I love teaching. I think teaching is my calling and I know that many teachers feel the same. Over the years, I have collected effective philosophy and teaching tips and am happy to share some with you. In this last post in How to Be a Great Teacher, here are the tips from U to Z.
Use your space creatively rather than in the old fashioned way. A classroom needs to feel cozy and fun so that kids do not wait impatiently for the bell to ring so they can run away. Even if your classroom is small, be creative. You can make palaces out of any sized class. The students can feel like they are kings, queens, knights and princesses. You can tell whether you classroom decoration is good by the reaction of the kids from other rooms, by the fact that your students make sure their parents come to see it and by noticing that you need to encourage your students to go outside and play with their friends.
Values are important guidelines for living. Together with their parents, you need to help your students find those “signs” and follow them throughout life. The first step is to value yourself as a person. Then, as a teacher, you should value your kids with all their gifts, talents and disabilities until you teach them to value themselves and follow the things that are important to them.
Wisdom is not knowledge. It is taking the knowledge you have and combining it with experience. Knowledge does not last forever. If you do not use it, you lose it. By giving your students an opportunity to experience the impact of their knowledge, you can make it last longer. It will turn into wisdom last longer.
Experiences are very important. Happy and successful experiences are even more important. Make sure your kids have successful experiences because this is what builds confidence. Some people think that by presenting them with tough situations, it will make them stronger. Unfortunately, it does not work likes that. Instead, think, “What kind of challenges can I present to them that will make them succeed? This success is what will make them stronger”. Confidence is the sum of all success experiences.
Your job as a teacher includes developing your students’ emotional intelligence (EQ). This will help them manage their own emotions and help others with their emotions. To do this, make a list of emotional abilities you want your students to have. For every activity you present to them, check if you are developing one or more of these abilities. Stick to activities which combine more than one EQ ability. Examples of emotional abilities include: flexibility, resilience, determination, empathy, compassion, and courage.
Zoom out from your daily routine to reflect on your work. Fine tune and try different strategies to reach higher levels of successes. As teachers, looking at our work from a distance can give us a perspective we cannot see during day-to-day working. Imagine you are looking at someone else or use a supportive friend to help you step back and examine your work.
I hope you find some helpful and useful ideas here for your teaching. Try making your own A to Z beliefs about teaching.