Planning On Being A Teacher? Part V-Epilogue

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As we get to the final section about the requirements that every teacher should have, it is worth noting that these articles were designed to show you all that you need to know about teaching. It is a noble profession and the nation’s future depends on teachers to guide its youth towards adulthood. These articles are just explaining that teaching is a job like no other and those who are interested in pursuing it as a career need to be aware of this. While the country needs educators, it needs good ones more desperately than ever. The requirements of a good teacher will come as second nature to those suited to teaching and those who genuinely love the vocation will believe that the rewards are more than enough.

Although it is up to a student’s parents to encourage them, you must also follow suit and this means setting high standards for both yourself and your class. The old saying ‘shoot for the stars and you may hit the moon’ is apt when describing a teacher/student relationship. If you are only telling your students to aim for a B minus average, then that is the highest they will get and are likely to do much worse. Tell all your class that they are capable of the highest marks. The high expectations you should set for yourself include trying to ensure that as many of your class get the best grades possible and not being satisfied unless they do.

In order for your class to succeed, they will need to be organized and you have to set a positive example by having attention to detail. In any case, you will be responsible for grading and assessing dozens of students so if you are a disorganized person in general, you will need to clean up your act in order to be more effective. This is not to say that being disorganized guarantees failure, as plenty of successful teachers have messy offices but it is the height of hypocrisy to lambast your students for being disorganized when you are no better yourself.

Finally, it is imperative that you have good time management skills. You only have a certain amount of time per class, day and week to teach the students what they need to know. The curriculum assumes that teachers will make the most of their time and procrastinators will be punished. The thing is, if you dawdle over certain topics, it will be your students who suffer the most. You have failed your students if you’re unable to cover all aspects of the course due to your poor time management.

Hopefully this information will be useful to anyone thinking of joining the teaching profession. As with any job, there are numerous pitfalls which have to be overcome and it can be the most challenging job of all. Nonetheless, there is also no other job which offers you greater rewards. When you see or hear that someone had graduated that you taught and has a positive impact on, there is no better feeling. Simply put, the best teachers can alter lives for the better.


Controlling Your Classroom III

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In this final installment of controlling your classroom, you will see more suggestions of dealing with bad behavior in your classroom. The previous editions covered everything from dictators to bullies but no amount of literature can prepare you for such events until they happen. Never be afraid to ask for advice from more experienced teachers too. In a well run school, the teachers should constantly be there for one another.

We all know the situation: one student interrupts either you or another student, and then someone else joins in. Before you know it, the whole class is in uproar and it is up to you to restore order. When such a situation occurs, stamp your authority on proceedings by telling everyone that they need to wait their turn before they speak. Tell them to come up with ideas to either build on. Don’t allow anyone to speak unless they put up their hand, it’s important to teach your class to be polite.

You may have to deal with pupils that try and disrupt the class through non-verbal means. They sit in their chair and use body language in a negative manner or they roll their eyes as you speak. The first thing you can do to counteract this is to completely ignore them, focusing on the student that is speaking. Alternatively, you could challenge their behavior and ask if they have something important they would like to share with the class. This places the emphasis on them and they will not enjoy having the spotlight shone firmly on them.

No list of disruptors would be complete without the student who continuously interrupts everyone else. Instant action is needed, so tell them to be silent until the speaker has concluded their statement. After classes, take them aside and explain how their behavior is unacceptable and it needs to stop. Advise them to take a sheet of paper and a pen and write down all their ideas. When the person has stopped speaking, they can then tell the class what it is they’re thinking. This is an excellent skill and one that will serve them well in later life.

Finally, we have the famous ‘teacher’s pet’. Even though there are sure to be students who you have taken a shine to because of their work ethic and high standards, you must be seen not to have favorites. You will also be helping them because ‘teacher’s pets’ are prime targets for bullies. Don’t make eye contact when they try and grab your attention in class and ensure that you never single them out for praise on a consistent basis.

So there we have it. It is a good starting point for those who have set out on the teaching road. Remember, the majority of students will respect you and the ones that try and act out can be dealt with comfortably by following  school guidelines, your own experiences and some of the tips given here..   Teaching comes with many challenges but also many, many rewards Those rewards are the difference you know you’ve made in the lives of the children you’ve given your best to and sent out to tackle the next subject or even the world!

Controlling Your Classroom II

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A good teacher has to be something of a diplomat. We looked at dealing with students who tried to undermine you, bullies and aggressive students. The bottom line is that you are charged with making sure your pupils learn and are ready for the world and if you cannot deal with unruly aspects then you are making things harder for you and your students.

You may occasionally encounter pupils that think they are in charge of the class. They will order the rest of the class around with no regard for your authority whatsoever. You need to nip this behavior in the bud before it gets out of hand. Tell them that they are a dictator and get them to rephrase this statement in the first person. Turn the class against them but involving them in the process. Soon, the dictator will realize that no one is following them and will fall back into line. This shows the class that you are the only one in charge.

It is a frustrating experience when you have a student that does not appear to be trying their best. Admittedly, there are many pupils who are not interested in a particular subject but they at least make an attempt to hide it and even to learn. Those who openly look bored and are no paying attention need to be dealt with. Otherwise, other students will see that the lazy pupil is getting away with doing nothing and follow suit. Ask them a question, then swiftly ask someone else to let them off for now. You don’t want to humiliate them after all. Take them aside after class and try to find out why they are not getting involved in class.

Then you have the moaner. These are students whose only participation in class involves them complaining either about the subject or the way it’s being taught. They never have anything positive to say and they try to bring down the collective mood of the classroom. To deal with this, ask that student to write down their complaints and promise that they will be looked at in the next class. Ask them to come up with a solution and paraphrase their negative comments. Depending on how you paraphrase, the sheer negativity of the statement may shock the student into mending their ways.

It is certainly a test of your patience when a student saunters into the class twenty minutes late. By this stage, you have got into something of a rhythm with your lesson and this tardy individual brings your momentum crashing to a halt. Although you would love to halt the entire class and show up the latecomer, it is best to wait until afterwards so that you can get straight back into teaching. Deal with the issue after class and always start your teaching at the correct time regardless of who is missing. It is their responsibility to be on time, not yours. If you really want to instill some punctuality into them, maybe you could make them the leader of the class so that they have to be there on time. Then again, you could always threaten to punish the whole group for this individual’s tardiness. Having their class against them will soon make them mend their ways.

Even though the vast majority of your class will make your job a pleasure, there will always be one or two that will try and disrupt the harmony of your class but a good teacher will find a way to deal with everything. The next article will look at further ways and means of dealing with troublesome students, so if you have no knowledge when it comes to sorting out tricky classroom situations, then you need to read on.

Controlling Your Classroom I

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As a teacher, there will be occasions when you will need to lay down the law and remind your students that you are in charge. The last thing you need is a bunch of unruly students who refuse to pay attention in class and try to disrupt your lessons by encouraging others to join in. Difficult students come and go and over time you will learn how to deal with them. These next few articles will take a look at the variety of ways a pupil can hinder your teaching and will also suggest ways to combat these hindrances.

Prudent teachers will start the school year by talking to their students about class rules. You should have a list of regulations written down before discussing each of them in turn with your class. Next, you should get the class to come up with some rules of their own and also make them aware of what the punishment will be for breaking them. Straight away, your class will be aware that you are a no-nonsense teacher who will not be lenient on those who transgress. But by allowing the students a little leeway to create some of their own rules (within reason), they will also see you as a fair-minded individual and are more likely to followed the rules that have been set.

You will probably have at least one student in your lifetime of teaching who thinks they are more intelligent than you and will attempt to advise you on what you should be doing. This arrogance is disrespectful and will undermine your authority if you allow it to continue. How to handle this is delicate and it’s impossible to give pat suggestions on what to do. There are courses available covering this and it would be beneficial to take one.

Then there are argumentative students who will disrupt class anyway they can to get attention. Remaining calm is the best course of action.  Getting actively involved in any dialog will only cause the problem to escalate.. There isn’t anyone that can give you the perfect answer to handling unruly or rude students.  Each incident is unique. Your personality, experience with children and the personality of the student will all play into how it all plays out.  Patience is a key and, courses available on this would be helpful.

Classroom bullies are a challenge. They are doing their best to take attention away from you and shine the light on themselves.  They are stealing valuable time away from each and every student that is there to learn. You need to maintain your position of authority informing the bully that their behavior will not be tolerated. School guidelines and policies will be a first course of action, but if the bully is “seasoned” and depending on the age and aggression of the bullying student you may need to seek assistance from your principal. If this does not help, alert their parents and set up a meeting with them to discuss the problem.

While you can have students who just don’t want to learn, you can counteract most of their bad behavior in your classroom much easier than you think. You are the one in control and at the end of the day; your class needs to respect you if you are to do your job. The following articles will have more examples of poor student behavior and suggestions as to how you can win the battle.

Make A Difference, Become A Teacher

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It should be the goal of every school system to have their schools full of great teachers because they genuinely make a difference to their student’s lives. Far too many people ignore the role that teachers play in their pupil’s lives. Some see them as people who are paid to ensure that children learn whatever the educational system deems fit. This is a very narrow view as it does not take into account the positive influence a teacher has on the lives of young children and adolescents. After all, the teacher is the person that a child will see most besides their parents and in some instances the teacher spends as much time with their students as the child’s parents.

Education boards continuously look at a whole range of things that need to be improved in order to bring school standards up to a certain level. They look at the quality of the facilities available and the standard of the school building. The size of classrooms, general equipment and pupil to teacher ratio are also looked at. While all these are important, one thing that cannot be overlooked is the teachers themselves. The single most vital elements in any school are the educators!
Good teachers will completely change the lives of their pupils and if you feel like you are up to the task then all you have to do is ask yourself if you have what it takes. The best teachers know that their profession is all about giving. If students don’t want to learn, it is your job to find ways to get them involved in class activities. If your pupils aren’t learning then what you’re doing cannot be described as teaching. Even though students may not know that they have a great teacher, their parents probably will when their child comes home and proceeds to tell them everything they learned that day in class.

If you want to be a great teacher but feel that you don’t have the experience, fear not. Although having experience can be absolutely vital in certain situations, teacher’s training programs have advanced to the point where they are now an integral part of the life of anyone who wants to become a teacher. While there is no magic formula that will automatically turn you into a good teacher, these programs will certainly equip you with many of the tools you need to be a roaring success. Such programs are not just boring lectures of limited benefit. They provide hands on assistance where you will learn from the experiences of those already in the teaching profession.

If you love the idea of teaching but are unsure where to start, have a look at the programs available. Education boards know that the quality of the teacher is the most important part of any school and have come up with fantastic programs that will ready you for the classroom. Rather than wonder what you could be, become a great teacher and see that you can really make a difference.

How To Help Students Who Are Victims Of Bullying

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Teachers are not just there to teach a set curriculum to students, they also have a variety of other roles in the school. One of the most important is helping to stop bullying. Those who are victims of bullying will find their academic performance diminish rapidly so a teacher needs to be able to spot those who are suffering from the wrath of other pupils. Regardless of what school you teach in, it should have a strict anti-bullying policy otherwise it can get out of control. As a teacher, it is your duty to ensure that such behavior does not carry on under your nose.

Bullying takes place in a variety of forms but it is always harmful behavior and can never be tolerated under any circumstances. The most obvious form of bullying is that of a physical nature. One student or a group of students repeatedly target a pupil and perpetrate violence against that individual. Name calling is a serious issue but is one that seems to be ignored a lot of the time. To do this ignores the emotional anguish it can cause the victim. Deliberately excluding someone from activities is another form of bullying and this is again emotionally harmful. It is important to note that bullying will continue relentlessly until it is halted. If someone can get away with such vile behavior there is no reason for them to stop it.

Those who are victims can be hard to spot but you must do your best to try and discover if a student is having trouble with their fellow pupils. If you notice that a student of yours has suddenly become more withdrawn and refuses to participate in activities that they used to then this is a sure sign that they are experiencing bullying. It is rare for a victim to voluntarily tell a teacher what the issue is for fear for repercussions so it is up to you to gently coax it out of them.

Once you have successfully got to the root of the problem you must confront the bully. Make it clear that a continuation of such behavior will see them expelled. Be sure to make the victim feel safe by promising and delivering protection from the bully who is now angry that their treatment of the victim is out in the open. Ensure that you spend some time with the victim before allowing them back into their peer group. Isolate the bully from their usual environment so that they know their punishment includes exclusion. This should work wonders because all bullies seek attention more than anything. Yet it is crucial that you don’t push the bully away. They should be allowed return to their peer group with the understanding that they must improve their behavior.

Placing the bully in some sort of mediation program is a great way to modify their attitude. This lets them know that their actions are genuinely harmful and if they see the damage it does to the victim they may change their behavior in time. No matter what else you do, you absolutely must give fully support to the victim and don’t brush the whole incident under the carpet. Your students need your protection when they are within school walls otherwise their performance will drop and the whole classroom will suffer.

General Advice For Teachers

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As a teacher you probably have a whole host of advice being tossed your way during the course of your career. Non-teachers seem to be the biggest culprits as they tell you how they think you should do your job. All you can do is smile politely as they give you their two cents worth and make classic generalizations about the job you love. It is important however not to ignore all the advice that comes your way, especially that which comes from more experienced teachers. No teacher knows everything about the profession when they start but you will learn things as you get more experienced and it never hurts to keep your ears open when good advice does come your way.

One of the best methods of teaching in order to maximize the impact of your lessons is to divide all sections into small, easily digestible chunks for your students to devour. Throwing too much information at them is not conducive for easy learning. Also, you should never assess your students on the basis of one or two exams or assignments. Try and give them constant assignments so you will easily be able to identify which students are hard working and which are slacking off. Those who are not doing the requisite work will quickly realize that they cannot have their own way.

Don’t deliver your lectures from a static position. You don’t have to be a jack in the box but teachers that move around will increase the attention span of students. This movement should include frequent trips towards the back of the class which should keep those who think they can get some shut-eye back there on their toes! You should occasionally stop at a random student’s desk and make eye contact with them before asking if they understand what you’re saying. Students who have a propensity to doodle or pass notes will suddenly realize that they do this no longer. It is also much better for a student to have their teacher close to them rather than way off into the distance.

You don’t need an array of additional tools at your disposal to make an interesting class but do try and include other ways of communicating with your students besides your voice and the blackboard. Try using a projector with powerpoint slides or else a video could be utilized to help illustrate your points. This is part of making your class fun and should be accentuated by you laughing and smiling throughout. This will make you seem like the kind of person that students are willing to listen to rather than some ogre who growls at them all the time.

So pay no attention to the teaching expert who has never set foot in a classroom as the sole focus of attention and actively seek advice of those who know what it’s like to stand in front of a group of children and be expected to deliver interesting, informative lessons. Finding out new ways to teach can be fun and rewarding for both you and your class.

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