10 key qualities of a primary teacher
In this post, Vanessa Reis Esteves outlines what makes teachers of young learners so special.
Vanessa is a well-known teacher trainer specialising in Young Learners. She’s also the author of ETpedia: Young Learners, published in November 2016.
Primary teachers are those special people whose task it is to teach children basic life skills. But which qualities do they need to have to earn such a unique place in children’s hearts?
1. Patience and persistence
A primary teacher knows the value of trying again and again. Primary teachers watch and guide children until an “oh dear” expression on a child’s face turns into an “ah- that’s how you do it” moment. The result is truly amazing!
2. A true caring attitude
A true primary teacher is able to nurture a child’s brain and body. Tying shoelaces is just one of the primary teacher’s many job requirements, which is carried out with as much dedication as teaching a child to read and write.
3. A big heart
A primary teacher who teaches with a heart knows that sometimes, more than food for the brain, what a child most needs is a big bear hug.
4. A talent scout
A true primary teacher knows that children can all be shiny little stars if they are given the right roles and responsibilities. Primary teachers don’t stop searching until they find each child’s special talent.
5. An eternal learner
A primary teacher is an eternal learner who knows that it’s perfectly okay to make mistakes and try again. This means challenging students to step out of their comfort zones in order to develop a different skillset every day.
6. Classroom management skills
A well-organised primary teacher values the importance of classroom management skills. His/her behaviour toolkit is filled with lots of goodies and strategies. However, the real secret is always being firm and consistent.
7. A true challenger
A primary teacher believes that children can manage anything they set their minds to. This means constantly challenging children to be better than they were in the previous lesson in a rich learning environment.
8. An effective mirror
A primary teacher is a mirror for the children in the classroom. Primary teachers set the example by reflecting the right attitudes and beliefs that children need to overcome the challenges they are presented with.
A primary teacher is always willing and prepared to adapt a lesson plan to meet a class’ specific needs. Primary teachers know that children’s natural curiosity needs to be watered in every lesson.
10. Never forget how to be a child
Primary teachers never forget how much fun it is to play and learn. They make sure that children have lots of varied and engaging playing and learning moments and activities in class everyday.
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