Being a new teacher can be stressful and seem like fighting a battle on two fronts; handling the classroom and navigating as a school employee. When it comes to managing a classroom, most of what you will learn will be on the job. However, it is a smart idea to learn from the experienced faculty in the field.
As a new teacher, you must focus on what you bring to the classroom; your creativity, energy, and technological knowledge. Here is a list of ten tips on making things smoother for yourself and your students.
Renew your Intentions
Teachers can make a fairly comfortable living, but that should not be your only motivation. You have the power to inspire students and change their lives. Therefore, it is your responsibility to guide kids to reach their true potential and believe in themselves. Since a teacher has such an influential role, you need to make sure that you are going into this profession for the right reasons.
Get the Right Degree
Before becoming a professor, you need to acquire a degree program specializing in education to help you achieve your career goals. There are many online degree opportunities that can teach you how to be an effective teacher and link you to schools where you can gain the necessary experience.
Once you get your education degree and land a teaching job, map out your lessons before your first day with the students. Make sure the lessons are engaging and think of creative teaching methods, fun activities, and group activities.
Remember: bored students create trouble! If the lesson is poorly planned, there might be too much disturbance and talking. It is better to over-plan than to have a tedious lecture. It will take a lot of time, but it will be worth it. You can keep the lesson plan flexible and let the students decide how they would like to learn. This way, you can also get their feedback.
Network with your Colleagues
Nobody can empathize with you as much as your fellow teachers. So the next time you have free time, interact with your fellow teachers. Talk to them, ask questions, share ideas and strategies, and you might even end up making a friend at your workplace. Participate in school events and communicate with the faculty.
Practice Classroom Management Skills
It can get quite frustrating when dealing with a classroom full of kids. However, it makes or breaks your relationship with the students in moments like these. No matter how tempting it is, do not act out.
A no-brainer is to wait until the students are quiet and ready to listen before starting to talk. It always works! Slowly the students start cueing each other to get quiet, and your patience pays off.
Alternatively, flicking the lights on and off can also help you gain attention. Or the oldest trick in the back: clap thrice to get attention. You can also build a routine around it. For example, kids have to clap back twice. It can be a fun activity.
Set Clear Expectations
Keep reviewing your annual lesson plan and goals. You might need to tweak a few things according to the strengths and weaknesses of your students.
You must ensure you communicate with them the goals of your assignments. When the students have a clear direction to work on, they will perform better. This will also help them concentrate on the lesson and think conceptually about it.
Address Behavior Issues Wisely
Do not let misbehavior slide because you were trying to be the cool teacher. This will prolong the behavior and set a wrong tone for the future. Set the boundaries from day one. This is where your degree will come to use. It is time to apply all the conflict management skills you learned.
Make sure you never take sides or accuse one student. Always take a calm and neutral stance. This will also disarm and calm down the student who might be expecting you to get angry. Listen to each side of the story and mediate wisely. You can arrange for them to meet you after class if it is disrupting your lesson. Remember, the goal is to teach them how to manage conflict and help them reach a truce.
Incorporate Technology in your Lessons
Kids these days love cool technologies and are also quick at learning them. With these technologies, they can develop a versatile skill set that they will require in the future. Figure out a cool and interesting app to teach kids how to code, and it will instantly grab their attention. They will also retain this information for longer. And let’s admit that the technology will only advance and expand. So we better teach our students how to use technology wisely.
Organize field trips
Get the students out of the classroom and take them to museums, art galleries, sports events, plays, and other activities that will aid you in your teaching curriculum. It will expand their horizon and give them a fresh perspective. Kids have tons of energy, and when forced to sit for eight hours straight, they start feeling dull and lethargic. It hinders their performance. A day out can prove to be replenishing for them – and you as well!
Include the Parents
This is probably one of the toughest parts of the teaching job, but necessary. Some parents might already be hands-on, but you will only see some at the required meetings. Ensure you have an effective plan to manage the parents and their expectations while also keeping all of them on the same page. Keep in touch with them regularly on their child’s progress, not just when a discipline issue arises. Remember, the goal is the betterment of the student, and it cannot be achieved without engaging the parents.
No matter how much advice you read up on the internet or listen to from your peers, only the classroom experience will teach you the most. And if there is one thing we all must learn from them, it is to enjoy the highs just as much as the lows. Here is to hoping that you have a successful teaching career and that you can inspire students never to stop learning.