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The Most Important Qualities in TEFL Teaching

The Most Important Qualities in TEFL Teaching | ITTT | TEFL Blog

Teaching offers the chance to change other people's lives permanently for the better. As a teacher, you can help develop someone's subject of knowledge and/or their mind and personality. Teachers are instruments that ignite powerful thoughts in students, helping them unleash their true potential. In addition to being knowledgeable in their area of expertise and having the ability to plan and execute lesson plans, to be an effective and successful teacher you need to possess some personal emulateable skills. To bring a long-term impact in the lives of your students, it's important to have the following qualities;

This post was written by our TEFL certification graduate Magdaline A. Please note that this blog post might not necessarily represent the beliefs or opinions of ITTT.


A teacher needs to have good interpersonal skills along with effective speaking and strong presentation skills. Many inter-personal skills are centered around communication such as listening, questioning and understanding body language. They also include skills and attributes related to decision making, problem-solving, emotional intelligence or being able to understand and manage your own and others' emotions. Teachers with good communication and collaboration skills create a positive learning environment that helps students feel at ease, understand what is expected of them and build their confidence in learning by inspiring them to try without fear. Also responding to students' needs and getting them involved during a class lesson sets them up for success.

teacher and a senior student

Also Read: 8 Personality Types to Help You Understand Your Students’ Needs


Having self-discipline means that you as a teacher are self-driven and you have the will-power and control to not be affected by students' misbehaviors instead you can manage and guide them. You are firm and fair with your discipline techniques. For effective classroom management, your discipline ensures that positive behavior is encouraged in the classroom. Also, your relationship with the students will determine the levels of discipline in the classroom. A disciplined teacher is respectful, responsible and accountable.


Teachers can be creative in many ways especially when using the Engage-Study-Activate approach in EFL learning. They can think beyond their noses, use available resources to create interesting lessons and fun activities and come up with creative ways to handle discipline issues in the classroom.

Also Read: Can I learn a foreign language while teaching English abroad?


This quality helps teachers to be calm and settle down during tough times in the course of their careers. It also enables teachers to handle students from different backgrounds and with different levels of understanding or grasping a concept especially with students who have an individualized education plan (IEP).


This trait helps teachers to look calm and professional even when tired or stressed out. Positive thinking, practice, training, knowledge and talking to other people are useful ways to help improve or boost confidence levels. Confidence comes from feelings of well-being, acceptance of your body and mind (high self-esteem) and belief in your abilities, skills, and experiences to deliver.

students in the lesson

Also Read: How do I get a job teaching English in South Korea?


Motivation is what drives us to achieve our goals. When you are self-motivated in your work, you can motivate others. For you to motivate your students, you may be required to encourage and/or criticize them at different stages of learning. Be flexible and able to keep your students positive, enthusiastic and hard-working even at the toughest times. Also, develop students' engagement skills to keep them motivated. Always, your attitude towards each student will determine their altitude in terms of behavior and growth.


This quality involves time management and self-motivation. Good organizational skills lead to increased productivity and opportunities thus reduced procrastination and stress. Planning ahead of time allows teachers to be more confident in what they teach each time they go to class. Also, this quality helps them understand the innate abilities of each student hence enabling them to develop effective lesson plans and match their teaching pace to ensure every student benefits from the lesson.

Also Read: Do I need a passport to teach English abroad?


As a teacher, you should be able to deal with most of the misunderstandings among students on your own. Assertiveness being one of the important and useful skills of handling conflicts, you need to be able to express your views clearly and firmly without aggression. Always be in tandem with the school's discipline guidelines. In addition to the above traits, a teacher should always be able to adapt, have self-awareness and have a great love for their job.

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In conclusion, for a teacher to be effective and successful in their career; he/she should be able to motivate and support students so that they are well equipped to handle any life challenges either academically or otherwise. With all of the above-discussed skills in place, a teacher with the right skills inspires and influences the entire life of a student.

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