Becoming a successful teacher isn’t easy for everyone. Let’s face it, some people just seem to have been ‘born to teach‘ while others of us must work at it. Why is that? Why do some teachers seem to be better at educating their students while others struggle?
What are the keys to successful teaching?
Successful teachers seem to possess certain characteristics that others do not. So what are these characteristics?
I’ve done a great deal of research to find the answer to this question. After reviewing my findings plus using my own 20+ years of personal experience (both in the public school classroom as well as years of being a homeschooling mom and mentor), I’ve compiled a list of what I call ‘Keys to Successful Teaching.”
KEY #1: A successful teacher will create a positive learning environment
Every learning environment is different and made up of a variety of aspects and although you may not be in control of every little (or big) aspect, there are those you DO have control over. In this post, I will be writing about….
“The younger a student is, the more adaptable their thought processes and habits are in response to positive role models. A role model can be anyone that someone looks up to and wishes to be like – and that bond can develop at any age. ” (source)
Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I role model enthusiasm and optimism?
– How do I display enthusiasm for life in the classroom?
– Which subject(s) am I most enthusiastic about when teaching? How do I demonstrate my enthusiasm about the subjects(s)?
– Which subject(s) am I least enthusiastic about when teaching? How can I change this?
– Do I display my enjoyment of teaching? If so, how?
- Do I role model kindness and respect in the classroom?
– How do I react when I’m frustrated with a student?
– Do I listen to my students?
– Do I use kind and encouraging words?
- Do I try to ‘catch’ students in acts for which I can affirm in the moment?
– Do I immediately affirm appropriate behavior, leadership, acts of kindness?
- Do I role model a love of learning?
– How do I show my students that I still love to learn?
– Do they see me taking steps to increase my knowledge?
– What can I do to ensure they see me wanting to learn new things?
- Do I allow myself to be vulnerable in front of my students?
– Have you ever shared a time that you failed at something or made a mistake and you were vulnerable enough to talk about it within the learning environment of the classroom? If so, did you also talk about the positive steps you took as a result?
- Do I role model problem solving in front of my students?
– Do you practice the process of ‘thinking-out-loud’ about a problem in the classroom? Analyzing a situation or problem, thinking about the pros and cons of different strategies to use, working through a chosen strategy to come to a resolution or answer?
- Do I display a positive self-image?
– Do I demonstrate self-confidence within the classroom? If so, how?
– Do I have areas of my self-image that need improving ? What are they and how can I go about doing so?
Whether you teach in a classroom, in a co-op or are a homeschooling parent, remember that YOU are an important role model in the life of each of your students. Purposeful role modeling is vital to creating a positive learning environment.