Lately I have been thinking about what separates the good from the GREAT. As an educator I strive every single day to be the best I can be, for the students and staff around me. Ultimately my aim is to support the learning of students in my care to become engaged, confident, self-motivated learners with a passion for what they do.
From my experience in the classroom over the last 9 years, here are my Top 10 Tips for being a GREAT Teacher (disclaimer: thoughts are my own and may not reflect that of all educators):
- Passion – If you are not passionate about what you are doing, stop now. This list isn’t for you, and quite possibly maybe education isn’t the right profession either. To be a GREAT teacher you must be passionate about what you are doing. Your job is to engage and inspire the students in your classroom. Get into your classroom today and show those students just how passionate about learning you are!
- Fun – A GREAT teacher has fun. They know when to take a joke, they know when to have a laugh and they know when to encourage fun and humour as part of the learning process. I am a huge believe in utilising humour to engage both students and staff in their learning experience. For more on humour in the classroom click here.
- Get Connected – Being connected is what GREAT learners do. They put themselves out there and give themselves opportunities to shine. A GREAT teacher is someone who actively connects themselves and networks with like-minded educators all over the world. This is most commonly done through Social Media and Face to Face interactions at Conferences and events.
- “Head down Bum Up” – Just like my dad always told me. You won’t get anywhere without a bit of hard work. GREAT teachers work hard. They work hard to become better professionally and they work hard for the students, parents and colleagues they work for every day.
- Integrate Technology – In the 21st Century we now live and work in, GREAT teachers integrate technology into their classroom learning programme to support students learning. Technology should be used to engage and inspire students to learn more effectively, more efficiently, more creatively and with greater success. Get involved in the use of technology and let your students take some control.
- Student Voice – A GREAT teacher knows how to allow Student Voice to support learning. Student Voice is a critical component in the 21st Century classroom and can be used to empower learning. It stems from trust and respect, another two core elements that great students and teachers should utilise.
- Collaborates – Get sharing and collaborating. A GREAT teacher models collaboration and allows opportunities for students to collaborate in a multitude of ways.
- Professional – A GREAT teacher is a professional. They model professionalism in the way they look, act and speak. They are prepared, well spoken and demonstrate excellent communication skills. Respect is the first word that pops out when I think professionalism and this is the core to
- Creates Learning Experiences – A GREAT teacher doesn’t create instructional episodes, they create learning experiences for their students. They open up the world, ignite the flame and let opportunities happen in a globally connected classroom.
- Can Make Mistakes – A GREAT teacher models mistake making as a part of life. Mistakes make us stronger and the ability to make a mistake and move on is a strength I want my students to have. I want them to persevere and have a never say die attitude. In the classroom if I am unsure I know it is OK to not be the expert, I say “I am not sure, but let’s find out …..” – one of the greatest things that I have done is let students evaluate my teaching. Click here to read all about it.
I know there are so many other traits and characteristics of a GREAT teacher but I am going to stop my list there and give you the opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas.
Before you go – be sure to read what my students think makes a GREAT teacher by clicking here.
What do you think makes a GREAT teacher?