Are you looking to become a better teacher? It is always a positive sign when a teacher is looking to improve their abilities as it shows a commitment and passion for their role. Teaching is one of the most rewarding and noble professions that there is, but it is also one of the most challenging, and it can certainly be a role that is hard to succeed in (especially in the early stages of your career). So, if you are looking to become an effective teacher, then read on for a few tips which should come in useful and help you to develop your abilities.
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Tips on How To Become A Better Teacher
1. Try To Identify What Your Weaknesses Are
First, you should try to identify what is holding you back as a teacher. A teacher is also a learner, so there is nothing wrong with it. This might be obvious, such as your entire class struggling or you struggle with presenting, or it might be something more subtle such as you find it hard to connect with students individually. Once you are aware of any weaknesses that you might have, you can then get to work improving on these areas and progress on your professional development. That let you took another step in your career, and you can cover any weakness you have.
2. Ask For Feedback
It can be challenging and confronting, but asking for feedback is one of the most effective ways to identify areas that you could process yourself and improve (as well as areas that you are succeeding in). Obviously, students will not want to upset you, so you should use anonymous surveys as well as ask another experienced teacher to observe your lessons and provide their own feedback for your professional development.
3. Find A Mentor
Following this, it is a smart idea to find a mentor if you are in the early stages of your career and let yourself become a learner. Having someone that is experienced in the classroom can be useful in terms of providing advice and tips as well as support and guidance. The key is to find the kind of teacher that you want to become to emulate and then to build a solid relationship with them.
4. Make Lessons Fun But Command Respect
Students are much more likely to engage with the content if it is enjoyable. Your teaching style must have some fun also; the information you’re passing down to the students needs to be absorbed by them. This means that you should have some fun in the classroom and try to create a positive atmosphere with your teaching skills, but it is also vital that students do not overstep the mark, and you need to command respect. This is achieved by respecting the pupils themselves but also laying out clear expectations and being able to discipline pupils when these expectations are broken or not met.
5. Stay Current
As a teacher, you also need to stay current so that you can make sure your lessons are relevant and as engaging as possible. This will include staying up to date in terms of teaching trends like online courses, tools, technologies, and practices & activities, which you can do by reading publications, attending events, learn to use tools and techs, and researching online (blogs and podcasts can be particularly helpful) but also studying up to date with youth culture. Obviously, you want to avoid being that teacher that tries hard to be cool, but staying current will help you to make stronger connections with your pupils and get a better understanding of them.
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6. Earn An MA
Qualifications are also a smart way to improve your abilities as a teacher and provide you with the ability to progress your career. An MA education degree will include theory, research policy, and practice in the field of education, which will equip you with all of the skills and knowledge that you need to excel as an educator and could also help to prepare you for a role in leadership in education if you wish to follow this path and for the professional development progression. Additionally, you can earn the MA education degree online, which will make it much easier to fit into your schedule and let you start implementing what you learn straight away.
7. Be More Observational
The great teachers are the ones who are observational and will be able to tell when a student is struggling either in the classroom or perhaps with something else that you could help them with. Every pupil and their learning style will be different, and it is important to have relationships and understanding with every pupil so that you can tailor your approach and offer support when someone is having any kind of problem and help them process forward.
8. Make Yourself Available
Leading on from this, you also need to make it easy for your pupils to come to you if they are struggling. If you dash out of the classroom or are always rushing around the school, then it might be hard for a struggling pupil to get your attention, which is why you need to make yourself approachable and inform pupils of the best way to contact you if they are struggling whether this is an email or approaching you after class, you need to help them with all your teaching experience.
9. Improve Your Lesson Plans
Lesson planning needs to become a key area of focus if you want to become a better teacher. The best educators will spend a lot of time on their lesson plans and fresh ideas. So that every lesson is valuable and beneficial for the students; plus, this will give you confidence in the classroom. Obviously, it would be best if you had some flexibility, and things will not always go exactly to plan, but having a plan in place is important so that you can clearly outline what each lesson needs to achieve; your professional development depends upon that.
10. Make Use Of Your Time Off
As with any challenging and demanding job, you need to make sure that you really make the most of your time off so that you can relax, unwind, and look after your mental health. This is more challenging with teaching despite having shorter hours and several minutes because you often have to do a lot of work at home, including both lesson planning and marking. The key is to set a schedule for this and then to find ways to enjoy your free time. This might include hobbies, chilling out at home, exercise, and catching up with friends and family.
These tips should help grow yourself into a better teacher – which will help you get more from your job, impress your superiors, and help your pus find success.