What are the Personal Qualities of a Good Teacher?

A teacher requires a number of personal as well as professional qualities. To become an effective teacher the teacher has to gain some personal qualities.

If a teacher is lazy and lacks enthusiasm and lie will to do hard work, he cannot be expected to inculcate these values in pupils. Pupils arc keen observer. They are intelligent enough to observe discrepancies between what a teacher preaches and how he actually behaves. If a teacher is smoker, he has no right to advise his pupils to avoid smoking. If the teacher dishonest and avoids his/her duty, he/she has no right to advise his/ her pupils to be honest and sincere.

Values like honesty, truthfulness, loyalty, punctuality, cleanliness, dedication, affection etc. are imbibed, through observations of other's behaviors rather than taught. A teacher has to stand as a model for his/her pupil so as to provide a lasting and inspiring example of ever they arc to have in them these qualities of personality and character. Some of the important personal qualities of a teacher are the following:

(i) Affection:

It is the basic traits that a teacher needs to have. Every one of us expects a certain amount of affection in every teacher. There is no human being on the earth who does not crave affection from those around, especially from parents and teachers. A teacher should show love and concern for his pupils. Without affection a teacher cannot feel for his pupil wanted and accepted.

(ii) Empathy:

Empathy enables us to feel concerned with our pupils' problems and the efforts we make to cope with them. This quality enables us to understand our pupils better both emotionally as well as intellectually. On the child's eye view we need a lot of emotional, flexibility. Empathy enables us to be judicious, impartial and objective.

It will engender us the requisite understanding to avoid stereotyping and prejudices and treat all pupils with equanimity irrespective of the background from which they come. Empathy creates in us a better awareness of the functioning of a child's mind which in term would permit us to avoid the use of words that insult and actions that hurt. As a teacher we must has empathy as a personal quality.

(iii) Concern and Commitment:

In a teacher there must be two more qualities viz. genuine concern and commitment to the tasks. As dedicated and concerned about the development of our pupils as their parents generally arc and then try to do all within our ability to see that they are given an opportunity for their growth and development.

As a teacher, we must remember that the improvement seldom occurs spontaneously. It is attained through deliberate effort. To reach a child's mind, we must reach and capture his/her heart. Only when a child feels right, he/she can think right.

If we want to improve our relations with children, we need to unlearn our habitual language of rejection and a new language of acceptance. If we are genuinely interested in the well being of our pupils, we need to be authentic, genuine and sincere. We do not have to demonstrate hypocrisy by acting nice, when we feel nasty.

(iv) Humour:

The sense of humour is a good trait in a teacher. Whenever we combine elements in a way that is different, unexpected and incongruous, we wind up with humour. As a teacher, we should develop the ability to play spontaneously with ideas, concepts and relationships.

We should have the ability to juggle elements into impossible juxtaposition and express the ridiculous. All of these can bring in an atmosphere of humour in the classroom. It can arouse laughter or a smile on their lips, which would make their mind lighter. Humour can turn out to be a good tool in the hands of an enlightened teacher.

(v) Other Characteristics:

Personal values like cleanliness, punctuality and honesty are the ornaments of a teacher. The presence of these personal values enable him transmit then to the pupil like a lamp which lights another lamp into equal brightness. A pupil can be inspired with a teacher to be honest, punctual, and truthful. Mercy can be taught only mercifully. The other characteristics arc smartness with the work, alertness and quality in the views etc.