Teaching is one of those rewarding careers that actually come with a manual. Unfortunately, there is no way to use it to help guide you through every situation. If you are a first-tear teacher, the entire concept may seem quite overwhelming to you.
The teaching tips offered here will help you cope when it seems like there is no way you will survive.
While it is a good idea to listen to teachers that are more seasoned than you in order to get valuable teaching tips, you have to make them your own. What works for one person is not guaranteed to be golden for another. The idea is to take concepts from several people, place your own spin on things and use this to create your own unique teaching style. Sometimes it takes years to perfect this, but you should start laying the groundwork right away.
You are the Leader
Never forget that you are the one in charge. Sometimes you are put in charge of a group of students that may not be much younger than you are. This is no excuse for you to become intimidated and/or try to be their friend. You can forge a good relationship with them while making it clear that you are the one that is in top command. This is not to say you have to rule your classroom with an iron fist, but you have to be assertive about your role.
Even if you are the most fashionable person outside of school, you should definitely tone it down for work. It will not be easy to convince anyone to listen to you when you are dressed like one of their favorite pop stars. Also, this sometimes leads to students attempting to cross lines that should never be crossed. Be modest, neat and some what boring and save the chic items for after the day is done.
Watch others teach to get a good idea of how things should be done. When you have a free period, ask another teacher if you can sit in their classrooms to observe. Don’t worry about seeming like a burden; many teachers will be flattered that you want to look at them as an example. You can look at their methods of teaching to determine what areas you can improve in. Again, don’t copy them outright; use what you have learned to help you create your own style.
Build Relationships with Staff
Make sure that you get in good with the custodian. This is one of those teaching tips that no one will tell you. At the end of the day, try your best to tidy up the room a bit. The custodian will notice this as he does his rounds every evening. If you ever need anything from him, he will remember this and be there to assist right away.
Find Affordable School Supplies
Do not believe that you have to go to teacher supply stores in order to buy the things you need. These stores were created for people who have all of the money in the world. You will be a lot better off if you go to a dollar store and/or a department store to get all of the things you need. While some things are lower quality when they are bought for cheaper, most school supplies are just as good regardless of the price.
Learn from Mistakes
You will make mistakes during your first year of teaching, so don’t beat yourself up about it. No one is perfect, and trying to be will only make you miserable. As the beginning of the article noted, there is more to teaching than what you can learn in a manual. There is going to be a lot of trial and even more error and you have to accept that. Of course there is a chance that you will step into the teaching arena and be perfect right away, but this is just as likely as seeing a unicorn or a leprechaun.
Even though you are in charge, you have to respect the students. There is no way that you can earn the respect you deserve if you are not willing to offer it to others. Students are people too, and the sooner you recognize that, the better off you will be. You should not take your frustrations out on them, you have to praise them for work that is done well and offer encouragement when things are not looking too well. Belittling them half of the time and ignoring them the other half is an easy way to make enemies of them, and you don’t want that.
Trust Your Ability to Teach
Have confidence in your ability to teach and your students will learn better. This may sound like a bunch of hooey, but it is most certainly the truth. How do you expect someone to retain the information you are giving them if it sounds like you are not sure that it is true? Being assertive and putting on your brave face will help people trust that you know what you are saying. As you should know by now, it is much easier to learn from someone whom you trust.
Don’t Underestimate the Importance of Review
Review. Review. Review. Yes, this has to be repeated three times. This was to emphasize the importance of it. Every day at the end of class, do a review by asking a few questions. Try calling on students who seem like they may not know the answers. When they struggle, have their classmates give them the help that they need. This is a lot more effective than continuously calling on the class know-it-all since you can be pretty sure they are getting everything you say.
Teaching is one of the most underrated professions today. Without them, where would everyone be? It is time for you to get out there and show the world why teachers should be well-respected and revered. Even if you fall down a few times while learning the ropes, use all the information provided here to help you get back up and try again.