What Makes A Good Primary School Teacher?

What Makes A Good Primary School Teacher?

The role of a primary school teacher is varied and interesting - no two days are the same! Because of this there are many different skills and attributes that make a good primary school teacher. As a primary school teacher you’ll be responsible for planning and delivering lessons that are in line with the guidelines of the national curriculum. You‘ll also be responsible for marking work and monitoring pupils progress and behaviour as well as reporting back to other teachers, parents and carers. A primary school teacher can be hugely influential in helping to shape pupils' attitudes to learning and making the start of their journey in education a positive experience.

So what are some of the skills that make a good primary school teacher?

Deep subject knowledge and understanding

Having a good knowledge of the subjects you’ll teach is imperative. Unlike secondary school teachers, primary school teachers need to have a broader subject knowledge as they will teach across all subjects rather than just a single subject. Being open to learning and gaining greater knowledge and adapting with the curriculum is also crucial.

Affective behaviour management

Teachers need to be in control of their classrooms. As a primary school teacher, you’ll undoubtedly come up against some challenging behaviour from time to time. The ability to deal with this effectively and take appropriate action when necessary is vital.

Setting appropriate but challenging homework

Homework should be appropriate and relevant, but also ensure that you challenge pupils and enhance their learning. Homework could also include additional tasks to stretch those children who are able to complete the main tasks more easily.

Having high expectations of pupils

You should aspire to bring out the very best in each and every pupil you teach. Having high expectations of the children in your class will help to motivate them and keep them pushing for better results. Do achieve the above, you’ll need to possess certain qualities. These include:


Empathy is a vital quality of any primary school teacher. You will meet many children with different personalities, likes and dislikes, ways of learning and from different backgrounds too. Being able to empathise with difficulties and help your pupils overcome them in a sympathetic, caring and nurturing way will ensure that they feel positive and safe in the school environment.


Lesson planning, gathering resources, marking work and tracking pupils progress is demanding and will require meticulous organisation. With being organised your workload may become overwhelming - so it is crucial that you have fantastic organisation skills.


Being a good primary school teacher requires lots of enthusiasm. You need to bring positive energy to your classroom every day. Your enthusiasm will rub off on your pupils and help keep them motivated and excited to learn.


You will undoubtedly find that there are times where your lessons don’t work out as you’d hoped, there are disruptions in class, or that some pupils struggle to grasp what you are teaching them. Having patience and calmly and gently helping all of your pupils, being able to remain calm when there are disruptions and not being too hard on yourself when things don’t work out as planned are all part of the job.


Having the ability to instil confidence in others is another important quality of a primary school teacher. Self- confidence is a hugely beneficial characteristic for young people to have, and if you can help your pupils feel confident, self assured and trust their instincts you’ll have done a fantastic job.


Being passionate about educating young people is what this job is all about, so it’s important that you feel passionate about helping your pupils learn and want to be a role model and good influence that can shape their lives for the better.


Children can be weird and wonderful at times, and there are also going to be times where something unexpected takes place. Having a good sense of humour and sense of fun will help you see the bright side of any situation, and it’s infectious too.

Are you ready to find your next teaching role?

At Horizon Teachers, we are passionate about helping teachers find their dream role. We have a wealth of opportunities on our jobs board, so why not take a look? We can also give you lots of advice and support in finding a new teaching position, so why not get in touch to see how we can help you today?