, especially the students.

Teaching is a field that you need to be passionate about. You have to come to work ready to put others before yourself and make the right decision for each individual student on a daily basis. You need to in my eyes possess the characteristics of compassion, kindness, and dedication. If you don’t have compassion for the students how will they trust you? If you don’t have kindness in your heart for each student, how will the come to school ready to learn? If you aren’t dedicated to each individual student, how will they ever succeed?

Rachel Becker Rachel Becker 1056 Points

Elaine, I couldn't agree with you more. I believe being excellent and effective mean very different things. I really liked reading about your perspective about these two words. I think being effective does mean students have the opportunity to actually learn the material instead of just finishing an assignment. I love the three characteristics you believe a teacher should possess. I believe they're very similair to the three characteristics I believe a teacher should possess- caring, passionate, patient. Overall, I think teachers need to be compassionate and caring. It's so true what you said, if you don't have compassion for your students how will they trust you? Trust and safety by a student is an extremely important part of teaching. If they don't trust you or feel safe in your classroom, how will they learn? Great post Elaine!

Mariana Celis Mariana Celis 1086 Points


I really enjoyed your post! In other classes, we have previously talked about the importance of being kind, having compassion, and being dedicated to your career. Children can very easily detect negative vibes. It is important that as future teachers we understand that these children are looking up to us and counting on us for many different things. Not only do children come to school to learn about math, science, social studies, and language arts, but they come to learn how to be kind, compassionate, and good people. From the early years, we talk to children about having manners and being nice to others. If we ourselves do not give children this example, how can we expect them to be this way? Through our teaching and day to day interactions with children, we need to remember that they are the reason we are here for and that we believe in them! There are so many characteristics that make up a good teacher and I totally agree with the characteristics you have shared.

Kendra Logar Kendra Logar 1133 Points


I really like how you started off this post. In my eyes also view the 'excellence V.S. effective' debate as 'learning V.S. meeting deadline/criteria' I think that a combination of both is really what shows true excellence. I also found the traits you chose that show an excellent teacher very interesting. I think all of those are necessary to be a good teacher as well! The way you backed up those traits really made sense to me. At first i thought that they were generic and i though 'well these are good traits to have for every job'. However, after you explained how it connected to the students it really made sense to me. I appreciate you pushing me to think outside of the box! 

Good post! 

Kendra Logar

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92246 Points

I especially appreciated your including dedication to each student as a criterion for a teacher to be effective AND excellent, Elaine.

Each child should get the best we have to offer! Some will require more of our effort, attention, compassion and patience; that is often where the passion comes in - if you love your job and are passionate about reaching each and every child, you will find a way to give your best to all of them.

Apartment Patino Mario Patino 1295 Points

You make some solid points. Your peers can be in different parts in their career and seeing the same thing the same way is nearly impossible when you have different philsophies, experiences, and knowledge. What can be exciting is when people with such differences are able to come together and execute effeciently and effectively as a team. In my experience, I haven't experienced this yet.

I agree teaching is a field that requires passion but beyond this attribute, teachers who put the needs of students before their own are as rare. I'm still looking for a school which places the needs of children before adults.

Rachel Becker Rachel Becker 1056 Points

In my mind, I think of “excellent' being similar to “perfection.” I do not think teachers should strive to be perfect because our students need to know it’s okay to make mistakes. I do not equate excellent with effective. I think being an effective teacher is so much more important than being excellent. I think being effective can mean many different things. Being an effective teacher can mean you make a difference in your student’s lives inside and outside of the classroom. Teachers can be effective by holding high expectations for their students while being caring and understanding. 

I believe the characteristics an effective teacher should posses is passionate, patient, and caring. A teacher should have passion for children, learning, and teaching. Also, I believe a teacher needs to have patience. Working hands on with children has shown me it takes time to develop a relationship. One of the most important areas of teaching I’ve seen and heard is creating a relationship with every student. Teachers needs get to know their students in order to be effective. Teachers need to have patience in all sorts of areas of teaching. Lastly, teachers need to be caring. Teachers must understand that every child is different and they must care for each and every one of them no matter what those differences are. In my experience, I feel as though I have not been around enough teachers long enough to judge whether they posses all of those characteristics. However, I have personally witnessed an effective teacher that I had when I was in 4th grade posses those 3 characteristics. My 4th grade teacher was the person who inspired me to become a teacher because she was patient, caring, and passionate with her all of her students. 

Emma Lopez Emma Lopez 877 Points

Rachel, I agree with your post. Teachers should not expect to be perfect but effective instead. As you mentioned it is ok to make mistakes and to let our students know it is ok as well. Expecting perfection with only cause stress on the teacher and students. Every teacher should be passionate, patient and caring, these are great characteristics.  Without these characteristics, I truly believe you can not be a successful teacher. Children can truly sense everything and if they sense, in your tone of voice, constant anger and frustration instead of patience they will not feel welcomed and comfortable. Which would cause them to believe they are not cared for. I love that your 4th-grade teacher inspired you to become a teacher. I am sure hearing about this would make her very happy! 

Elaine Donovan Elaine Donovan 1064 Points


I think you brought up a very important point about the word 'excellent' being similar to 'perfection', which is not what any student nor teacher should strive to be. I think that mistakes are sometimes the best way to learn. It helps you and your students learn from one another in the best way to help shape you and your student. I also couldn't agree more with your character traits that a teacher should have. Especially when it comes to patients when dealing with young students that are just learning the fundamentals of learning skills. We need to remember to take a step back and give the students the time to process and LEARN these skills. Thank you for sharing! I loved reading your thoughts on the topic!


Mariana Celis Mariana Celis 1086 Points


I like how you compared excellent to being similar to perfection. I agree with what you said! I also think that children need to know that it is okay to make mistakes. Very often I catch myself trying to be a perfectionist and then feeling disappointed if it does not happen the way I had envisioned or had hoped for. I often have to remind myself that making mistakes is okay and that not everything will go how I want it to. Being understanding of this can be so beneficial in so many aspects of life. Students will not only make mistakes in school but throughout their life. By being passionate, patient, and caring, we will help students learn, create positive relationships with us, and be happy with coming to school. 

Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92246 Points

I think you hit on three very important qualities for teachers to possess.  Having passion and compassion are non-negotiables, are they not?

Mariana Celis Mariana Celis 1086 Points

There are multiple characteristics that I believe are important for a teacher to have. Two characteristics that I think teachers need to have are kindness and being flexible. When we're asked about what excellent teachers we had growing up, most of the time we think back to those teachers that were kind and always made us feel comfortable and cared for. I believe it is important that teachers get to know their students and show their students that they believe in them and that they are cared for. Teachers also need to be flexible. Many times, things do not go as planned no matter how specific or well implemented the plan is. Situations happen in which teachers need to adjust their plans. Knowing and understanding that there might be times that things need to be changed from the original plan is important. Being kind also involves being patient and understanding that all children are different and learn in different ways. Being kind goes a long way, not just when being a teacher, but in life in general.

To answer the additional question, no, I do not necessarily equate excellent with effective. Although someone might be effective at something they do (like teachers being effective at teaching), it does not always mean that they are excellent. This does not mean that I do not think a teacher can be both excellent and effective, because I do believe they can! BUT during certain situations, both might not be the case. An example I thought of when thinking of my answer to this question was, being hungry and eating a bag of chips.. although eating the chips was effective in calming your hunger, it does not necessarily mean that it was an excellent choice and that your stomach will feel comfortable. Like this example, teachers can be excellent with children and planning a lesson, but not effective in the delivery of that lesson. 

Margaret Wiegman Margaret Wiegman 896 Points


This is a tough question to pin down and answer becuase, like you said, there are multiple characteristics that are important for a teacher to possess. Kindess is a huge one! You cannot expect to work with elementary aged children and not treat them with the utmost of kindness. As a teacher, having the ability to make a child feel safe and comfortable is such an important role and a gift as well. Flexibility is also a good characteristic that I have learned from our experiences thus far. Being able to change plans at the drop of a hat is super important because anything that can go wrong will, especially with technology.

Good post!


Carolyn Mohr Carolyn Mohr 92246 Points

Mariana, I loved your analogy using a bag of chips and happy vs. healthy stomach :-)

It definitely provides a visual of how teachers can fill a void, yet not in a manner that will provide the best learning situation!

Yianet Garcia Yianet Garcia 1049 Points

To me, there are many characteristics a teacher should have to be an effective and excellent teacher. Two characteristics I think a teacher should have is knowing his/her students and the multiple intelligences they may have. To really know one's students in order to accommodate lessons based on their learning styles. For a teacher to know how to accommodate and make changes for their gifted, ELL, and other students who may need more assistance during these lessons.  Another characteristic that I have learned is just having a mind growth mindset and to be able to teach are elementary students this as soon as we can so they do not feel like they do not like or are good at a certain subject.  Teaching them that they may not know something 'Yet' but teaching them that they will learn it. Encouraging students to be actively involved to learn and be excited to be learning and that it is ok not to know everything 'yet' and that they could keep attempting even if they are wrong but that they will learn. 


For the question 'Do you equate excellent with effective?' the answer is no. While growing up I remember having teachers who were fun and I could consider excellent just because I liked them but can honestly say I do not remember much of what was taught in the class. I also had some teachers that were not as fun but the way they taught a lesson during class was more effective in the fact that I remember learning the lessons she taught us. There may be some excellent teachers out there but I believe that we are all learning and continue to learn that we never really reach being 'excellent' but give it all our best potential in teaching our students. 

Veronica Cinquegrani Veronica Cinquegrani 2203 Points


I think knowing your students makes a world of a difference in your classroom. It sets up the road for your teaching. 

I think it also demostrates to students that they are important, and that their individual presence matters! It shows that you care.

In regards to excellent and effective, I believe they are both qualities we should aspire as teachers, as they both form unique purposes. I think the teacher you mentioned that was excellent, but you do not remember much of what was taught is a great example as how they were excellent perhaps at somethings in teaching, but they did not effectively deliver/apply their content. It is very tricky, because I feel as excellence is what many of us strive for, when in reality effective is what should be the ultimate goal. If something is not effective, even if its excellent, it might not matter as much. 

Anne Willingham Anne Willingham 978 Points


I couldn't agree with you more. I think that teachers are all different and can be excellent in different ways. There can be a teacher that is hilarious and entertaining, but they may not create a curriculum  that is differentiated for all of the different learning styles. To me, it is more important to have teacher that is effective, rather than a teacher that is excellent. I also agree that the growth mindset is very powerful and definitely what we need to teach young students. I wish teachers had taught me the power of the growth mindset, I think it can be life changing! 

Thank  you for your post, 


Yianet Garcia Yianet Garcia 1049 Points


I agree with you that communication skills in teaching lessons is very important! If the students can not understand what you are trying to teach them they will not learn and be confused about why it is they are learning something. Being able to explain and engage the students for them to enjoy the lesson and learn at the same time is important. I think not only for the younger students but clarity and communication on lessons is important for us college students as well in order for us to learn effectively.

Veronica Cinquegrani Veronica Cinquegrani 2203 Points

In order to be an effective teacher, one must possess a positive attitude. This may include smiling, positive feedback, attitudes and beliefs towards learning, confidence in students and oneself. 

In teaching, I do not equate excellence with effective. Excellence is doing something really well perphaps in one way, while effective is doing something well in the best way possible, while accomplishing something. In other words, I can be excellent at running. I am excellent at running because I can run long distances. I can be an effective runner, if I can I can run and become stronger or healthier while doing it.  Does that make sense? 

When I think of excellence I think of more of a standard, or a definition. When I think of effective, I think of creative and more personal. 

Elaine Donovan Elaine Donovan 1064 Points


I think the example you shared on how excellent it is different from effective is very well put! It makes for an easier understanding of what I also believe about the two of them. From what I'm understanding from your post is that excellent is just completing the task, but effective is actually having a positive outcome from the process. Thank you for sharing I really enjoyed your analogy on this topic!


Anne Willingham Anne Willingham 978 Points

Hi Veronica,

I really like how you related 'effective' and 'excellent' to running. That is such a great example to compare it to! I do think it is more important to be an effective teacher rather than an excellent teacher. Of course we all want to be excellent, and I think this is even more prevalent with social media, with things like Pinterest. It is so easy to compare and think that other people have cuter classrooms or ideas. However, it is so important to remember that we are all going to teach a little bit differently, and be excellent in different ways by using our own strengths. Also, I agree with you, a positive attitude is a key factor in being an effective teacher. If we are not enthusiastic and hopeful about our students, then they won't be either.

Thank you for your post!


Anne Willingham Anne Willingham 978 Points

I think that 'effective' and 'excellent' are very different words and do not necessarily have to go hand-in-hand when talking about teaching. There are many characterisitics that I believe make an effective teacher. In order to be effective, teachers need to be flexible, educated, informed and caring. When teachers know their students and how they learn, they can relate to them, understand the way that they learn and use that information in order to create a curriculum in which every student can learn and be successful. 

The teachers I have had throughout my education have all been different in their own ways, but each one of them cared about what they were teaching and wanted their students to be successful. Not every teacher was excellent and I believe some had great strengths, but weaknesses as well. This is where I think it is crucial to be reflective and see what can be done in order to be more effective. I think all teachers should strive to be excellent, but it is far more important to be effective. 


I could not agree with your post more. To be an effective teacher is about being flexible, educated, caring, and well informed. I didn't state the educated part in my post but I think that is also an important characteristic that teachers need to have. Educated is key when we are teaching children on all topics. If we are not educated, we can be portraying inaccurate information that will affect their learning now and later. 

The teachers I had throughout my education have all been different in their own ways. They all cared in different ways as well. Although, in middle school I had 2 teachers who really didn't care if you were successful and knowing I wanted to go into the teaching field I told myself I would never be like them even in a younger grade! Reflection is also important. I think students should take a step back each day and reflect on their day of teaching and make each day better than the day before. 

Excellent is hard to achieve but teachers should push to be effective and as excellent as they can be each day! 

Margaret Wiegman Margaret Wiegman 896 Points

I truly believe that in order to be a successful teacher one must possess the characteristic of caring and patience. If you care about someone or something you tend to do whatever is necessary to make sure that they are successful. If we care about our students then we can push them to their full potential and that makes an excellent teacher. Also, when we are patient with people we are able to work with each student at their own pace. Imagine a problem you encountered at some point in life and think about how you might feel if someone was annoyed by your struggles. You would probably feel pretty uncomfortable and discouraged. Patience allows you to never give up on your students and try out new ways to help them succeed in school. 

The characteristics I named are important for a teacher to possess in order to be an effective teacher. This job is not an easy one and it should also not be taken lightly. Teachers are molding the minds of our future and its pretty important that they be effective at their job. Caring and patience, as I mentioned before, are key ingredients in becoming a successful and excellent teacher. If you can let your students know that you are there for them and expect the best from them then you will no doubt be an effective teacher.   

Alexis Seiwerth Alexis Seiwerth 1058 Points

Hello Maggie! 

I could not agree more with you when you said “If you care about someone or something you tend to do whatever is necessary to make sure that they are successful”. This is such a serious thing and a teacher needs to care about each student know matter how hard they are to teach. It is our job to figure out what it takes to make this child successful! That also go with the patience. You have to have patience in order to never give up on our students! These are wonderful characteristics of making an excellent and effective teacher. 

Aryssa Jassoy Aryssa Jassoy 824 Points


I completely agree that patience is a neccessary component to being a successful teacher. It is a really difficult attribute to attain, but I think we need to keep in mind they are probably learning what we teach them for the first time. Also, if our students aren't grasping something we probably need to teach it in a different way, rather than blame it on them. Therefore, I would say the ability to take responsability is another important quality.

Kendra Logar Kendra Logar 1133 Points

To start off, two of the most important qualities I think a teacher needs to possesses in order to achieve excellence are patience and the ability to adapt/adjust to any situation. Both of these qualities stem from the idea that all students are different. No two students are going to learn the same and a good teacher will notice that, adjust to accommodate that and the be patient enough to wait and see the results of the change. If a teacher was not patient with their students, I could not see their classroom achieving its highest potential. How will the teacher ever test the students to see what they can do if they are not patient enough to see the results? However, even more than patience, a teacher needs to be able to adjust/adapt when things are not working. Whether it is adjusting instruction, adjusting content and materials, or adjusting physical things like the seats in the classroom, an excellent teacher should be able to notice the struggles and make the needed changes. Without these two qualities I feel as if a teacher would not be preforming at their greatest potential. 

Sadly to say, i have been in a classroom where the teacher did not adjust/adapt to anything nearly at all. She was stuck in her old ways of instruction and did not adjust to accommodate any student. It was frustrating to see a teacher let her students struggle because it was more convenient for her to not have to change her lessons or instruction. Lacking this quality alone made her less than an excellent teacher regardless of any test scores. 

I think there are many qualities that can make someone an excellent teacher, but to me, being patient with everyone (including families and other staff) and being able to adjust/adapt to situations are the two most important qualities that can insure an excellent teacher. 

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