Are you thinking of becoming a teacher? Or are you looking for ways to become more successful in your teaching career? Well, you should note that teaching is not that easy, but that doesn't mean it can't be fun. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to become a great teacher. Luckily, there are countless strategies you can use to increase your success as a teacher. Here are a dozen things successful teachers do.
1. Believe In Your Students' Potential
A teacher's success begins with the success of their students. Always have high expectations for your students. Believe in their potential to succeed and make sure you push them to their limits. Even when they fail, motivate them to try again and to work harder. This strategy helps you to pull them out of their comfort zones so that they can pursue success knowing that you are there to pick them up each time they fail.
2. Learn Everything You Can About Your Field
Being very knowledgeable in your field of study is also a crucial stepping stone towards a successful teaching career. It's true that even the most successful teachers don't know everything, but the more you know, the easier it will be to teach your students and to offer them prompt answers to their questions. Learning never stops, and that's why, as a teacher, you need to feed your mind with as much information as it can take in. Remember that students always prefer consulting teachers who are known to possess in-depth knowledge about a specific field. Knowledge indicates authenticity.
3. Be Fun and Energetic
Did you know that most students are more comfortable sharing their academic problems with humorous and enthusiastic teachers rather than the grumpy and "ever-serious" ones? Yes! The way you carry yourself greatly determines your approachability. Therefore, make it a point of smiling each time you converse with your students, crack a joke or two and so on. This helps to ease any tension or fear that the students may be feeling when approaching you for help.
4. Take Risks
They say, "No Risk, No Reward!" Taking risks plays a crucial part in a person's success. Remember that you students watch and observe all your moves. Therefore, if you take risks by trying new things every once in a while, they'll also be confident enough do the same. This pushes them to burst out of their bubbles, exploring the unknown which eventually nurtures their risk taking skills and eventual success.
5. Be Creative and Think Outside The Box
The strategies you use to pass on information to your students need to be creative in a way that captures the attention of your classroom. Strive to make each learning lesson a thrilling one for your students. This not only makes their learning experience fun but also ensures that they are fully engaged during each class and always eager for the next one.
6. Be Consistent and Decisive
To be successful at teaching, you need to be coherent and resolute. If you say something, stick to it! If you say you are going to do something, make sure you see it through! If you set rules, stand firmly by them! Avoid making exceptions or playing favorites.
7. Always be Up-To-Date
A successful teacher knows how important it is to be abreast with the latest news, educational advancements, technology and so on. Sharing this information with your students helps you to keep them updated too which, in turn, adds value to learning experience. It also pushes them to research and learn more about things that happen beyond the confines of their classroom. They might also do more outside of the classroom, boosting knowledge instead of forgetting (e.g. see summer learning loss).
Communication is a powerful learning tool. Whether it's with a student or with their parent, dialog helps you to pass critical information and recommendations that may be crucial to the student's success.
9. Listen and Show Empathy About Personal Issues
Failing an exam does not always mean that the student failed to read for it. Sometimes, it may be due to external factors. That's why successful teachers always take their time to listen and to advise their students. Always treat them as if they are your own kids. That way they'll always confide in you in case something is deterring their success in class.
10. Provide Relevant Study Materials
This may be in the form of e-books, online resources, past papers, videos and so on – anything and everything that may be useful for their studies. Avoid overloading them with homework and assignments because it may exhaust their minds hence slowing their learning.
11. Be Observant
To be successful at teaching, you need to observe all your students individually separating their strengths from their weaknesses. This will help you to tailor strategies aimed at helping them to harness their strengths and to overcome their weaknesses.
12. Set SMART Goals With Your Students
As mentioned above, a teacher's success is mostly determined by the success of their students. Therefore, you need to set goals and objectives with your students. After that, work with them towards achieving these goals together as a team.