Teaching is one of the most important professions in today’s society. As a teacher, you will shape the minds of others and encourage them to think independently. To become a good teacher, it’s important to be organized. Create lesson plans, objectives, activities, and assessment plans well before each class day. Get your students interested in learning by fostering a positive, supportive, yet challenging classroom environment. Seek out other teachers for assistance, too.Create a daily objective for your students.
This is your way of providing a roadmap for your students, It shows them that you’ve put thought into the day’s work and you know where it is heading. It’s best if the objectives are clear, brief, and realistic. As each objective is completed, remind your students of what they’ve accomplished together.
Listen to your students.
- For example, in a high school literature class, an objective might be to complete a close reading of a particular poem by the end of the period.
- Some teachers find it helpful to post that day’s objectives on the board.
- It’s okay if not every objective is met every day. In some cases it's better to follow the flow of a particular conversation, instead of railroading back to the original subject matter.
Ask them open-ended questions after they’ve made a statement. Encourage them to ask you questions as well. Show that you are listening to them by nodding your head or gesturing for them to continue. Give them eye contact while they are speaking and try your best not to interrupt, unless you must redirect the conversation.
Keep students on task.
- Being an active listener shows your students that you respect their voice in the classroom. They will be more likely to give you respect as a teacher in return.
- It’s also a good idea to model for your students how to respectfully listen to someone while disagreeing with them. You might say, “I’m not sure I agree with what you are saying, can you tell me more? Or, does anyone else want to jump in?”
Set time limits for classroom exercises or activities. In discussions, use your responses to their remarks as a classroom management tool. For example, you might say, “I really like what you are saying. How do you think it connects with objective number five?”Push your students to succeed.
Try to create an environment in which your students will be constantly intellectually challenged. Let them know that it is okay to fail on occasion. You want to strike a balance between setting too high of goals for them and being a push-over. Use your students’ progress to guide your way. They should be steadily improving, but not without considerable effort.
- For example, you might give a short, advanced-level reading assignment to high school students and ask them to use a dictionary to look up unfamiliar words. If used sparingly, this is a great way to challenge students to expand their vocabulary.