Habits of Highly Effective Teachers


Good habits are essential to living a healthy fulfilling life.  Making a conscious effort to create good habits can be extremely beneficial.  As teachers, it is imperative to develop good habits.  Doing this will not only allow you to be a highly effective teacher, but will also help to create balance in your personal life as well.

The Education to the Core Community got together to put together a list of habits for highly effective teachers.  You are about to get advice from the best of the best! Grab a notepad…because this is TEACHER GOLD!

Habits of Highly Effective Teachers

“Make a point to connect with your kiddos. Teach with them, not at them.” -Jamie A.

“Be proactive. Have a plan but be flexible enough to bend and flex as the day requires.” -Linda D.

“Differentiate instruction! Really meet the children where they are academically and bring them to a higher level!” -Bridget B.

“Build relationships with students and parents—not to be their best friend but enough for them to know you care. The work of school will be so much easier when they feel important and cared for.” -Michelle K.

“Use data to see the gaps in knowledge and plan to fill those gaps.” -Penelope B.

“Classroom management is EVERYTHING! An amazing lesson can be wasted if your audience is not attentive and engaged. Make sure to know your students’ listening limits. Have them get up and move throughout the day…whether in kindergarten or 5th grade…kiddos need to MOVE. Think of how awful staff meetings are that you have to just sit and listen…” -Randee S. 

“Choose to work at a school with a positive culture and educational philosophies that align with your own. Learn to say no. Analyze assessment data to drive instruction. Differentiate. Stay positive. Value play and hands on learning. Believe in the good in people. Multitask like a boss. (After all it is researched that only air traffic controllers make more decisions in a day.) Build relationships with students and families. Choose your battles. Value process over product. Have a very good planner that works for you and write daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to do lists.build a structured, positive, caring, reflective, and goal focused classroom. Celebrate goals achieved. Always remember why you became a teacher.” -Shell L.

“Be self reflective and have adaptive decision making skills!” Kari K.

“Self reflect, but have the children self reflect as well. Use the child’s reflections to better your teaching and to teach the child how to use reflections to increase learning.” Michelle M.

“Plan in advance and have everything ready for the next week before you leave for the weekend. Staying organized helps avoid unnecessary stress and gives you more time to focus on the kids.” Sharon T.

“Classroom management…ie…teaching procedures well so students know what to do and what to expect. This can alleviate some future discipline problems. Not all, of course….” Sue H.

“Understand that things may not go as planned. It is ok to adjust as you go.” Stephanie B.

“Be happy and love your students.” -Maribeth S.

“One habit is being on point with your classroom management: to do this, you have to be prepared for the lesson, but also flexible and able to think on your feet. Your copies are ready, and if the tech doesn’t work you already know an alternative. If the kids aren’t getting the concept, you already know how to change your lesson. This makes the flow of the day calm and smooth, keeping behavior down and making any interruptions easier to deal with! It just takes preparation and organization.” – A Happy Little Teacher

“Focus more on student’s learning over their teaching. I don’t worry about having the perfect lesson, I concern myself with whether my students are learning.” -Becky M.

“Meet your students needs on good and bad days.” LeighAnne D.

“They (teachers) take time to take care of themselves. It’s hard to give your students every you’ve got when you’ve got nothing left to give!” Celeste H.

“Set limits and boundaries and stick to it!” -Katie C.

“I make myself a to do list, otherwise I always forget the 100 of things I need to get done. I also like to star the more important ones so I work on those first. Helps to keep my thoughts organized. Us teachers have too much on our minds, it helps to get it down on paper.” -Jenny C.

“Planning, Effective Assessments and use of the data from those assessments to drive instruction.” -Charmane A.

“The art of making it fun: The highly effective teacher knows that pointing out all the good behavior goes a lot farther than pointing out all the infractions. This teacher makes sure to point out something positive about every single student. Also, the fun teacher knows that in the long run, the students will perform for the teacher who has shown them that she/he cares. This teacher does art and lets the kids have fun with it. This teacher does silly things like telling the class, “If you are able to listen a little bit longer and better today than you did the first weeks of school, you are a good student. Stand up and bow.” The highly effective teacher knows how to have fun with it.” -Christina C.

“Flexibility. Schedules are constantly changing. Students are absent and observations still happen. Teachers are absent and classes are split. There are programs and assemblies to attend during our regularly scheduled teaching time. Missing preps.” -Faigy A.

“You can’t pour from an empty cup- mental health is an important part of teaching. You have to put yourself first. Often times we don’t bc we wear so many hats and our jobs have so many demands plus a home life and responsibilities to our kids…you can’t wear any hat if you aren’t happy and healthy.” -Kj K.

“Be organized so lessons can flow and the students aren’t waiting for you.” -Millie T.

“They are organized!! Have all copies made ahead of time and everything has a place.” -Lindsay B.

“Sharpen the Saw. Take care of you!!” Carleigh S.

“The best teachers know that all children can make better decisions if they encounter proper guidance and patience. They are friendly and form connections with their students.” Lori S.

“The best teachers are those who foster student engagement through student led conversations and decision making. While teachers provide direction and guidance within this engagement, students have the opportunity to make deeper, more relevant connections to learning. Student decision making allows freedom to analyze, evaluate and create learning opportunities, which allows ownership of learning. The best teachers facilitate learning instead of teaching to learn.” -Sheila W.

“(The teacher)has high expectations. Prioritizes relationships over academics. Uses high engagement activities over worksheets EVERY DAY. Is a lifelong learner always looking for new and better ways to present a skill and/or reach her kids.” -Kelly M.

“I think prepared, organized, have engaging activities, whatever is fine. I think that’s the generic answer teachers give a lot. But I think relationships are what makes a highly effective teacher. When you form those relationships, really get to know the kids, and let them know they matter that’s when everything else will fall into place.” -Jenn K.

“Set up expectations for learning. And if it doesn’t work, go back and reteach!” Keir M.

I hope you enjoyed this post from our wise teachers over in our Fearless First Grade Teacher Facebook Group.  If you’d like to be a part of this amazingly supportive community, we’d love to have you!

If you’d like more from Education to the Core, be sure join my email list to get exclusive FREEBIES, exclusive content, updates, and deals! 

You can also keep up with me by following Education to the Core on TPT!





Welcome! I’m Emily, Founder of Education to the Core. We are all about helping K-2 teachers by providing unlimited access to affordable printables for every subject area.