According to the US Census Bureau in 2011, more than 79 million people were enrolled in school between nursery and college, that’s 29.6% of the US population. Since a major portion of the populace is engaged in school related activities, it’s essential to look at the characteristics of the 3.3 million educators who teach students every day.
Particularly for secondary school, effective educators are well versed in their content area. They should have deep background knowledge to challenge the most curious student with engaging material but also the ability to break down challenging concepts into elemental chunks. Mandating attendance means all students are present and educators should know how to make their subject relatable. From experience, engaging presentations, activities and lessons foster growth. This is the result of differentiated teaching, changing styles to keep the classroom experience engaging. Most importantly, effective educators show their students they have faults. Being vulnerable in content knowledge can be an opportunity for a teacher to show their students that they are constantly learning as well. Teacher too often don’t ask for help fearing of being ostracized by students.
Teaching is a daily presentation, effective educators come to work with tenacity (the determination to work with challenging students), patience (to serve students in a healthy learning environment) and flexibility (to face challenging situations with grace). These three dispositions are essential for all educators to find success working with students. With an engaging teaching style targeted at all levels of students, the ability to make mistakes in front of students and strong dispositions, these traits combine to be the characteristics of an effective educator.