Sunday, February 2, 2014


How to be a Great Teacher!

I think we area always on a quest to become better teachers through CPD, getting more sleep, and basically just trying out hardest This guest post by Kristine has some great things to keep in mind to help all teachers strive to be their best.
If you want to become a good teacher then you will certainly need to keep a few very important things in mind.  There are a few qualities that you need to have if you want to be considered one of the best teachers in your profession.  Take note of these qualities and take the time to fully understand what they are and how to improve on these qualities.  You will see that you are going to be fulfilled as a teacher and your students will go a lot further in class.

Understand the importance of respect in the classroom.  

There are better ways to manage a class.
Good teachers will teach every student with respect.  If you are able to do that on a regular basis then you will earn their respect as well.  Here are some things that you can do in order to show respect and earn it in return:
  1. Always be nice to the students.  That means all of them.  As a good teacher, you cannot pick and choose who you want to be nice to. 
  2. Consider asking each of your students to call you by your first name.  You will be completely amazed by just how far this can go with your students.
  3. Try to be open and honest with your students at all times.  It is not going to benefit you to censor yourself all of the time.  The kids will think you are fake and they know when you are being dishonest with them.

Make your classes interesting.

If you are able to make classes fun and interesting then your students will be more willing to put forth and effort.  There are a few different things that you can do in order to make classes more fun for your students and yourself.  Consider these simple tips:
  1. Try to give your students some options when it comes to the assignments that you want them to complete.  This gives them control and it also helps them engage more because they are able to complete tasks that they enjoy.
  2. Stop standing in front of the class and lecturing.  This is boring.  Come up with some really fun and exciting ways to present the lessons you have planned.  The kids will love it when things change and are unexpected from time to time. 
  3. Allow your students to have drinks and food in class.  As long as they are their desks clean and tidy, it should not be a problem. 
  4. Apply technology in the classroom for the purposes of learning. Most schools should now be using tablet and interactive whiteboard technology for the purposes of educating and there are lots of apps available that can make learning more interesting. Speak with your school IT or look for an external ICT supplier like this one who can help you.
See this article on how to make lessons outstanding.

Set ground rules.

If you want your class to be fun and exciting you do need to set some ground rules.  This is necessary to ensure that everyone remains focused and takes class seriously, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean that you have to rule with an iron fist.  Think about establishing rules in the following manner:
  1. Allow your students to help develop the classroom rules.  Find out what is important to them and let the pupils present ideas to the rest of their classmates.
  2. Have an open discussion about the rules and establish guidelines and consequences with the help of the class.
  3. Always follow through with the consequences that you have established.  This will also help you earn respect from your students. 

Assign homework sparingly.

Many teachers want to give their students homework every night.  This can become exhausting for them in the long term. Too much homework can lead to a lack of focus and students will end up rushing through assignments just to get them done.  Try to assign homework in the following way:
  1. Be sure that your assignments are always focused on the topic that is being discussed.
  2. Give one or two larger assignments based on the topic at the beginning of the week and allow your students several days to complete the assignments rather than one night. 
This article by Alfie Kohn looks at the argument for practicing homework.

Provide an answer to every question.

There will be times when you may be asked a question that you do not know how to answer.  These questions should never be pushed aside.  Rather, help the student find the answer:
  1. Use online resources with the student to help them find the answer. 
  2. Set aside time to help them solve their problem or answer the question that they have.  You may both learn something in the process. 
The above tips have proven very useful for me over the years and I hope that you also find them helpful.

Helpful resources:

Teaching resources on the TES website -
A guide to a Ubiquitous learning environment.

Kristine is a school teacher with over ten years’ experience in the profession. Away from the classroom, Kristine likes to blog about her experiences, providing useful resources for other teachers and students alike.

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