Become a Super Teacher: An Ultimate Guide
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“What is the quality of a good teacher?”
The question doesn’t have a static answer. There are so many aspects that define a good teacher. Moreover, there are so many factors that influence this answer.
For instance, a first-grade teacher would require a whole different set of skills and composure than a high school teacher.
So, if you’re a teacher and want to get better at the job, there’s no defined rulebook to guide you through.
However, that said, there sure are a few fundamentals that you can follow and apply to become a super teacher.
In this guide, we list down some of the practical and proven tips to help you become a super teacher who is loved by the students and parents alike.
1. Focus on your mental health
Everything starts and ends with this.
If you’re not in a good mental state, nothing else will work; more importantly, nothing else should be prioritized more.
So, start by focusing on your mental health.
Have you been stressed and anxious too much lately? Do you feel fatigued all day? Do you often feel low?
Many Indian teachers struggle with mental health problems. And this stems from their job, as well as other personal responsibilities. If you’re one of them, seek professional help. In addition, take steps to improve your mental health, like eating right, getting enough sleep, and exercising daily.
Recommended Read: 13 Mental Health Tips for Teachers (for Self-Care and Growth)
2. Get professional training
At a time like today when competition is high for teachers and good opportunities are limited, you have to constantly up-skill yourself.
So, signing up for some teachers’ training programs isn’t a bad idea.
Such training can make you a better teacher, arming you with enhanced teaching techniques and improving your teaching delivery. It can significantly boost your teaching and other soft skills.
At LEAD Powered Schools, our teachers undergo thorough training. They get access to extensive training materials. We offer certification programs for them. This ensures they are always at the top of their game, ready to deliver superior quality education to students.
3. Gain more experience
This is as basic as it gets: The more experience you gain, the better you will get as a teacher.
So, in addition to teaching at the school, you can opt for various other teaching opportunities in parallel.
For instance, start taking tuitions in your area. There are many online teaching opportunities out there; tap on them. You can even start teaching at NGOs or volunteer at organizations that are working towards improving education in this country.
The accumulated experience over the months and years will make you a better teacher in so many different ways.
4. Don’t be someone students “fear”
Remember, there’s a big difference between respecting others out of fear and respecting them out of admiration. You want the latter!
So, instead of taking a tough stance with the students, scolding and punishing them all the time, be more fun and light-hearted. Have a kind and friendly relationship with the students. Build your presence and personality according to that.
Students love such teachers; they learn more from them.
5. Leverage teacher-parent meetings
Whether your school holds a half-yearly parent-teacher meeting or yearly, whatever and however you get this opportunity, make the most of it.
Make a note of what you’re going to be talking about with individual parents. Make a note of every student in advance about the things you want to discuss with their parents.
Offer constructive feedback to parents regarding their ward. If the students have done good things and are progressing better, convey this to the parents as well.
In all, plan a meaningful conversation with the parents that is built on transparency and the mutual goal of the student’s growth and wellbeing.
6. Network with other teachers
Networking with other teachers can’t unlock new avenues to learn. When you’re talking to them, you can understand their teaching techniques and methodologies. You can ask them questions and draw ideas from their experience.
So, do spend time expanding your network. Talk to others in your industry and gain knowledge from them.
The teachers at LEAD Powered Schools get to network with 25,000+ other teachers across India. We hold live panel discussions and webinars where they come together to discuss ideas and learn from each other.
7. Help “weak” students
Many teachers choose to only focus on those smart students who score well and are responding well to their teachings. They ignore the rest. Don’t be one of them!
Students are not born smart. Each one of them has to learn at their own pace. There are students who are better in some subjects whereas there are those who are better in other subjects. Each one of them has to be handled differently according to their nature and level of understanding.
As a teacher, you need to find out why some of your students are not performing well.
Students may not perform well for various reasons such as poor study habits, lack of interest in the subject, lack of confidence, or fear of failure.
Understanding the reason will provide you with insights on how to fix this problem. You can then better assist the students in improving their performance.
8. Praise students often
Praising your students regularly is a great way to make them feel appreciated. It also has a good impact on their performance at school.
Students need to be praised for small things they do, like helping others or trying hard in class. Such small efforts can make a huge difference in their attitude towards learning and towards teachers.
When you praise your students, they will feel valued and respected. They will be more motivated to work hard in class and help others because they like appreciation and encouragement.
9. Define (and convey) the objective of every class
Setting goals before the start of every class helps track the progress.
It also gives a clearer picture to students about what needs to be done next and where they are heading.
So, make this a habit for every class. While this may seem too small of a step to even care about, it can make a big difference in your teaching delivery and how your class is progressing through the curricula.
10. Turn theories into practical concepts
There’s a reason why many school students opt for tuition or coaching. Because with the latter, they expect a more comprehensive and friendlier explanation of concepts that they didn’t get at school.
As a school teacher, if you want your students to effectively learn from you and get better in the subject, it’s important you simplify concepts as much as possible.
Explain theories through practical examples. Talk in layman’s terms.
Teach in a way that your students truly understand and can relate to without getting bogged down by difficult jargon and statements.
11. Deploy empathy
If some of your students aren’t performing well, they may have legit reasons.
If someone comes to the class late, they may have their reasons.
If students aren’t interested in your explanation, there’s a reason for that.
Instead of taking a confrontational stance or reluctantly ignoring it, deploy empathy. Think from your students’ point of view about why they did what they did or why they are not meeting expectations.
Empathy is more solution-oriented and constructive.
Besides, you don’t know everything about your students; you don’t know about their mental health condition or what kind of situation they have to deal with at home. So, put yourself in their shoes and act more kindly or rationally whenever you need to act.
12. Set clear boundaries for students
There are several reasons for this.
For instance, if you’re friendly with students, some of them may go overboard, which might be unsuitable.
Or, when you’re laughing off the interruptions during the class, some students may create a big nuisance.
So, define clear boundaries for students. Let them know what you’re not going to appreciate and tolerate. If you’re clear on this, students will respect these boundaries and behave appropriately without stretch.
13. Reach out to parents regularly
Don’t wait till parent-teacher meetings till you talk to your students’ parents.
Similarly, don’t always reach out to parents with complaints about their child.
Yes, when someone has done something wrong, talk to their parents. But when the students are doing something good, convey this to their parents as well.
Similarly, if you have certain feedback for a student, let the parents know about it.
If your school offers any application or portal where you can communicate with the parents, this is going to be very easy. If not, you can send emails to the parents or call them through official channels and communicate your message.
14. Teach kids about anti-bullying
This should be done by every teacher no matter what subject they teach and which school they teach in.
Anti-bullying should be a constant reminder to every student.
Let the class know what qualifies as bullying. Explain how to avoid such behavior and what to do if they are at the receiving end of bullying.
Building such positive values in students will make them and their parents like you more down the line.
15. Plan occasional surprises for the class
And this doesn’t mean surprise tests.
Make your classes fun and exciting. Maybe take the students on a field trip; give them an off; go beyond the syllabus and teach them something new and interesting; play some games.
There are many things teachers can do to delightfully surprise the students.
16. Have a good digital footprint
Many of your students and their parents do check your social media accounts (and so do your peers).
So, it’s important to have a good digital footprint that’s not controversial at the least and inspiring at the most.
The last thing a parent wants to see is their child’s teacher tweeting some crass and aggressive things aiming at others.
So, be perceptive of your social media presence. Be mindful that your students and their parents are looking at you.
17. Integrate technology into lessons
Many private schools in India have amped their infrastructure, integrating technology into their classrooms. Like installing smart TVs; offering dedicated apps to students and ERP solutions to the teachers. If your school does this, use such an infrastructure optimally to improve your teaching delivery.
If not, you can use many tech solutions on your own end for various purposes, like tracking students’ progress, planning lessons, managing time better, setting automated communication, and more.
In all, take some time out to figure how you can use technology in teaching and managing classes. This will save you time, make you more efficient, and eventually improve the quality of your teaching.
18. Know your subject inside-out
This tip is quite a no-brainer. This is one of the most important things that makes a quality teacher.
Whichever subject you teach, make sure you know it comprehensively.
In fact, even if you teach middle school students, it’s a good idea to be well-learned and adequately prepared that you can teach high school students as well.
This requires you to constantly learn, improve and train yourself; you should also keep yourself up with everything happening in your field.
Always be ready to answer students’ any and every question as long as it is relevant to your subject.
19. Adopt creative ways to teach
There are now several apps and software that have gamified learning. You can use them if possible.
You can use animated videos to teach as well.
There are many creative ways you can teach students. There are numerous activities and practical approaches teachers can take up.
So, find out ways to spice up the classes and make teaching more interesting that appeals to the students.
20. Communicate with the students more
During the class, take time out from the ongoing syllabus and talk to students. Ask them questions, learn more about them; learn about their hobbies, interests, and ambitions.
When passing by them in the hallway, strike conversations.
Such little conversations can help build a rapport between you and your students. They will connect with you more. You can then inspire and positively influence them. Moreover, they will end up liking you more.
21. Ensure good study materials for students
If you want your students to do well in exams, you must ensure they have all the right study materials.
Recommend them good books and online resources. If they need something at school or in class, communicate with the school’s administration and get it arranged.
For example, if the laboratory at the school needs more addition so that students can learn better, talk to the decision-makers at the school and try to arrange it.
Such commitment towards students’ academic performance will inevitably lead to good results. Furthermore, when students see such a commitment on your end towards them, it will motivate them to work hard and perform better.
These are 21 practical and proven tips to help you become a super teacher who students and their parents love.
The little efforts and measures on your end can make the biggest difference. That’s what makes a quality teacher! They can make you better at teaching and turn your job into a more rewarding experience.
So, coming back to the basic question… “what makes a quality teacher?” The answer isn’t static. But it sure is simple!
All the best!
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