Most teachers are naturally passionate about their work and love to inspire others. Even if you fall in that camp, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re the most effective teacher you can be. If you want to improve your skills in the classroom and give your students the best possible educational experience they can have, here are some tips you can put into practice.
11 ways to become a more effective teacher
1. Enjoy your work
Teaching should be a rewarding and enjoyable career path. While it may be exhausting and demanding, it’s really only a job for those who love children and want them to succeed. If you’re having no fun in the classroom, how can your students have fun in their learning experience? Teachers who simply read instructions from a book will never be effective. The key is to make every lesson come to life through engaging and interactive strategies. Allow your love of your work to shine through every day, and your students will pick up on your enthusiasm and love to learn, too.
2. Make a difference
Teachers have some major responsibilities. Arguably the most important of those is to make a difference in the lives of your students by making them feel safe and welcome whenever they’re in your classroom. As a teacher, you must be a positive influence on your students. Your students may have been through a tough time before arriving in school, or they may be returning to a challenging home environment when the school bell rings at the end of the day. It’s your role as a teacher to give them the support they may be lacking in their lives.
3. Spread positivity
An effective teacher must be able to bring positive energy to the classroom each day no matter what they’re going through in life. Leave your problems behind from the moment you set foot through the classroom door. Your students don’t deserve to have your frustrations taken out on them. Even if you’re tired, stressed, or frustrated, it’s important to put your professional mask on and find a way to remain positive even if you have no reason to be. Positive energy spreads easily, so don’t allow the negativity of others to bring you down, too.
4. Get personal
One of the most important and fun elements of being the most effective teacher you can be is getting to know your students and their interests. This can allow you to find the best way to connect and engage with them. Sharing your own interests and passions with your class is also important to show them that teachers are human just like them. You should also determine each student’s learning style so you’re better able to deliver lessons that suit each child’s personal needs.
Another important part of being an effective teacher is getting to know your students’ parents. Talking to parents isn’t a chore, rather view it as an honor. At the start of each school year, ensure your students’ parents know they can talk to you about any issues they may have at any time.
Finally, you should also work hard to learn more about your teaching colleagues and their lives. If you’re able to build up a strong network of support both inside and outside school, you’ll be happier and more effective at your job.
5. Give it your all
Whether writing your class report cards, supporting a colleague, or delivering lesson content, you should always give 100% of your effort. You shouldn’t do your job just because you feel obliged to. You should do it because you love teaching. Give it your all so you can inspire others, help them to grow as individuals, and allow them to benefit from the subjects you teach. Do so not just for your students and their parents but also for yourself. No matter how tough the going gets, never give up. Always try as hard as you can, and remember that that’s all you or anyone else can do.
6. Stay organized
There are a lot of pressures in the modern classroom, so it’s important to never get behind with grading students’ work. Stay on top of your workload as much as possible, and you’ll save time in the end. Keep an up-to-date calendar and make sure you plan ahead. If you make lesson plans at the last minute, chances are that they won’t be very effective. Make sure to plan every lesson in plenty of time so you can be well prepared.
7. Be open minded
Every teacher will be evaluated at some point, whether informally or formally. You should keep an open mind and be receptive to constructive criticism from your principal, colleagues, students’ parents, and even the students themselves. Don’t feel bitter if somebody questions your teaching. Instead, consider whether they may be right and if there are reasonable steps you could take to improve your teaching practices.
Remember that no teacher will ever be perfect — everyone can make some improvements to their teaching style. Others have a more objective viewpoint and can sometimes spot what you’ve failed to see yourself.
8. Have standards
Teachers need to create standards not only for their students but also for themselves. Your students need to have a clear understanding of what is going to be acceptable in your classroom and what isn’t. Remind your students how work should be completed. But remember that you need to practice what you preach. If your work is sloppy, messy, or late, what message will you be sending your students?
9. Find inspiration
Effective teachers are creative, but they don’t need to make everything themselves! Don’t reinvent the wheel. Instead, take inspiration from existing sources, including books, blogs, Facebook, YouTube, or even Pinterest.
You can also take a look at Classcraft’s community forum for inspiration and to see how other teachers are using the platform in their day-to-day work.
10. Embrace change
Not everything in life will go according to plan. When you’re a teacher, this is especially the case. That’s why it’s so important to be flexible and adapt to change as it occurs. Effective teachers don’t complain when something unexpected happens in the classroom or in their work. If a new principal is appointed, classrooms are switched around, or there are timetable changes, an effective teacher will embrace the change and overcome obstacles.
11. Engage in self-reflection
Effective teachers reflect on their own teaching. This practice allows you to grow as a professional. After every lesson, consider what you did well and what you’d do differently if you were to teach the same lesson again.
Every teacher has a lesson that occasionally flops. Don’t take it to heart. Instead, learn from your mistakes. Teachers are still learning, and their education is ongoing. There will always be more to know and learn to strengthen and improve your teaching abilities. Continue reflecting on your practice and identifying any weaknesses you may have. If you can recognize them and work to improve them, your teaching abilities will grow and develop.
Nothing is more important than your love of teaching
These are just some of the ways you can become a more effective teacher. You can always find something positive in every situation. Your love and passion for teaching is the most important thing, and it will carry you through every situation.
Photo: Google Edu