By Aric Bostick - CyberBully Hotline Contributor
1. Walk Your Talk! - A teacher must be a role model. It is hard to teach students how to succeed in school and in life if you aren't living the principles that you want to convey to your students.
During my first year of teaching, the principal revealed his complete lack of exemplary behavior. He would attempt to enforce the no-smoking policy within the school parking area while he drove around the parking lot in his truck smoking!
2. Be Honest with your students! - As kids say, "Keep it real!" Youth respect those who are honest and "tell it like it is." If students are pessimistic, lazy, or indifferent during class activities, tell them the truth- to revitalize their attitude! Remember, the truth always prevails.
3. Keep kids moving! Make your lesson student-centered, interactive, creative, and kinesthetic whenever possible to engage your students and achieve higher-level thinking. If you are doing all the teaching, you will also be doing the majority of the learning. Your students must be participants in the process, so fuel your lessons with student-driven responses. A good rule to judge your lessons: if you are bored, chances are your students are too!
4. Connect with your students! Effective teaching requires building meaningful student-teacher relationships. Get to know your individual students by asking them questions regarding their own dreams and aspirations, i.e. what do they want out of life? You can even inquire about everyday occurrences; what they did over the weekend or what type of foods/hobbies/interests they like. Youths become much more responsive and well behaved during class lessons and activities once they realize how much you care about them as individuals.
5. Greet Your Students. Stand at your door with a smile and give a high five or handshake to students as they walk in the door of your classroom. Do you ever wonder why restaurants have hosts, hotels have doormen, and department stores have greeters? It's because we have a natural desire to feel wanted and welcomed. Establish an inviting presence within your classroom and you'll see a change in the overall mood and attitude of your class.
6. Have High Expectations! Students respect the teachers that encourage them to reach their full potential. They may become vexed, critical, and even resentful of you at times, but they will eventually come to respect you. After accomplishing seemingly impossible goals, students will thank you for holding them to a higher standard and teaching them to do their best. Don't be afraid not to pass students or get on their case to perform better. We learn from owning our actions and their consequences, not from free passes and reprieves.
7. Empathize With Your Students. Being a kid today is tough. Bullying, especially cyber-bullying, has become an epidemic in our classrooms. Due to the countless pressures and illusions of reality portrayed on television and in social media, students are more confused about life and reality than any other generation. In this rapid technological-driven age, many students may act entitled, self-absorbed, aloof, and distracted by their various hand-held devices and online social life. However, it is our job as their educators and role models to understand first where they are coming from, and then to persuade them to "turn-off" their gadgets, so they can reconnect with themselves and each other. Students need to overcome these social pressures and distractions in order to achieve success both inside and outside the classroom.
8. Compliment Your Students. Complimenting your students on even the smallest actions is the best way to motivate and instill a sense of confidence within them. However, you must recognize the skills and talents of each individual student in order to give meaningful approval. Encouragement is like water to flowers. They will blossom from your words of praise. Mark Twain once said he could live for two months on a good compliment. Unfortunately, the statistics on how many students attempt suicide each day is staggering. We can help more children avoid a tragic end through the comfort of our kind words, helping them realize they do have a life worth living.
9. Don't Take Thyself Too Seriously. Practice this "11th commandment." Relax and think to yourself, "This is just school by the way. This isn't life and death. This is just math, science, history, physical education etc..." Simply put, being a teacher should be fun! You are the leader and the catalyst to make your subjects come alive. By keeping your job in perspective, you will achieve a more successful career.
10. Take care of you! You must make time for exercise, friends, family, and most importantly rest and relaxation!
About the author:
Aric Bostick is a former teacher and coach and is now one of the most sought-after education experts in the country. He has worked with over half a million students, teachers, and parents nationwide. To learn more about Aric and watch videos of him speaking and engaging his audiences go to: http://aricbostick.com