Are you a great teacher? Would you like to become even better?
Teaching children can be enriching. You have a workable schedule and the freedom to use your creativity every day. And you get the privilege of inspiring young minds.
Yet, we all have those days when the pressure of teaching can become overwhelming. Kids who call out, parents who complain, or lesson plans that don’t work can all add to frustration and discouragement.
If you’re wondering how to be a better teacher, it’s important not to give up. Teachers never stop learning, and there are always ways to hone your craft to become one of the best in the business.
Here are some of our favorite teaching tips.
1. Take Care of You
In most professions, regular self-maintenance is critical to your well-being, as well as the way others see you. In teaching, however, your self-image is critical to your effectiveness in your job.
If you’re feeling tired, hungry, or listless, your students will notice and reflect your negative energy. If, however, you feel excited and happy, your love for life will rub off on those in your classroom.
It’s important for teachers always to have something to look forward to. Rewards can be small and affordable, like a trip to your local day spa or a short overnight with your spouse. Yet keeping your own life full of expectation will fill you with positive vibes that make teaching easier.
It’s easy to neglect your workouts or hair appointments when you’re teaching during the day and grading papers at night. Yet feeling and looking your best is critical to showcasing your best self.
Join a style club so you can shop from home or get regular blow-outs. Teachers who look and feel snazzy will project vigor and liveliness in the classroom.
2. Get Classroom Management Working for You
Classroom management can be one of the trickiest parts of teaching. One style of discipline does not work for every teacher, but different administrations will have different expectations.
Maybe you need to start giving consequences for less serious behaviors so they don’t escalate. Or maybe you’re handing out detention slips too often. You may also want to look at improved engagement as a way to ward off continued discipline problems.
It can be difficult to ask for help for disciplinary issues from your colleagues or supervisors in some schools. If you need additional support, consider taking some online teaching courses on your own time.
Who knows? You could end up becoming a resource that other teachers turn to when they’re struggling.
3. Never Stop Learning
Beginning teachers have their hands full, and no one can blame them for becoming fully absorbed in their jobs. Creating interesting lesson plans, coming up with grading rubrics, and learning to relate to other teachers professionally can be overwhelming and exhausting.
There is a tendency, however, for teachers with a bit of experience to begin getting listless. The job can become routine, and it can feel as though you’re no longer moving forward.
Learning more about your subject area can keep your brain sharp and spark your enthusiasm for learning. You can also try developing skills in other areas, such as learning a new language or taking up an instrument.
Your students will be able to follow your example as a role model for life-long learning. And letting your supervisors know you’re taking courses you don’t need to take can let them know what a responsible, inspiring teacher you really are!
4. Use Tech to Your Advantage
In the age of COVID-19, teachers and substitutes with computer skills are highly in demand. But you don’t need to be an expert on all things technology to be effective. In fact, expertise in just a few programs can help you become more valuable and marketable.
You’ll need, of course, to be quite comfortable using at least one type of video conferencing to teach remotely when necessary. You may, however, find that other programs suit your purposes as well.
Do you like to create educational games that your class will love? Do your students love to make videos or slideshows? Do you have some creative, effective assessments that can be completed online?
You can start by using some simple programs that are user friendly. You may be surprised at how easy it is to assign a few simple “techy” projects! If you don’t even know where to start, ask some colleagues who you know have used programs that would be effective in your classroom.
After you’ve got a little experience, you can begin going deeper into programs or using similar ones to develop your knowledge. After a while, you’ll have an online repertoire that you can continue to build on year after year.
5. Give Yourself a Break
Teaching can be a challenging profession. We’ve all had students we could have been gentler with, critical colleagues, and lessons that could have gone better.
It’s important to maintain a growth mindset where you focus daily on what you’ve learned and how you can improve. As with every career you choose, it’s the individuals who are willing to make mistakes and learn from them, ending up being the strongest professionals.
How to Be a Better Teacher
Teaching is a busy professional full of tough days and immeasurable rewards. If you’re wondering how to be a better teacher, start by envisioning the type of teacher you’d be proud of becoming. You can use resources like classes, tech support, and self-care to be at your best every day.
Don’t stop getting smarter now. For more great adult educational resources, could you read our blog today?