How To Succeed In Teaching – Part 1
I’m often asked what really helps a teacher to be successful. What is it that makes a teacher excel and succeed in teaching? Of course there are many answers to this question, and I cannot possibly write an exhaustive list. Nevertheless, over the next few weeks I will attempt to share with you what I think contributes to a teacher being successful. For me, success is NOT a destination, it is a daily thing. It’s the little things we do every day that help us to do brilliantly overall.
So here are my first five thoughts around “How To Succeed In Teaching”:
1. Do more than what is required
Be a teacher who delivers more than what is asked and whose commitment to excellence is shown in the way you teach and behave. Adopt this thinking into every part of your teaching day. Do more than what is required. Ask yourself this question: What little bit extra could I do that would go beyond expectations?
One of the most important principles of success is developing the habit of going the extra mile.
2. Show initiative
The definition of initiative: do things without being asked. Don’t wait to be asked. Use your eyes and take charge. Often teachers are reluctant to act because they are afraid that they might make a mistake. Don’t worry about that! Make a decision and act accordingly, and if you make a mistake, learn from it.
3. Be diligent
As a classroom teacher, you’re well aware of the many tasks we juggle every day: writing and marking assessments, preparing and delivering lessons, attending meetings, answering emails and responding to phonecalls, communicating with parents… the list goes on. My goal is always due diligence and I define this as ‘doing the best I can with what I have’. Some days I don’t finish everything, some days are more productive than others, but my aim is always due diligence.
4. Choose a positive attitude
Maintaining a positive attitude at all times is essential. Even in challenging circumstances, a good teacher will choose to adopt a positive and objective attitude. Adopt this attitude at the beginning of each day: I have a lot to offer today and I am going to make it enjoyable for myself and for my students.
Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.
5. Be a good example
Students are more affected by what you do rather than what you say. As a teacher, our behaviours should be in accordance with the expectations we have of our students. Consistency between teaching and example is essential to your success in teaching. Be a role model for the students you teach.
Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another; it is the only means.
This week’s assignment:
Choose one of these 5 things and focus on that this week. Do you need to do an attitude check? Do you need to show due diligence in a particular area? Does your example as a teacher need a bit of attention? One thing I know is that teachers who continually and habitually improve their practice are more energized and last longer. Be one of those teachers.
Enjoy the journey,
And more importantly,
Enjoy the moments.