12 Things Successful Teachers Do

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. You can also do more with technology, such as doing online lessons and creating exciting technology-based activities.

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

Teacher laughing with kids

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.

Make 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. Your 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

Teacher with ideas

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. In turn, this adds value to the learning experience.

Sharing new knowledge also pushes students to research and learn more about things that happen beyond the confines of their classroom. They might also do more outside of school hours, boosting knowledge instead of forgetting (e.g. see summer learning loss).

8. Communicate

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 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.

13 thoughts on “12 Things Successful Teachers Do

  1. Building a relationship with your students is so vital. Believing in their potential, being empathetic to their needs, and setting achievable goals is something every teacher should constantly do. Educators can absorb new knowledge and integrate it into their classroom, but it will be useless if the students are unwilling to receive it. A passion for both enhancing your craft and caring for your students is the combination needed to be a successful teacher.

  2. Being a good and great teacher requires patience, passion and, above all, understanding your student’s weakness and strength… and working toward achieving the goals of education

  3. This blog reinforced my belief that teaching is a job that requires you to set goals for yourself and your students. You need to build a lesson plan that recognizes your students’ strong points and weak points (as well as your own), but recognizes how both sets of points can lead to growth. This could be the acquisition of new knowledge, new skills, or something unexpected.

  4. I like this list and I recognize things I’ve seen in good teachers around me. Several of these 12 things have to do with a teacher being proactive rather than reactive. Learning everything about your field shows you’re not phoning it in. After all, what subject is so static that nothing changes from the time you studied it in college until teaching?

    1. I liked your point about this article highlighting being proactive rather than reactive. The best teachers I’ve ever had were constantly evolving and experimenting with new ways of teaching. Having two older siblings in education and hoping to go into the teaching profession myself one day, I have seen firsthand how much learning one must do to be an effective educator.

  5. Teaching is all about communicating. I had some excellent teachers who really knew their craft but they lacked personal skills which made them unable to make us fully engage with their class. Being able to communicate with your student, regardless of their age, is key.

    1. I completely agree with you, Mary. A person can be super knowledgable about pedagogy but will never have the ability to be effective with their students if their soft skills are not developed. I have seen so many teachers fall into this, and is definetly something to keep in mind while teaching.

  6. I am a teacher and I have about 25 years of experience in education. Teaching is not a profession, it is a passion.

    1. Sadly, that is not always true. I’m sure you’ve seen some teachers who “phone it in” and do the bare minimum. Thanks to all the teachers who are passionate about their calling.

  7. Teaching is a novel profession. My own mother is a college Professor. According to her it gives a great feel of self satisfaction to a teacher when they see their students achieve in life. Of course being a teacher is not everyone’s cup of tea because it takes a lot of patience and hard work to become a great teacher.

  8. It all starts with believing in your students. You need to see where they can shine and let them know it. You need to push them to be better and tell them how great they can be. Why? Because most of them don’t see it themselves. They don’t think they can ever be great at anything. They lack self confidence.

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