What makes a great teacher? Part 1

In the first part of a bumper two-part post we look at some of the things that a great teacher does, and courses you can take to develop your teaching skills.

In the first part of a bumper two-part post, we look at some of the things that a great teacher does, and courses you can take to develop your teaching skills.

A great teacher…makes every subject interesting

What makes a great teacher futurelearn 1

Keeping students involved and excited in what they’re learning can be difficult if the subject is complex or takes a student out of their comfort zone. Great teachers can turn even the most tricky subjects into engaging lessons that keep students motivated.

Transform PE lessons
Join the course Outstanding Physical Education Lessons

Help students fall in love with languages
 Join the course Understanding Language: Learning and Teaching

Make learning English easy
 Join the flexible program of courses Teaching for Success: Practices for English Language Teaching


A great teacher…uses creativity

What makes a great teacher futurelearn 2

The same old routines day in and day out can make school stale quickly. A great teacher can get creative with lessons to capture attention and help students rekindle their interest.

Learn how transform lessons
Join the course Filmmaking and Animation in the Classroom

Or you could try blended learning or explore topics like royal food, Hong Kong, Richard III or robots with your students.


A great teacher…gives everyone the chance to learn

What makes a great teacher futurelearn 3

Ensuring all young people have the chance to get an education is one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2017. A great teacher works to ensure every person in their class has the chance to learn and creates an inclusive environment so no one misses out.

Learn how to help students with disabilities
Join the course Education for All

Learn how to help students with dyslexia
Join the course Dyslexia and Foreign Language Teaching

Learn how to help students with autism
Join the course Understanding Autism


A great teacher…knows how to manage behaviour

What makes a great teacher futurelearn 4

One disruptive student can stop a whole class learning. Great teachers know how to effectively use discipline to keep the classroom under control while still giving students freedom to learn.

Master classroom discipline
Join the course Managing Behaviour for Learning


A great teacher…is also a student

What makes a great teacher futurelearn 5

Keeping up your own learning whilst teaching is a challenge. That’s why FutureLearn courses are made up of bite-sized chunks of learning, so you can fit them around your timetable. Whether you want to develop a new skill or brush up on an old one, we might have something to help.

Improve your English
Join the course Teaching Your Subject in English

Learn about developing rigorous assessments
Join the course Designing Assessments to Measure Student Outcomes

Learn more about pursuing professional development
Join the course Becoming a Better Teacher: Exploring Professional Development


Not found a course for you? See all our teaching courses.

What do you think makes a good teacher? Let us know in the comments!

Category Teaching

Comments (157)

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  • I don’t agree
    Sincerely, Faith

  • Naomi

    A good teacher is also a student.

    • Carmo D'Souza

      i believed a great teacher is a perpetual learner and i continued pursuing degrees. and teaching for last forty years With P.D. disability I am facing new chalenges . gettiing new visions / halucinations.. I have found future learn as helful
      Periodicaly get new visionss. Diificult to communicate.Physical and ental disabilities.

  • Junggee-Rummun Nazmah Bibi

    A great teacher is an inquirer

  • saima

    agree