If you want to become a teacher – or have a teaching job already – you often want to know how you can become better at your craft. After all, there are some phenomenal teachers out there.
In this post, we take a look at how the best teachers do it – the tricks they use to engage their students and help them achieve a high attainment level.
Keep A Positive Attitude
Your attitude towards a subject determines the degree to which students will enjoy it. If you’re thrilled about teaching a particular topic, your students will pick up on that and become fascinated by it too. The most engaging teachers give themselves to their subjects fully.
Know When To Praise Students
Becoming a better teacher also requires knowing when to lavish students with authentic praise. Students can often tell the difference between a teacher who is being sincere, and one who isn’t. Carefully crafted praise can lead to motivation which encourages students to get to grips with subject matter faster. But if praise becomes easy to acquire, it won’t mean as much.
Seek Out A Mentor
Some educators are fabulously talented. They’re able to take complex subject matter and turn it into something that anyone can understand. But it doesn’t happen automatically. Usually, these great teachers have a mentor that they go to regularly for conversations, advice and ideas on how to improve their skills.
Adapt To Student Needs
Great teachers go beyond the syllabus and course materials. If they see that students are struggling then they adapt their processes. They think of new ways to introduce concepts and explain things on the fly. They don’t move on until they can see that students have the mastery they need for the next phase of the course.
Provide Emotional Support
Teachers need to provide emotional support to students. Learning can be a challenging process for a young person. There’s a lot of pressure on them to succeed. But with a little encouragement, learning outcomes can improve dramatically.
Be Comfortable With The Unknown
Great educators know that they don’t know everything. In fact, they are very aware of the limitations of knowledge in their particular area. However, unlike most people, they are comfortable with their lack of knowledge. They don’t feel the need to give answers to every question if there isn’t one.
Work With All Levels Of Students
Teaching great students is often a joyful experience. But the real challenge is to find ways to educate everyone. Teach for America jobs, for instance, often place teachers where they are needed the most. These career opportunities are among the best ways to enhance your teaching skills and work alongside the best.
A student’s IQ isn’t the only predictor of their success. Their mental health, family life and level of engagement also matter. It’s critical, therefore, that teachers teach holistically. The best educators sense the emotional state of their students and adapt themselves accordingly. Learning subject matter doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s a broader process.
What other things do you think you need to do to become a great educator? Let me know in the comments below!