15 experiences that shape every teacher’s character

By the beginning of your career, you probably never thought you’d face a couple of challenges, and they’ll change your character through teaching you the following traits;

  • Gratitude
  • Humility
  • Tolerance to people and situations
  • Elimination of prejudice
  • Controlling students
  • Proper management of money

This article contains a couple of things, some of which you’ve never experienced, but these  are the things that shape a teacher’s character.

1. Going through college

This is the usual first step towards becoming a real teacher. You have to go through college and get trained on how to become a real teacher, or else you’ll struggle with things like;

  • Handling challenging student behavior
  • Dealing with a rude or quarrelsome boss
  • Making and giving notes to students

The reason this is important is because some graduates take up teaching jobs and assume they can handle it just because they’ve been through university. However, they just can’t be like someone who got trained to teach.

2. The job hunt

Regardless of whether you know it or not, the job search is usually a bigger disappointment than it seems at first. The ups and downs that come along with the job search teach you valuable lessons like;

  • Patience
  • Strategy
  • Resilience
  • How to build connections and market your skills correctly

These lessons shape a teacher’s character and make you value your job when you get it.

3. Challenging student behavior

Children are the future of the world, but that’s not usually reflected in any of their behavior while they’re in school. Teachers have to identify the students with challenging behavior and make sure of things like;

  • How to make them change their behavior
  • Tolerance
  • How to respond appropriately

Some students might not change, but the struggle to change them is what shapes your character as a teacher.

4. A bossy boss

Yeah, the boss is the one that runs the place and calls the shots – but that can be a problem if your boss is a control freak. Being a teacher brings out of you things like;

  • Tolerance
  • Self-control
  • Working under pressure

This means you can be able to tolerate your bossy boss or even find a way to politely ask them for the space you deserve.

5. A grudge with a colleague

Let’s face it this way: not everyone at your workplace will be your friend. Some will hate you while others will just fail to forgive your small mistakes. Here’s what you have to figure out.

  • How to settle conflicts
  • Solving things in a mature way
  • Working well under unfriendly circumstances

If you know how to enable a working environment that favors even the worst enemies to work towards a common goal, you’re a good teacher.

6. Administering punishment to a student

Every school has rules and regulations, and there are consequences that come along with breaking any single rule. As a teacher, you have to know;

  • When to punish and when to forgive
  • What kind of students don’t have to have a place in school
  • How to administer the right punishment to the right culprit

Knowing what kind of punishment and when it deserves to be administered is one of the things that will make you a good and exceptional teacher.

7. Receiving your first salary

This is like the most pleasant experience as far as a fresh teaching career is concerned. It’s usually rare to find someone saving their first salary, because it’s like a means to congratulate oneself. However, these are the lessons you learn from that.

  • Money is easier to spend than to earn
  • You can’t hit all your goals with a one-time salary
  • How to save, even when it’s hard

8. Having your salary deducted

For some mistakes, you might find yourself getting a fraction of what you thought you had to get. This, however, will teach you lessons like;

  • How to be careful in everything you do
  • Making sure that the remaining amount is enough for you and your family
  • How to stop the salary cut from affecting your attitude towards your job

9. Calming a chaotic student situation

Chaos in school is always like a ticking time bomb, and it can explode any time if not foreseen or prevented in time. As a teacher you have to know things like;

  • How to calm students without getting hurt
  • Measures you have to take in order to prevent such a situation

10. Being confronted by a parent

Facing parents is one of the things that terrify new teachers to the core. This is because parents are usually judgmental, and they likely won’t understand your view. Here are the things you have to figure out;

  • Self-control in the face of provocative parents
  • How to address their concerns without showing anger
  • When to call others to help
  • How to say the right words

Responding to parents in the right way will usually mean the difference between a good teacher and a bad one – and the experience is worth it.

11. Being actually assaulted by a colleague

Whether verbally or physically, being assaulted by someone you work with is a very humiliating and provocative act. However, these are the things you have to figure out as a teacher.

  • How to respond to that
  • Whether to resolve or report the conflict to superiors

Figuring out and responding in the right way makes the difference between a good and a bad teacher.

12. Delayed payments

Delayed payments are some of the most undesirable and dreaded employee situations. This is because it always has an impact on the victim’s life. While others might strike or resign, a teacher has to figure out;

  • Ways to keep teaching regardless of the delayed payment
  • How to live on a minimum budget
  • When to decide that enough is enough
  • How to get paid regardless of your resignation

13. Handling a disabled student

A teacher doesn’t ask for the kind of students that they’re comfortable with. Once you get the job, all you have to do is teach. However, you just can’t overlook the disabled students because they’re not equal to other ordinary students. This calls for;

  • Empathy
  • Eliminating discrimination
  • Preferential treatment to the disabled students.

14. Counseling a student

Sometimes we make the mistake of thinking we can advise anyone on literally anything. However, some students will come to you with some situation you can’t even start to relate with – and yet you have to figure out things like;

  • Saying the right words
  • How to talk them out of a bad habit without demoralizing them

This is extremely tough, because saying the wrong words could ruin your student.

15. Getting fired

This is the last thing that any employee would ever want to think about – but it happens in real life. Therefore, the best but most challenging part of this is figuring out what comes next amid things like;

  • How to handle the financial instability that follows
  • Getting a job at another school
  • How to be cautious with your actions if you get another job

Going through these experiences is one of the main things that mainly shape a teacher’s character and their attitude towards their work.


 I’m not saying you have to go through all these things in order to become a good teacher – but I’m sure that every good teacher has had at least some of the above experiences over the course of their teaching career. Therefore, embrace all challenges that come your way and look at how much you can learn from them.

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