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5 August 2011
Every day in education is filled with new challenges. Similarly,
everyone has their own methods for becoming a better teacher. The
following tips are the result of talking to teachers and finding
out how they succeed in education.
1. Be organised
A well-organised classroom is essential - but what happens in the
classroom is only one aspect of teaching. From lesson planning to
marking, the life of a teacher is multifaceted and hectic.
Thorough, effective organisation of time and tasks is perhaps the
most vital tip a teacher can take.
2. Engage in active learning
Teaching students is one thing - getting them to remember is
entirely another. That's why it's important to engage pupils
through active learning. Avoid 'chalk and talk'. Ban 'death by
PowerPoint'. Involve and challenge students in every lesson to
ensure that they've absorbed key information, and to help them
retain it after they leave the classroom.
3. Command the classroom
Capturing and keeping the attention of a full class for up to two
hours at a time can be a huge challenge. So it's important to stay
in control of the classroom - ensure students stay focused by
building respect, rewarding attention and managing
4. Build positive relationships
In the average school year, a teacher can work with hundreds of
students. A talent for matching names with faces is important.
Beyond that, try to develop a keen understanding of each student,
and so build a positive working relationships based on mutual
respect. They'll be more eager to learn and less disruptive in the
5. Be secure in your subject knowledge
The key role of the teacher is that of an expert: confident in
their subject knowledge. This can be challenging in itself, with
primary teachers needing broad knowledge, and secondary school
teachers requiring depth. Beyond the curriculum, it's important to
have a passion for a subject, and to develop further knowledge, to
ensure that students are getting the best education.
6. Continuously develop
Evaluating, reflecting and improving: teachers should be in
control of their own development. Formal procedures and training
are in place to develop careers, but a good tip is to have a clear
idea of ambitions, goals and how to get there.
7. Never stop learning
Everything comes down to experience. Never be afraid to ask for
advice from older, more experienced teachers - after all, a good
teacher should also be a good student.
8. Plan intelligently
Lesson plans are the building blocks of good learning. So smarter
planning in advance of a lesson goes a long way towards good
results. Similarly, effective planning should be intelligently done
- balancing pace with challenge to maximise student
9. Inspire and invest
Everyone remembers a good teacher - those who inspired them to
achieve more. What teacher wouldn't want to be remembered like
this? Combine smart planning, good student relationships and the
rest of these tips to inspire students to greater things. The more
time and effort invested into students' education, the better the
10. Love what you do
Finally, it's often said that teaching isn't just a job - it's a
calling. Teaching is a tough, challenging vocation. However, it can
also be hugely rewarding. By being passionate and committed to
teaching, the life of a teacher can be immensely fulfilling - and
can make a real difference to everyone.
Article by Matt Parker, education and private
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