Responsibilities of a Good Teacher

Updated on April 19, 2020
Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul grew up on a farm where moral virtues such as hard work and honesty were cherished. Each of his classes has a moral lesson.

Author on a field trip with his sixth grade students in Bangkok in 2010.
Author on a field trip with his sixth grade students in Bangkok in 2010. | Source

January 16 is Teachers' Day in Thailand. In other countries, days are also set aside to honor teachers. Why? It is undeniable that teachers play a great role in the lives of students. Teachers are just as important as parents in the education of children. Therefore, it is fitting to give all educators their due honor and respect.

In 2007, while teaching English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in Taiwan, a Chinese teacher remarked to me that there are never really any bad students, but there are only bad teachers. At the time I was surprised to hear this because I firmly believed there were indeed bad students based on my previous teaching experiences. That was until I started to reflect on the relationship between teachers and students, and the true responsibilities of teachers to students. It then started to become clear to me that students would certainly be bad if teachers did not meet their responsibilities to them. What, then, are the responsibilities of teachers to students?

Author, Paul Kuehn, teaching at Saint Joseph Bangna School in 2009
Author, Paul Kuehn, teaching at Saint Joseph Bangna School in 2009 | Source

Responsibilities of a Good Teacher

All school teachers, especially those engaged in the education of K-12 students, have both academic and non-academic responsibilities to their pupils. Sadly and unfortunately, most people only consider the academic responsibilities. They want their children's teachers to be the most knowledgeable of the subject matter they are teaching and also be the best in getting their kids to learn. Non-academic responsibilities, however, are just as important as academic responsibilities. Chances are that 20-30 years from now, the non-academic moral lessons learned in the classroom will be remembered more than any academic knowledge.

Academic Responsibilities

All parents want their children to have the best teachers. "Best" here implies that the teacher has the responsibility to be one of the best trained and knowledgeable in his or her subject matter expertise. it also means that the instructor can teach skills and facilitate learning just like a coach does in sports. Not every teacher, however, needs to have a Ph.D. or be an expert on the subject he is teaching. Many successful baseball, basketball, and football coaches have not been all-stars. What is important is for the teacher to be a fair, dedicated, and honest motivator and facilitator who can get the most out of his students through concentration, attention to detail, and practice, much like a coach of a sports team.

Non-academic Responsibilities

I wouldn't be afraid to bet that most people remember their favorite school teacher for the non-academic moral lessons which they got out of the class. Teachers' non-academic responsibilities are so important to students because many of them spend more time each day with teachers than with parents. At private schools in Thailand where I taught EFL, many parents dropped their kids off at around 6:30 A.M. and didn't pick them up until 5:00 P.M. or 6:00 P.M. Because teachers spend so much time each day with kids, it is necessary for them to be a parent-like figure and also a role model inculcating moral values.

Teachers as Parent-like Figures

In many homes, a mother or father will only have a few hours each day to interact with their kids. For this reason, teachers must assume parental responsibilities while being with their students. This is especially true for students in grades K-9. Just like a good parent, a good teacher must be loving, caring, compassionate, kind, fair, and forgiving. Students expect this from teachers. I have found that if I am loving, caring, compassionate, kind, fair, and forgiving to my students, they will treat me and their classmates likewise.

Teachers as Role Models

All children and youth are searching for role models. Too often the role models who a lot of kids choose from today's pop culture leave a lot to be desired. Many of these role models are pop performers whose behavior should not be emulated. I find the lyrics of many pop-rap songs sexually suggestive and abusive to young children. This fascination with body art through tattoos and body-piercing is also not setting a good example for kids. Therefore, a good teacher as a role model should outwardly and inwardly display no bad habits or behavior in dress, grooming, or body defacing for students to notice.

My ideal role model is a teacher who doesn't drink, smoke, take drugs, have tattoos, or display outlandish body-piercing. If a teacher can't break the habits of drinking and smoking, he or she must never come to school drunk or be seen drinking or smoking by his or her students. If the teacher must have a tattoo, he or she must always have it covered up and never exposed to pupils. The professional dress should always be worn in the classroom, and casual sports attire worn only for school activities.

As an excellent role model, teachers have the responsibility to be honest, hard-working, have an enthusiasm for teaching and learning, be punctual, and display cooperation and compromise in the classroom. Students do pay attention to the behavior of their teachers. If teachers are seen, to be honest, hard-working, and enthusiastic in class, their students will be less likely to cheat. Classes will be more lively with a quest for learning, and students will work harder to be recognized on the teachers' wall of fame in the classroom.

Students will not be tardy to class if teachers are also punctual to class. I have found that cooperation and compromise are necessary features of motivation. If a teacher models cooperation and compromise in the classroom, he can expect students to display it both inside and outside of class.

Finally, as exemplary role models, teachers must always practice and insist on good manners both in and out of class and make sure students are responsible. This includes giving greetings to all teachers and elders when meeting, not talking while other students or the teacher is talking in class, and not throwing things in class. I have found that many students are irresponsible when it comes to bringing their books to class and doing homework. It is teachers' responsibility through the consequences of actions to ensure that students accept responsibility for the basic student chores of bringing materials to class and doing homework.

The responsibilities of every school teacher are more important today than ever before. If teachers are to effectively train our future leaders of tomorrow, they must pay attention not only to their academic responsibilities but also to their non-academic responsibilities of teaching moral values to students.

Responsibilities of a Good Teacher

What is the number one responsibility of a good teacher?

See results

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Paul Richard Kuehn


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      If you want to cite parts of my writing, just mention the name of my article and that it was published by me on Hubpages on a certain date.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      hello , ı want use some part of your writing but ı couldnt cite. and ı have to give references. ı dont know what to do :((

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      3 months ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Thank you very much for your comment and opinion.

    • profile image


      3 months ago

      On behalf of my country Kiribati

      I have seen many failures according to punishment some student did not want

      to learn when they knew that they will

      be punished but without rules regulations the school will be chaos or disorganised

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Yes teacher is the brighter and shiner of our mind and create a peacefull environment for us as mothers and fathers.

    • Paul Kuehn profile imageAUTHOR

      Paul Richard Kuehn 

      5 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

      Yes, a teacher is really a second mother and father because they are responsible for the moral development of young people just like parents are.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)