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Teaching can be a very rewarding career choice. You will have the opportunity to be in an educational environment, inspiring and motivating students to learn. But like every career, teaching can be difficult. Having specific skills and talents will help you succeed in the classroom. But don’t fret if you feel you lack these skills; they can always be learned. If you are passionate and care about making a difference, chances are that you can be a great teacher.
Everyone has probably had one teacher who just didn’t care. He spent the day explaining terms in a monotone voice, threw out whatever handout was available and screamed for students to behave. This sort of lackluster and lazy behavior shows a lack of passion for his profession. The most important quality of a good teacher is a passion for learning. As a teacher, you need to get students excited about learning and help them learn through your own enthusiasm. If you love what you are doing, it shines through. But remember that passion also needs to be matched by competency in the area in which you are teaching.
Teachers and educators are multitaskers. There is never enough time in the day to complete what needs to be completed. If you are highly organized, you already have an important skill. A day at school can easily be wasted if time is not managed properly. A good teacher enforces strict routines and procedures so that students know exactly what is expected of them and what they need to be doing. An efficient classroom is an organized classroom.
Working with children can be difficult and frustrating. They all come from different backgrounds, and all have different skills and different personalities. Nevertheless, you are expected to reach all of them academically. This is a huge responsibility. You need to be patient in handling tough situations and misbehavior. Students need to know that you care about them as individuals.
The nation is moving towards stricter standards and benchmarks, and testing has become a huge issue. Many schools are enforcing district-wide texts and curricula, and sometimes that makes a teacher’s job difficult. But a good teacher will learn the curriculum through and through, and tailor it to the needs of students. It’s all about creativity and presenting that information in a way that all students will understand. Lesson plans need to inspire students; not every student has the same learning style, and good teachers offer variety in their lesson plans.
- American Society of Radiologic Technologists; Reflections on What Makes a Good Teacher; Anne T. Rodgers; Deanna S. Cross; Barbara G. Tanenbaum; Elwin R. Tilson; 1997
- Education Information for New and Future Teachers; Tips on Becoming a Teacher; Dr. R. J. Kizlik; 2011
- Great Schools; What Makes a Great Teacher?
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