Competence, persistence, time management, resoluteness, empathy, creativity, effective communication – these are just part of the qualities successful teachers have. Qualities which are not easy to develop but will certainly define you as a professional in your field of teaching. Luckily for you, all of these qualities can be acquired if you work hard on developing specific habits in your teaching career.
Today, we will talk about the top habits successful teachers have formed which made them the professionals they are. Certainly, the process of forming new habits takes time, motivation and devotion but in the end, the cause is definitely worth it. How to be one of the successful teachers out there? Let’s find out!
You would probably like to learn about Classrooms of the Future, as well.
Habit #1: A constant and active studying in your field of teaching.
A teacher may know a lot of their subject but a successful teacher knows they can never really know a subject fully. There is always something new to learn!
In order to be a professional in your own field of teaching, the first habit to acquire in your journey of becoming a successful teacher is to build the habit of constant learning and self-improvement in this particular field. Active learning will give you elaborate preparation and high confidence not only in the classroom when you have to answer the questions of your students but among your colleagues and other professionals in the field, too.
- Actively search for new information, breakthroughs, and innovation in the subject you are teaching. This could happen in-between your classes or during the weekend if you are on a tight schedule. Simply be curious and look for opportunities to learn something new.
- Visit seminars and educational events that will help you enrich your knowledge and master your skills.
- Establish connections with other professionals in the field. Collaboration with other teachers will give you new perspectives and fresh ideas.
- Challenge yourself with risky projects that will provoke your critical thinking and hone your skills to make risky decisions.
Habit #2: Welcome innovations and adapt to changes.
Neither the generations, nor the environment we live in is ever the same. The world is evolving and so is teaching. Another habit which successful teachers form is to always strive to adapt to changes, welcome novations, new ideas, and foster modernization.
Transitions to new methods of teaching are happening whether you accept it or not. More than ever, technology is taking over the classrooms and successful teachers don’t fight it. Right on the contrary, they embrace changes and understand that these new methods of teaching engage the new generation of students more.
- Actively learn about novations in teaching and use them in your teaching. You’ll be surprised (or not) how well students will respond to new ideas and how much their engagement will raise.
- Introduce technology in the classroom and make it an active part of your teaching methods. The world is becoming technological. Even if you aren’t fond of this process much, your students are. Technology in the classroom will definitely make studying more fun.
- Grow to love technology. Your students will appreciate your efforts. Video games, interactive smart boards, virtual and augmented reality technologies and more innovations in education will soon enter the classrooms, so you’d better enjoy it.
Habit #3: Foster an effective two-way communication.
In order to build a successful teaching career, you need to learn how to communicate effectively. This means not only give tasks and instructions but also listen to your students actively. Effective two-way communication will allow you to identify the needs and weak spots of each student and then focus your efforts on these particular areas. The quality of being able to approach each student individually will become more and more valuable in the future.
Communication with parents is also vital. Thanks to technology, it will become easier, too. Nowadays, there are many platforms that act as education-based social media networks. Such platforms (Google Classroom, Edmodo, Schoology, etc.) are focused on communication and transparency between teachers, student, and parents.
- Encourage communication with students by asking for feedback. This will help you understand their needs, identify their weak spots and know what to focus on.
- Approach students individually. This approach may take more time but it makes the whole teaching way more effective.
- Know what to take into consideration. It’s important to listen to your students but it is even more important to sift out the information you receive.
- Use all forms of communication. Person-to-person communication is vital for teaching but using online education networks in our technology-driven world will help you reach to your students even more.
- Encourage parents to participate actively in online education platforms. This will keep them involved in the education of their kids and informed of how they are performing at school.
Habit #4: Be organized, consistent, and adaptable in your teaching plan.
Successful teachers set clear and achievable teaching goals. On the one hand, they have to follow the educational plan and requirements set by the education system. On the other hand, they have to take into consideration many variables like individual student needs, unexpected vacations, diversified class activities to keep the students’ interest high, and more. In other words, successful teachers are great at organizing and planning but they should also learn how to react quickly and adapt their teaching methods along the way.
Successful teachers are also consistent. This doesn’t mean they aren’t open to new ideas. It means they keep their word, follow the class rules they have inforced, stay focused on their goals and follow their plan to achieve them, have set the same requirements and expectations for all students without exception, and have a consistent grading system.
- Give online homework and assignments whenever possible. Use online tools to help you organize your students’ work and research for assessment software that will help you save time checking your students’ test.
- It’s crucial to learn to manage your time and energy and focus on your tasks. Find online courses and visit seminars that will help you get better at time management.
- It’s good to be fun in class but not at the expense of the education plan. To keep up with the curriculum, try not to distract with unrelated topics in class.
Habit #5: Stay positive and focused on your students’ success.
Successful teachers are teachers who truly care for their students. They know that their students’ success is the main criteria which defines their teaching career as successful. Therefore, they make it a top priority. This means not only to encourage your students and bring out the best in them in terms of education but be a mentor and set an example with your habits and reactions.
There are several other factors that impact your students’ success big time. Foster a positive environment in the classroom. Make class activities fun. Appreciate, value, and respect your students. Simply be human to build trust and mutual respect. You will be surprised how much your students will thrive and succeed in the tasks you give them.
- Put yourself in the shoes of your students to understand their needs and concerns better.
- Observe and analyze each student individually in order to identify their strengths. Push them to their limits but don’t overload them with work.
- Be clear in giving instructions – what exactly is expected from your students, how much time they have, etc. but also encourage creativity to help them unleash their potential.
- If your students have a hard time understanding the material, don’t just ignore and move on. Adapt and look for alternative solutions. Use metaphors and make analogies. Think of a way to teach the material in the form of a game. It will make it easier to understand.
- Praise your students when they’ve done a great job. This will keep them encouraged and motivated to keep up the good work.
- Be honest in your communication with students and share your concerns if you identify a problem.
- Set educational goals together with your students – as a team. Involving them in your planning will make them feel valued and motivated to achieve these goals.
To sum up,
Successful teachers were once just enthusiasts with big dreams who have worked hard to build a successful career and leave a mark in their students’ lives. We hope this article gave you the motivation and inspiration needed to make the first step of the journey of becoming a successful teacher.
If you’d like to share your own experience and advice, we’d love to hear about it in the comments below.