A great teacher is not one that simply coasts on what they already possess. They strive to continually reflect, improve, and provide their students with a more rewarding, fulfilling learning experience.
It’s an important lesson for every teacher to know: the learning doesn’t simply end once you have graduated. In the same way as your students, you grow and evolve as you go on.
To make sure this development goes in the right direction, here’s a starter guide to becoming a better teacher.
Improve your education
If you’ve only just graduated, it’s possible the last thing you are thinking about is to jump back into learning. After all, you want to start educating others, not go back to school yourself! However, there are various courses and certificates available that can further boost your knowledge and teaching proficiency.
This is the case with a STEM Teaching Certificate. This certificate focuses on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), allowing you to expand your methods and skills in these areas. The result: you become more effective when inspiring students and how they can use engineering, mathematics, etc., to solve everyday issues.
Full confidence in your subject
It’s an obvious point, yes, but you should be full of confidence in the subject you’re teaching. If you fail to possess the mastery and belief to teach a subject, you will struggle to truly help students that require assistance.
If you’re teaching geography, for example, you should know everything there is to know about the subject – at least all the topics covered in the curriculum. Simply put, the more you know, the more information can be passed down to your students.
Know your students
A solid understanding of your students can play a big role in ensuring your teaching gets through to them. If you show you care, you understand their struggles, and build up healthy connections, students will feel more welcomed and comfortable in the classroom. Furthermore, the more you know your students, the more you’ll be able to customize your support to match individual needs.
There are various methods you can use to learn about your students. One way is to create a short survey for them to complete. This can include questions that revolve around their interests, favorite school subjects, favorite shows/movies, siblings, etc. Another tactic could be to go with a quick ‘Student of the Week’ session, giving a student each week the chance to talk about themselves.
Ask for feedback
Feedback is an essential element in growing as an individual. This is the case with teaching. While you may be a little scared to request feedback from your students, it’s important to gain comments directly from the people that matter most.
There are various questions you can ask to gain valuable feedback. These include:
- What aspects did you enjoy most about my class?
- What changes would you make to improve the learning experience?
- Are there any topics you believe should be taught in the future?
- What teaching methods did you enjoy/dislike the most?
All it takes is a quick questionnaire to gain all the answers you need.