Being a good teacher involves having a variety of skills, from being able to connect with students to classroom management, organization, understanding learning styles, providing engaging activities, and much more. When all of these things come together, they can create a fun and effective learning atmosphere. As this can be a rather stressful and draining career, teachers also need to know how to take care of themselves.
Like babies, classrooms don't come with instruction booklets at the beginning of the year. Educators can continue learning right along with their students by reading about new strategies and methods for teaching. The good news is that there's a wealth of information available on this topic. In particular, there are many excellent resources on the Internet for educators who want to improve their techniques. Having the desire to be a good teacher is the first step.
Connecting with the students can be one of the most rewarding parts of teaching. It's not as difficult as it might sound. Trust can be built slowly by engaging students in simple small talk and remembering what they say. It's also important to have a positive attitude in the classroom. Be fair, consistent, and avoid playing favorites, because failing to do these things is one of the fastest paths to alienating students.
Classroom management is another big concern, especially for newer teachers. It's impossible to facilitate learning when there is constant disruptive behavior. There is a fine line, though, between being too permissive and overly authoritarian. Discipline is actually closely related to trust, because students misbehave less when they have a connection with their teacher. Check out the links below for tips on effectively managing behavior issues.
Connecting with Students
Classroom Management Articles by the National Education Association
ProTeacher Classroom Management Ideas Many great tips for grades K-6
Classroom Management by Gene Van Tassel Insightful and well-researched article that explains many models and theories
Teaching Tips That Work Tips with videos by real teachers
Best Sites for Elementary Teachers
Teaching Tips Index A huge list of articles to help teachers be more effective and enjoy their jobs
Elementary Teacher Resources
Tools for Educators Make customized worksheets and other teaching resources
Best Sites for Lesson Plans
Discovery Education The Lesson Plan Library
National Geographic Xpeditions
Lesson Plans and Teaching Strategies
Energy & Science Lesson Plans
Federal Resources for Educational Excellence Teaching and learning resources from federal agencies
Resources for New Teachers