Teaching is one of those career paths that we either think we can do for life, or it’s something we wouldn’t dare touch if we had a gun to our head! Anybody that’s got a passion to inspire the people of tomorrow must remember that teaching is the challenge to end all challenges, but if you want to become an amazing teacher, there are so many different strategies that you can use to increase your potential. Let’s show you some of the best ways to excel at being a teacher.
Be a Resource for Your Students
The best teachers are oracles of information. In order to achieve this, you can learn to be knowledgeable in your field of study. Naturally, having a lot of knowledge is crucial in being a successful teacher, but you can’t expect to know everything. However, the more you know, the easier it will be to teach your students.
One of the best things any beginner teacher can do is to have access to a wide variety of resources to stimulate their own learning. When you start to find the right resources, you can always be a steady guide for your students.
Additionally, you can also be a knowledgeable signpost to guide your students toward more suitable materials. You need to provide an abundance of relevant materials, whether it’s past papers, ebooks, online resources, as well as learning templates for students so they can utilize resources better.
A great teacher doesn’t just bombard students with assignments and homework, because it can cause burnout. Instead, you should provide them with a more relaxed approach to learning, with the best quality study materials and knowledge available.
Believe in Your Students
No doubt you’ve encountered teachers in your life that had given up the ghost a long time ago. They may have believed that the class wasn’t worth the effort, but the great teachers can recognize the potential in even the most unorthodox of students.
You should always have high expectations for your students, and this means that you will push them to their limits more. It sounds so simple, but believing in your students’ abilities is one of the most important teaching methods, in any environment. You have to remember that if you believe in someone’s potential, they will be more inclined to make an effort for you, but also for themselves.
This is why we’ve got to remember that failure is not something to be fearful of. When people fail, this is where we learn best. If you can motivate them to try again and work better, this is a strategy that doesn’t just benefit you, but also brings the children out of their comfort zones. Having the ability to pick themselves back up and dust themselves off is not just important in an academic setting, but in life as well.
Bring Fun to the Classroom
Students are going to be more comfortable in an environment where the teacher is more enthusiastic or humorous. As memorable as those serious teachers are, you never feel like you can do your best in those settings. More so, you tend to focus on their demeanor as a distraction.
The teachers that use enthusiasm and humor do it in a way to help children engage with a subject matter. An excellent example in popular culture is Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society. The character of John Keating was someone who was infinitely inspirational, and humorous, but also had the enthusiasm that instantly transferred to his students.
You have to think about how you carry yourself; if you are someone who is oh-so-serious, are students more inclined to approach you when they have problems either in their work or in their life? It’s highly unlikely.
We have to remember that tension is also an obstacle to learning. If you feel pressure, you’re not going to retain any information effectively, and you’re not going to apply it in other areas of your life. Learning how to be a more relaxed human being means you’ll be a more relaxed teacher, which means you will be a far more effective one. While there’s a lot of pressure faced by teachers in terms of academic goals, statistics, and inspections, these are things for you to worry about, not your students.
Think Outside the Box
How you teach is going to have an impact on how your students learn. Traditional schooling methods involve reading visual cues and memorizing by rote. The fact is that you need to have a variety of teaching styles to capture their attention, and this all begins by making every lesson an exciting one.
Children who have more fun in the classroom will learn effortlessly, but they will be more engaged, meaning they will be far more excited for the next lesson. It all depends on the subject you teach. Mathematics is not always an easy subject to engage with, but you can help your students absorb the material better beyond mere formulas and equations. Getting your students out of their seats is one way to help them learn the information better.
You can humanize the learning, which helps to stimulate kinaesthetic learning, which could be favored by some of your students. When we engage with subjects beyond staring at something, we are going to be far more capable of learning it, and more importantly, retaining it.
Teaching is not just about one type of approach, but it involves you applying a variety of methods to stimulate them. You could be unorthodox in your teachings, but if it gets results, it’s clearly working!
Show Empathy with Personal Problems
Students can feel overwhelmed and pressured because of an exam, or it may fall at completely the wrong time. They could have problems at home, or they may have been going through a personal crisis. A successful teacher does not just focus on academics, but they always take the time to listen to students and be a sensitive and caring individual.
Sometimes, you may find students having nowhere else to turn and so they may confide in you. Exams are not the be-all and end-all, but you may find yourself being approached by students or pupils because of things beyond the classroom.
You need to exercise due diligence and have a duty of care as part of your teaching role. This is why many teachers talk about it as a profession that takes over their lives, because, in many ways, it physically does.
Understanding When to Intervene
There’s academics, but there’s also conflict. This is something every teacher will learn as part of their training. Understanding the best practices if a fight breaks out in a class or if a child is being bullied is something that every teacher needs to get to grips with.
The best teachers will always build relationships with their pupils on a purely professional level, but it can be hard to not get emotionally invested if there is a child that is undergoing hardship or is being bullied. As a teacher, you cannot let your heart rule your head, because this is your job, and therefore you need to know how to escalate issues accordingly. It can be a very difficult thing to encounter when parents are coming to you for advice. This is another aspect of the role many people gravely underestimate.
It is a role that certainly encompasses a wide variety of disciplines. We need to be inspiring, but you’ll also need to be human. As far as your career path is concerned, if you really want to benefit humankind, teaching is one of the best ways to do it.