Today I had an opportunity to come back to my alma mater Springfield College and talk with a few education classes. The discussion focused around “ways I think you can become a truly effective teacher”. I had an hour between sessions and wanted to share some of the strategies and discussion here on my blog.
Identify your big WHY. How will you impact your students is how you should plan all learning experiences? Always reflect on “Why are students doing this” This involves everything from what you physically do in the classroom to how you structure your instruction.
Be Patient, caring, and kind: Personality characteristics related to being a compassionate person and having a sensitivity to student differences, particularly with learners is critical for making connections with learners. Students learn just as much for a teacher then from a teacher. Teacher dispositions are strongly related to student learning and development. Teachers need to be able to build trusting relationships with students to create a safe, positive, and productive learning environment
Make sure to be passionate about what you are teaching: Many teachers enter the field of teaching because they love it. Not only do they love teaching others, but the subject material they teach thrills them. Turning even just one student onto a topic is not easy, and getting an entire class passionate is a true challenge. But with the right enthusiastic atmosphere, students might just realize that learning can be REALLY cool.
Design learning experiences NOT lessons: Teachers should be able to engage and motivate students to learn not just cover a lesson plan. Making content interesting and the ability to motivate students to learn through relevant learning experiences will get learners to deeper learning.
Never stop learning: Good teachers find time in their schedule to learn themselves. Not only does it help bolster knowledge in a certain subject matter, it also puts teachers in the position of student. This gives you a perspective about the learning process that you can easily forget when you’re always in teaching mode.
Put yourself in the learner’s shoes: Bottom line, would you want to be a student in your class?
Encourage Learning and Mistakes: Successful teachers know that risk-taking is a part of being successful. Children learn by observing and taking risks, and when they see you try new things they will be empowered to take risks in learning and collaborating too.
Have Fun: Making learning fun doesn’t mean you have to put on a comedy show. Find ways to mix up your plans based upon your students’ interests. When they see you putting in effort to get to know them and mold your teachings around their lives, the more successful you will become. I mean who doesn’t want to have fun and creating a fun classroom culture will create an environment students want to be a part of.
Increase Classroom Discussion: I have said this a lot lately – “students don’t come to school to watch teachers work.” Teachers should frequently step offstage and facilitate class discussion. This allows students to learn from each other and develop active learners. It’s also a great opportunity for teachers to formatively how well students are grasping new content and concepts. Effective teachers ask lots of questions. They ask their students to explain how they got their answers. In a recent study, one group of teachers was asked to teach new material by asking questions and discussing.
Implementing Movement into All Lessons: Students should not be sitting still for full lessons. As a principal I have seen the positive impact of incorporating movement to keep children engaged longer. Effective teachers get their students up and moving and learning by making sure that every lesson has some sort of way students can move their bodies. From rotating learning stations to brain breaks that require students to do yoga poses, educators know that the more their students move, the longer they will stay engaged in their lesson.
Effective teachers display certain characteristics, and above are some of the things I have seen effective teachers do that I shared in class today. I feel students are affected by the quality of their teachers. Not only do they interact with teachers every day in the classroom, but the quality of that interaction matters for our students’ learning. Working with these SC students makes me feel I am impacting learners in the future.
These SC students today were truly passionate about teaching. I left them with a challenge
Be the teacher who:
- wants to be an inspiration to others
- who is happy with his/her job at all times
- every child in the school would love to have
- kids remember for the rest of their lives.
Are you that teacher? Share some of your tips on how to be that teacher in the comments or on twitter @MatthewXJoseph
Now off to East Campus for my Alumni meeting