What You Must Know to Become a Successful Teacher
Nearly everyone has a memory of that one special teacher who inspired them the most. A great teacher is able to shape the minds of students and prepare them for the world with knowledge and skills. Teaching is a vocation, meaning that although many people might be able to qualify for the role, not everyone is passionate or invested enough to make a meaningful impact on a student’s life. It takes a certain kind of individual with the right attitude and abilities to become a successful and inspirational teacher.
Why Become a Teacher?
Teaching is not an easy profession. No matter what age group you are teaching, you will be faced with behavior problems, paperwork, and long hours. However, there are also many plus sides to being a teacher. Here are a few examples:
- Knowing that you are making a valuable contribution to the world. Often people struggle to find a sense of purpose in life. Teaching the next generation is a great way to know that you are improving the world and making a positive difference.
- Great vacation time. Teachers tend to have many more weeks off work than other professions since schools have breaks throughout the year.
- Job security. Since teachers will always be in demand, this career path is one of the most secure out there.
Find Out Which Qualifications You Need
Before you become a teacher, you should research the different qualifications you will need to apply for different roles. Teaching assistants do not need the same qualifications as a principal, for example. If you are at the very beginning of your career and looking for potential methods of gaining the necessary qualifications, take a look at an MA education course. There are a whole variety of ways you can work your way up to applying for teaching jobs, so keep an eye out for possible opportunities to expand your employability.
Hone Your Existing Skills
Speaking of employability, refining your pre-existing skills is another important way of improving your chances of becoming a successful teacher. Whatever you have learned in life up to this point will be valuable going forward, so it is important to make sure you are at the top of your game when applying to jobs. For example, if you are already a competent public speaker, take a course to perfect this skill and increase your confidence in it.
Become an Expert Communicator
A good teacher excels at communicating with students, parents, and colleagues alike. Even if you are introverted and prefer to stay quiet, you will need to learn how to effectively convey ideas, information, and rules to your students. Communication isn’t just about talking, though. You will also need to be able to listen well and pick up on subtle signals in body language. If you can tell that a student is having a difficult day, you might be able to help improve their mood by taking the time to connect with them. If you aren’t naturally adept at these kinds of subtle communication, you can learn over time.
Enjoy the Process of Learning
A teacher who no longer learns and adds to their knowledge won’t be much good in the long run. Nothing in this world is fixed or unchangeable, so your approach to your own education is just as important as that of your students. If you are excited about the subjects you teach and can convey that excitement in the classroom, you are more likely to inspire your students to take notice and enjoy learning too.
Build Your Confidence
Standing in front of a group and speaking is never easy. Whether that group consists of adults, teenagers or children doesn’t necessarily affect the level of confidence required in order to speak calmly and effectively. To prevent the nerves that often come with presenting information to a group, take the time to actively improve your public speaking skills. With more confidence in your ability to speak clearly to a large group, you will be able to share ideas and generate interest much easier and without the same kind of stress. Of course, being a class teacher involves speaking in front of a group every day, which can quickly resolve any nerves you might have had previously.
Have a Consistent Routine
Being a teacher comes with its fair share of unpredictability and last-minute tasks. This is why having a reliable routine to fall back on is so vital to staying at the top of your game. If you are the type of person who can’t seem to get organized or is constantly late, you will need to practice punctuality. As with most habits, you will need strong discipline to teach yourself how to be more organized. Identify smaller areas in your life where you can improve your organization and slowly build up to becoming more organized overall.
While being able to fall back on a strong routine will help you maintain structure and sanity when teaching becomes chaotic, you must also be incredibly adaptable. Students will have a whole variety of problems that you won’t always be able to anticipate in advance, so handling the unexpected is a key skill to being a successful teacher. Don’t be so rigid in your plans that you can’t come up with solutions in the face of a new challenge. With a solid foundation of kindness and understanding, you will be able to tackle almost anything.
Treat Every Student with Compassion
Compassion is one of the most important qualities of a successful teacher. Being able to strike the appropriate balance between focusing on providing a good education and staying sensitive to each student’s individual needs is a hugely impressive feat. Not everyone is capable of connecting with their students, especially if a student has a particularly abrasive and unlikeable personality. However, showing kindness to even the difficult students will help improve their lives and bring you closer to becoming a successful and inspirational teacher.