Qualities every educator should have to succeed

By Elly Herrick, Editor-in-Chief

                  Elly Herrick

I was sitting on the edge of my seat.

Head leaning forward, eyes glued to the social studies teacher at the front of the room, hanging onto every word like a rock climber grips the edge of a limestone rock face. I was laser focused on the text, as if my life depended on me knowing all about the American Dream. These black words on the shiny pages acted as transportation back to a time I have never known.

That was the moment I decided I wanted to be a teacher, I wanted other people to feel what I felt in that room.

When considering possible careers, teaching came up a multitude of times. When talking to my peers and family about it, I got similar opinions from them.

“You shouldn’t be a teacher because they get paid terrible, treated horrible, and get little time to do anything.”

From what I gather; don’t be a teacher, be a person who goes beyond the paycheck.

If you can hold the eyes of a group of people and get them to hang on every word while talking about the quadratic formulas or proper grammar, you’ve already won. Being able to hold people’s attention is not only an educator’s job, it’s a basic social skill that can get you far in any professional setting.

Let’s face it. Teachers are poorly paid, they have mountains of work to do, and they frequently are disrespected. The problem has been illustrated through the decade- long teacher shortage due to two things; teachers retiring/quitting and barriers for educators seeking to teach at a school in a state different from where they obtained their original license.

After figuring out and qualifying for specialized licenses, now teachers have more challenges to overcome. As a student, I realize that every day cannot be a mind-blowing day of discovery, but we should at least be able to say that we learned something.

Qualities that every educator should have is not a basic checklist, it can be different for every classroom.

Teachers should consider their environment. Is their room inviting and interesting? Also consider what kind of neighborhood the school is located in and what kind of students live there. How can a teacher accommodate them?

Another factor to consider is an educator’s appearance. Being professional doesn’t mean showing up in a tie every day and having super detailed lessons with clean designs. A class is not a business proposal and a classroom is not an office. They should also be conscious of how they behave outside and inside of school.

Being human is the best thing to offer students.

Another factor to consider when creating lesson plans is that if a student is not engaged, they will not listen. Experts claim that each year a person ages, 2 to 3 minutes should be added to their attention span. So using this theory, an average 18-year-old student’s attention span is projected to be 36 to 54 minutes long. With current studies done on attention span in modern society, human attention spans are reported to be nine seconds long which is one second shorter than a goldfish.

Overall, attention isn’t given, it’s earned. With growing addiction to media, student attention spans grow shorter and a teacher’s lesson plans should plan to overcome that. Ways to overcome this barrier is to make eye contact, have breaks, and demonstrate good attention skills.

The most important quality every educator should have is the willingness to listen to their students. If a teacher doesn’t listen to their students, how will teachers gauge how well students are learning or if their techniques and lesson plan is going well. Lack of consideration and attention to students will make them feel unnoticed.

Teaching is a not profession for the faint of heart. This career shapes the future because if we grow up in an environment where we feel unnoticed and treated like a number, that is how we will treat others when we grow up.

It’s the duty of teachers to shape and mold students into the best possible person they can be. While teachers shouldn’t hold students’ hands all the way, they should reach out their hand when a student has fallen.

If every day is easy, then you’re not doing it right.