Many people are drawn to a career as a teacher because of how rewarding it can be. However, a lot of this reward comes down to how you approach your role as a teacher. There’s a big difference between getting the job done and truly making a difference to your students’ lives. Below are a few tips on how you can achieve the latter.
Take time to educate yourself
Being knowledgeable in your field is essential – it’s important that you’re constantly studying so that you’re as much of an expert as you can possibly be. Don’t just educate yourself in your field though. It could also be worth taking more general courses to improve your skills as a teacher. The likes of boundary training for schools and anti-bullying courses could help you to make your class a more healthy environment for all.
Be creative when planning lessons
In order to learn, kids need to be stimulated. If you rely on repetitive lesson plans, your students could start to get bored. While you may find some reliable formulae that are worth sticking to, it’s important to occasionally think outside the box and vary things up. Encouraging students to create presentations, playing educational games, trying some audial or visual learning, watching relevant videos, carrying out brainstorming sessions and even organizing school trips can help to make lessons more exciting and productive.
See the potential in every student
Certain students may seem more focused and competent at a subject, but that doesn’t mean you should focus all your attention on them. The best teachers are able to see the potential in every student. By making every student feel that they can achieve something, you can create an environment where everyone respects you and wants to learn. This involves making an effort to spend one-on-one time with every student.
Set rules and stick to them
Rules are necessary for maintaining order within your class. A big mistake that some teachers make is setting rules and then not sticking to them. Once you start going against your own rules, you’ll find it difficult to reintroduce them without backlash. It’s also important that you don’t make exceptions for certain people – if certain students can get away with things that others can’t, it will cause resentment from those students who are being treated more strictly and may encourage them to misbehave more out of spite.
Try to be fun and approachable
Students are more likely to share problems with teachers who are seen as fun and approachable. If you demand respect through fear or treat every lesson very seriously, you could find that students hide problems from you or feel uncomfortable talking about personal issues which could be important to their learning. Try to encourage students to be open about their feelings and personal lives and offer constructive criticism. Make sure that lessons are centred around the subject at hand, but don’t be afraid to address current topics and personal issues so that you come across more down-to-earth.