What makes a good teacher?

During my time as a teacher there have been many highs and lows and from that experience comes some clarity about what makes a good teacher.

Most of the attributes and skills are self-explanatory so I wont add unnecessary detail.



Sense of humour



Enthusiasm (positivity)

Planning; a good teacher plans for each class to make effective learning.


Knowledge of subject

Understanding the needs of the students (may relate more to ESL teaching) personalising the lessons.


Some things that I haven’t mentioned in the list but that are still worth expressing:

A teachers integrity both in and outside of the classroom and their obedience to the ethics of teaching; such as the boundary of the teacher/student relationship. It may sound obvious but we see time and again this trust and respect break down both in the media relating to state schools and what seems to happen everyday in the ESL teaching world.

Having attained a PhD, masters degree or bachelors degree does not automatically mean you will be a good teacher, knowledge of your subject is of course very important but without interpersonal skills you’re going nowhere.

Much of this could simple be summed up in one word; professionalism.


I wont say how many of these attributes I have but I will say I have worked with teachers who have none of these attributes yet continue to this day to teach.

How many do you have?


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