Teachers month: What makes an exceptional educator?


A good education is as important today as ever before, but having a remarkable educator or lecturer makes the learning process a far happier and more impactful experience for any student.

We all have that a special teacher or lecturer who helped to shape our future, whether it be during primary school, high school or even university years. An educator or educators that stood out and made an indelible mark and a tangible difference in our lives.

IIE MSA, previously known as Monash South Africa and now a leading brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), joins those working in education, in celebrating our precious teachers during the month of October. Let’s examine some of the qualities that make an exceptional educator in today’s world:

Creative and innovative

As the skills that students need in this evolving world become increasingly complex, educators need to be in the mindset where innovation is the norm. Educators need to look at what students need and create opportunities for them to learn through in-depth and meaningful problem solving. Teachers and lecturers alike, need to ensure students are shaped to become future innovators.


Having a compassionate person as a teacher makes a big difference in a child’s life. Someone who cares about their students’ wellbeing, their performance and who is able to demonstrate this support, will have a lasting effect on how students consume their learning material and perform in their studies.

Tech savvy and digitally-focussed

Educators need to have the knowledge and the ‘know how’ when it comes to the digital world so that they are able to teach and guide students. A tech savvy educator will be able to equip their students and shape them into a working world that is being taken over by technology.

Good listener

Everyone wants to feel that we are being listened to and heard. This provides students with a sense of acknowledgement. This is a very important trait to have as a teacher or educator, as the person responsible for shaping the youth of today.

Lavishing extra time and attention

Many students need individual attention or extra attention. In order to ensure that the students who are being taught are flourishing, it is vital that educators set aside time for students to ask questions or receive extra guidance regarding their study material.

Positive and Encouraging

Positive encouragement and affirmations go a long way. Encouragement can make anyone want to do better and want to learn more.

Going the extra mile

A key quality of an amazing an educator is one who goes the extra mile; above and beyond their teaching requirement. This is an educator that will have a lasting effect on their students. Whether it be suggesting interesting additional books for students to read, or giving them the name of a song, that will calm them down when they need to focus on studying, the smallest thing can make the biggest difference.


Educators who are forward thinking have an impact on students not only during the class time, but also in the years to come, by not only focusing on current learning material in a given class, but also addressing how the information will be adapted, changed or applied once they are working adults. In addition, they look at trends and developments relevant to share with their future innovators. Visit https://www.iiemsa.co.za/ to find out more about the IIE programmes offered at the IIE MSA campus.