What makes a true role model? It’s a difficult concept to define, but we know that students who have role models in their formative years are far more equipped to handle adult life. In this guide, we’ve outlined five role model teacher qualities that can make a huge impact on your classroom. Once you aspire to be a teacher role model for students, you take on a tremendous responsibility, but the rewards are immeasurable as well.
First and foremost, diversity of thought is crucial to a healthy classroom. Students should never feel like their ideas will be judged as stupid or counterproductive. Instead, they should be encouraged to work through their thought process, present it to the class, and be challenged by other perspectives. With an open forum, the entire student body can grow more quickly and challenge their preconceptions.
Likewise, you should not treat students with kid gloves. They should be taken seriously as budding young minds, and teachers shouldn’t be afraid to present concepts that push the limits of their current knowledge. When you treat students like they’re strong enough to handle a difficult subject, they’ll usually rise to the occasion. Doing so can be highly empowering and sobering at the same time, which is great for young learners.
Of course, students will judge your behavior and demeanor in the classroom. If your lessons are reasonably successful, students will start to model your behavior in a literal way. Because of this, it’s so important for teachers to dress appropriately, use proper language, and try to be the best version of themselves. If you want to command respect, you need to be respectable.
Students should be challenged to strive for more, but they need positive reinforcement and kindness along the way. The ideal classroom environment should feel like getting into a chilly pool for swim team practice. At first, jumping in the water seems painful and scary, but with the encouragement of a great coach, you start believing that you can handle it. And once you’ve been in the water for a few minutes, you’re already acclimated.
Finally, students need to know that they can rely on you. That means being on time for class every day, not missing office hours, and delivering your lectures effectively. If you want to be a teacher role model for students, you need to be accessible, and you can’t neglect your responsibilities. Your level of dedication has a huge impact.
Ready to make a difference in your students’ lives? We hope these role model teacher qualities will point you in the right direction. For even more teaching resources, visit the GraduationSource blog and take your classroom to inspirational heights.