The Most Important Qualities of an Outstanding Educator

            The most important qualities of outstanding educators are experience, creativity, and patience.  Each quality needs to be developed or tested by time in order to increase in its overall effectiveness.  Teachers who can consistently employ all three qualities throughout their careers will be successful educators. 

            Experience is an extremely valuable tool for any profession, and it takes patience to develop.  A new teacher cannot expect to know everything before he or she walks into a classroom, but that new teacher cannot use lack of experience as an excuse either.  Every teacher has some sort of experience working with students, whether it is 20 years of teaching in public schools or five months of student teaching under a mentor.  Based on their experiences, teachers have the ability to recognize situations and adapt their teaching methods accordingly.

            New teachers will have more gaps to fill than experienced educators, because there will be a lot more situations that they havenít exactly been exposed to.  However, novice teachers will be able to start filling those gaps by relating them to similar experiences that theyíve had, by following guidelines set by the school, and by seeking out the advice of their experienced colleagues.  Experience will improve teaching style as time moves by; the quality of creativity works in a different way.

            Creativity preserves the freshness and excitement of teaching.  Creativity will make lessons better for helping students learn.  A lesson that has worked for years with hundreds of students my need consistent splashes of creativity to keep it healthy and effective.  Creativity involves the use of technology in lessons; it thrives on a teacherís ability to constantly seek out new and student oriented mediums that will help instill the objectives of a lesson in a class.

            Teachers that work hard to be creative are likely to be appreciated by their students, and students will respond to their teacherís creative style by developing and forming creative projects of their own.  Creativity promotes thinking beyond the classroom, and students who apply something that they have learned from a teacher in a positive way in their lives have taken the learning objectives to a higher level.  Creativity will be tested by time, but a teacher who is patient in seeking out diverse methods of teaching a lesson will retain the quality of creativity.

            Patience is both developed and tested by time.  It is essential for teachers to be patient with their students.  Similar to creativity, students will most likely respond in a positive fashion to a teacher who is patient with them as they learn.  Patience helps teachers solve problems that require a certain degree of calmness and clear thinking.  Teachers who handle the negative behavior of students with patience will be able to methodically reduce or eliminate the behavior from their classroom.

            Teachers need patience in order to develop themselves as professionals.  By patiently working toward their goals, they will be able to get most out of their journey there.  Patience works well with the qualities of experience and creativity, because it assists in developing those qualities through time.

            It will take a lot of effort and hard work on the part of educators to successfully integrate the qualities of experience, creativity, and patience into their teaching styles.  The effort and hard work will result in the development and establishment of those important qualities within teachers.  In turn, the qualities will help those outstanding teachers to continue working hard with unquestionable effort.     


-Andy Cunningham 3/03