Posted May 02, 2014 by

How to Become a Successful Teacher

Jack Wieczorek

Jack Wieczorek

To be a successful teacher can mean many things – most of the time it’s the question of the right personality, others times it’s good habits and a willingness to work hard to achieve one’s goals. There are, however, a few things all great teachers have in common – features that can be acquired by everyone up for a little challenge.

Be Confident

There’s nothing worse than a teacher that lacks confidence – that kind of personality will never be able to provide a sense of leadership and, moreover, will find it problematic to keep the classroom in order. Be open – smile, give a firm handshake and, when talking to people, look them directly in the eyes.

Challenge Your Students

Don’t expect your students to have a grasp on the teaching material – demand something more. Construct your coursework to promote critical thinking, foster your student’s creativity, give them tasks based on interpretation and problem solving – show them the complexity of things, don’t simplify the reality.

Be Consistent, but Flexible

If you want your classroom to be a great learning environment, be clear as to what students may expect from you every day – they will easily adapt to your rhythm. This of course doesn’t mean that you’re coursework must be rigid – you must learn to adapt your plans to every possible situation, also to show that you’re the one in charge here and that students can always depend on your guidance.

Communicate

Be dependable, so that students feel they can count on you. Make yourself available to the parents, they’ll surely appreciate it. Respect your students and when communicating, don’t give off a sense of superiority – find a way to balance leadership with accessibility and trustworthiness.

Be Creative

Provide some really exciting active classroom activities, don’t rely exclusively on passive learning through reading or listening. Students learn things best when they’re actually doing them – so let them, providing feedback and guidance.

Provide Leadership

Establish your academic credibility – students are relying on your competence in their learning process, and you must never let them down. This doesn’t mean of course that you must be a walking encyclopedia – your skills in searching and retrieving information from various sources is something to pass on to your students.

Be Fair

This is an important one – treat all your students equally. Students pick up on those things really quickly, and being labeled as ‘unfair’ is probably the easiest way to go if you want to lose your credibility.

Be Entertaining

This might sound silly, but it plays a vital role in keeping your students’ attention. A good sense of humor will get you through tense classroom situations and help you to make your lessons more captivating – a good joke or funny story is a great trick to get some attention. Don’t shy away from laughing with your students.

Jack Wieczorek is a dedicated tutor and the co-author of EduInfo; the most comprehensive online resource for all education data on schools in England.

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