ASCD.org lists several characteristics of good teachers, including willingness to put in time, effective classroom management and expert use of instructional methods. Good teachers also have in-depth knowledge of the content they teach.
Although most teacher contracts run from times starting about 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., good teachers spend even more time than that working on their curriculum and lesson plans and serving on committees. Good teachers also spend time communicating with parents, helping struggling students and attending meetings with other teachers. Some teachers even coach students when the school day is over.
Classroom management styles differ between teachers, but when a good teacher finds a teaching style that works for him, he tends to have fewer disciplinary issues, there is more respect in the classroom and students know what to expect. All of these affect the learning environment and result in fewer distractions so more learning takes place.
There are a variety of different teaching methods. Good teachers explore different ones and find methods that work for them. Some of these include project-based learning, lecturing, cooperative groups and multiple intelligence approaches. The best teachers do not stick to just one method.
Teachers must also have mastery of their subject matter. They need to know the ins and outs of their content so they are able to teach the students that information.