Establishing a good teaching philosophy and adopting useful tips from experienced teachers are essential tools for effective teaching. In this post, we continued with the letters L through T of How to Be a Great Teacher.
Love of learning is the ultimate teachers’ goals. Use any (positive) way you can think of to promote, advertise and support your students’ love of learning. If they love learning, regardless of what mark they get, you get an A in teaching. To evaluate yourself, ask the kids at the end of every year how much they enjoyed and loved learning with you.
Motivation is essential for learning. Although you are called a teacher, your main job is to motivate kids to learn. Think of yourself as a motivational speaker that gets the stage every day. Luckily for you, you can build a relationship with the audience. Motivated kids learn lots and are more successful.
Normality is flexible and changes over time. It is over rated and makes you chase the impossible. Do not be tempted to come up with a single definition of normality and one format of measuring it. Many kids deemed intellectually disabled based on their IQ turn out to be very gifted according to the theory of multiple intelligence. Theories and measurements change. Be flexible.
One size does not fit all. Not all students have having the same needs, skills and abilities. Each of them is unique and special in his/her own way. Never put them in the same category. Just because you have 30 other kids in your class is not an excuse for your inability to give them what they need.
Practice makes perfect. Do not expect kids to know everything after you explain it once. Some kids need to hear it 50 times, some may even need 100 times. Some need to see it, others need to hear it and some will need to try it over and over again. Give them opportunities to try things again and again until it becomes easy.
Quiet time is essential from time to time. Never use it as punishment but as a reward. Schedule some quiet time in the weekly schedule to mediate, to relax and just do fun things to allow the brain some rest.
Reading is probably one of the best learning tools. You would be a successful teacher if you instilled in your students a love of reading. Why? Because most of the information they will find in their lives will be through reading. Spend time in class to read, assign reading homework and reward them for reading.
Sports activities are essential for kids’ ability to learn and absorb new information. Make sure the kids are physically active every 45 minutes. Do not count on the sports teacher to cover that area. Make up some physical activities during class to make sure they move a lot.
Tests are for teachers, not for students. They are meant to help you measure your ability to teach, not the students’ ability to learn. Build the test to aim for 80% success – if the students understood what you taught, they will get at least 80%. If they do not get it, it might mean you did not teach the topic in a way that suited them. You may need to find alternative ways of teaching it.
Join me next week for the third part of How to Be a Great Teacher.
Until then, happy teaching,
This post is part of the series A-to-Z Guides: