4 Essential Ways to Improve as a Teacher
Most people want to be better at what they do, even if they’re already good at their jobs.
This is especially true for teachers for two main reasons: (1) you can help more people achieve their goals when you’re a better teacher, and (2) you can achieve your own career goals and personal goals.
Are you ready to improve as a teacher?
Whether you’re a mediocre teacher who wants to be good, a good teacher who wants to be great, or a great teacher who wants to be the best, here are 4 essential ways to improve.
Take Care of Yourself
It sounds odd, but to improve your teaching, you need to take care of yourself. If you’re not taking care of yourself, then your teaching will suffer, and your students will suffer too by not getting the education they deserve.
Of course, you want to design dynamic and memorable lessons for your students, but you must add relaxation into your personal schedule. When you work outside of school hours, as all teachers do, take breaks and do something fun such as reading a book, taking a class, or watching TV.
Also, get to bed on time, eat a balanced diet, and exercise regularly. Remember to get help if you feel your mental or physical health is suffering.
Taking care of yourself makes you a better teacher because:
- You’ll be more productive.
- You’ll be more engaging.
- Your lessons will be more interesting, perhaps by visiting https://studentreasures.com/start-your-classbook/ for some ideas.
- You’ll have passion for your work.
- Your students can concentrate on their lessons rather than worrying about you.
- You’ll feel your best.
Go Back to School
You may need to go back to school to improve as a teacher. There are many courses you can take to learn additional skills, and you can even take an MA or Ph.D. in education and obtain a formal degree for your hard work.
Whether you pursue a degree or simply learn additional skills is up to you. Both options are equally valid and will help your students immensely. Remember, if your plans involve promotion and rising to the head of department, principal, or educational leader, then a degree is a good choice.
Take Time for Self-Reflection
Self-reflection is about looking objectively at what you’ve done and determining where you can improve in certain areas. When you consider what you have achieved and what you intend to achieve, then you can create a roadmap to get where you want to go.
Part of your self-reflection is determining your strengths and weaknesses so you can make your strengths stronger or improve your weaknesses. Don’t try to do both at once because you’ll get overwhelmed and struggle to make progress.
Take a few moments at the end of the day to think about everything you achieved. What went well? What could have gone better? What would you do differently next time? If you get into a regular routine of self-reflection, then you’ll learn how to improve after a while.
Ask for Help
The wonderful thing about teaching is that you’re never alone. Teachers have their students and other staff members, and the teaching community stands together and helps one another. Teaching is a challenging job, so ask for help when you need it.
You might find a mentor in your school or someone entirely separate (perhaps meeting them at a conference or online). Use them as a sounding board, ask them questions, and get advice so you can work together to overcome obstacles.
Another idea is to have a teaching assistant. Depending on your school and the budget it has for additional staff, a teaching assistant is a useful tool to help any teacher improve. When there is a teaching assistant in the classroom, then the teacher can then focus their attention more, knowing that the teaching assistant will make sure no one is left out.
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