Being a teacher is probably the easiest and the hardest job in the world. Shaping the minds of the new generation is wonderful and inspiring, but it’s still difficult to stay on track with all the new developments and changes that influence the world of teaching. So, if you want to excel at your job, you have to work on developing your skills and your knowledge, so here are five tips on how to build a successful career in teaching.
Learn from your colleagues
Admitting that you’re not the best teacher in the world can be hard for some people, but it’s also a great way to actually make a positive change in your teaching practice. If you want to help your students reach their full potential, you have to be humble and realize you’re not perfect. What you can do is talk to your colleagues and learn from them: find out what methods they’re using, how they’re approaching their students, how they’re solving their problems and what ideas they have. After all, learning from other teachers makes a lot of sense in the long run too – you’re all in this together and face the same difficulties, so it’s only natural to rely on your colleagues.
Learn from your students
However, your fellow teachers aren’t the only people you can learn from. You can also become a much better teacher if you listen to your students and learn from them. They can tell you exactly what they do and don’t understand, and it’s going to be easier for you to improve your teaching if you’re 100% sure what to do. Your students can also point out some of your methodological mistakes as well, and if you’re not too stubborn to accept your flaws, you could become a much better teacher by listening to their feedback.
Focus on your language skills
No matter where you live and what you teach, you simply have to speak English – at least decently. This has become the standard for all teachers around the world, especially those who are thinking about teaching English as well. If you’re one of those people, you might want to consider finding a place where you can improve your own language skills first, and taking a look at the classes offered by Monkey Tree TESL might be the best thing to do. Perfecting your English skills will make you a better teacher, and taking a TESL course could show you just the way to do that, so take this idea into consideration as soon as possible.
Use modern technology
The world of technology is constantly changing, and this is particularly visible in the area of education – there are new teaching and learning aids being perfected all the time, so all you have to do is focus on the improvements you could actually use in class and start using them right away. From organizing your syllabus and checking the homework to discovering new teaching techniques, you can use your computers, smartphones and tablets more than you realize. Finally, you can communicate with your students this way as well and let them discover things online on their own, thus improving their knowledge and sparking their interest.
Don’t be a control freak
Keeping your students in check and encouraging them to be active during class is one thing, but being a control freak and not letting anyone talk while you’re talking is something completely different. And it’s something you should never do, no matter how much you’re trying to be tough on your students. Maintaining complete control over your classroom is practically impossible, so take it easy and stay relaxed. This way, your students will notice that you’re making an effort and appreciate it, and trying to influence them is much better than insisting on controlling everything.
Unfortunately, becoming a better teacher isn’t something that can happen overnight. It takes a lot of patience, practice and hard work, and you need to invest a considerable amount of time into finding ways that will make you more successful at what you do. But, if you manage to do so, both you and your students will be happier, so explore some of these ideas and start implementing them today!