The educational world of today’s society demands accountability from its teachers, because, teachers have possibly the greatest opportunity to shape a students life, not just in terms of knowledge but how they view themselves and interact with the society around them. The increased accountability has lead to the necessity for being able to identify and quantitatively assess the characteristics of a quality teacher. In its most basic form a teacher's primary purpose is to provide direction, motivation and knowledge to students ( , ), however the effectiveness of a teacher should not be determined by their ability to impart knowledge alone, the scope in which they achieve this is also of immense importance ( , ). While the effect a teacher can have on a student is undeniable, the dynamics of how a teacher produces an effective result, however, has been of vast debate (Jacobsen, Eggen & Kauchak, 2002; McBer, 2000; Killen, 1998).
There has been an inability amongst academics (Campbell, Kyriakids, and Robinson, 2003; Muijs, 2006) to agree on a set or method for quantifying the characteristics of what makes a teacher effective. This stems from societies progression over time, as the needs of communities have shifted so to has what it deems necessary, and in turn what it requires from its students and teachers. Many theorists () have presented varying, yet interrelated, characteristics of what, at the time, was considered “effective practice” ( , , p. ), however, it would not be feasible to discuss all of these in the scope of this paper. The following aims to address the most frequently mentioned characteristics of an effective teacher including; being professional and proactive,
Teachers that have a tertiary issued degree and belong to the teaching profession may not necessarily display professional attributes, effective teachers are aware that all of their interactions with students, guardians and society members reflect upon them. As mentioned earlier, teachers are in a prime position to influence students lives, and students are susceptible to absorbing and emulating their teachers, in particular their mannerisms and behaviours, for this reason effective teachers will, amongst other elements, display; punctuality; tidiness; polite, firm and fair interactions with students and confidence ( , ). Being professional alone will not achieve success, it requires a combination of many elements none more so than classroom management and all that it entails including proactive classroom management and promoting positive behaviour.
Developing a sound lesson plan is important to classroom management, however, effective classroom management centres around teachers being proactive the more that is known about a student the better prepared a teacher can be to cater to their needs, and thus yield the best results. By being aware of their students...