If you are passionate about teaching and want to pass on as much knowledge and skills to your students, you may want to look at ways of becoming an effective teacher. Knowledge and basic training as a teacher may not be enough to give you a solid foundation. In this article, we will share some tips on how to be a highly effective teacher, so read on.
9 Tips on How to Be a Highly Effective Teacher
1. Plan your lessons well.
Lessons need to be interesting and grab the attention of your class. Try and teach in a way that the students can relate to. Use their background knowledge to expand their minds, introduce new information, and build a deeper level of understanding. If they enjoy your classes and teaching methods, they are more likely to be willing to learn and take risks. You can also look at adding in aspects such as multimedia to allow students to absorb information through auditory and visual means. If there is a way to allow them to use their sense of touch, such as practical experiments, this can also help them learn better. The more interactive the lesson, the more students will build their own understanding. Teachers should plan to be the facilitator of learning rather than the “All-giver of knowledge”.
2. Have a sense of humor.
Learning can be more fun if you can interact with your students and have a laugh together. Smile more and it may make a big difference to your teaching style. When you develop a rapport with students, they will trust you and be more involved in your lessons. Of course, we should always maintain a professional relationship with our students and be friendly rather than friends. However, this does not mean that we can’t have fun. After all, learning should be fun!
3. Show respect and get respect.
Your students need to feel valued and appreciated and need to know that you care. You can try getting involved in activities they enjoy such as extramural activities and sports to show that their interests are also important to you. Praise your students and offer criticism in a constructive way. Let them know you value them and the efforts they put in. Use their time wisely. Plan lessons ad activities that value students’ time and attention. Assigning mundane busy work is the fastest way to lose the respect of students. Students will go the extra mile for teachers they respect.
Allow your students to talk to you and offer input; it may change your way of thinking. Classes should consist of a lot of dialogue and very little monologue. Communicate with parents and other interested parties regularly to discuss ways of helping students improve and grow. Try and keep these meetings positive and with a good outcome in mind. If you have a webpage for your class, use it. Provide information that is relevant and interesting to parents. You can utilize other available technology to communicate with parents as well.
5. Reduce distractions.
Keep your own workspace and your classroom as uncluttered and clean as possible. There are many opportunities to purchase visually appealing things for your walls, but be very careful to ensure that anything you place on your walls has an academic focus that students actually use. This helps prevent distractions and helps promote an organized feel to your classroom. When your classroom is clutter-free, students feel that you are in control and on top of things.
6. Be confident.
Your students will respect your outward displays of confidence. Your body language, decision making, and way of speaking should exude confidence. Students generally show a lot more respect for confident teachers.
7. Have a clear discipline policy.
Discuss the policies available to you with your administration so that you can ensure you are given support if required. Make sure you have a clear policy already planned so that you can handle any situations that may arise in the classroom and deal with them effectively. Check out our blog for information on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
8. Improve yourself.
Knowledge is important, not just to help you be more effective but to help you grow as well. Attend seminars and conferences where possible, take courses, read books, take part in webinars, talk to other educators and take in what you learn so that you can apply it effectively in your own classroom. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice from your fellow teachers, this is often the best way to learn.
9. Have an open door policy.
Set a time which is convenient for you when students can approach you outside of the regularly scheduled lessons. This time can be for students to ask questions, interact with you one-on-one, clarify work they are unsure of, or discuss any other issues they may be having. This can also be used to get some feedback from your students when they are not afraid of being ridiculed by their peers.
There are many other factors that can be considered on how to be a highly effective teacher, but most experts agree that learning is key. Learn from other educators, learn from your students and even their parents, and that will stand you in good stead to become more effective in your teaching methods.
INcompassing Education provides on-site professional development for teachers, off-site PD through seminars and workshops, and online PD for educators all over the world through our Lounge and Learn training materials. We have a webinar series that discusses mental health topics for schools and parents. If you have any questions, you can send us a message through our contact page.