How not to suck as a teacher!


I’ve been teaching for 14 or 15 years.  I really didn’t know what I wanted to do after school but ended up at college getting my teaching diploma in 1997.  I’ve been teaching since 1998, with various time-outs for travel and other interesting global adventures. Like most teachers, I have good days and bad days, good lessons and not so good ones.

Reasons that I think why I have always come back to teaching:

  1. I am qualified and able to get a teaching job relatively easily
  2. I’m a good teacher, good at what I do and I enjoy it!
  3. I’m never satisfied in my learning, I always want more – more knowledge, more growth

I hardly see myself as a veteran or some grand old educator forever to be remembered in the corridors of old school buildings, but I work hard and do my best, not just for my students, but also for my fellow colleagues and school. I have learnt (and continue to learn) many of my own lessons in my time in class. I want to share my own thoughts with you.

Here is my own personal list of the things that I think make a good teacher. You will see that some of them perhaps go against what your school or train of thought might dictate but remember that this is me, not you. Take what’s good and leave the rest. I’m not the perfect teacher and still have lots to learn but each day is fresh and you never know the dynamics coming your way.

My totally-not-professional-or-academic list of how not to suck as a teacher

Have a sense of humour

Sometimes you should have a plan, sometimes not

Sometimes you should be prepared, sometimes not

Be the teacher you always wanted as a student when you were in school

Sarcasm is ok, but not too much

Don't give answers, ask questions

Be the friend your students don't have

Be available

Show respect and earn respect, don't demand it

Your classroom is your kingdom, survey and conquer

Smile, make jokes and make your students laugh

Keep a positive disposition at all times when in front of your students

Be yourself as much as you can

Show your students that you are there for them and they are important to you

Know how to relate to your students

Stress will kill you

Don't take work home

 

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