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5 Tips for new teachers

Being a new teacher can be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. You are entrusted with the hearts and minds of people eager to learn. How can you quickly and confidently pick up the skills you need to become a successful teacher and do the best for your students with their precious gift of time and attention?

Don’t worry! You will absolutely enjoy growing into your new role as a teacher. Follow these steps to get well started on your new career as an educator. These tips will set you up for success and help you model excellent learning behaviors for your students while you are learning, so it’s double good!

  • Observe an experienced instructor: Watch them create a successful learning experience and manage classroom expectations. Observe her posture, language, pace and rhythm. Listen to their silence create dramatic tension. Feel their aura of quiet authority. Watch as they bring students into the discussion and weave a tapestry of meaning.
  • Participate fully as a member of your teaching team. If you don’t have teaching teams at your school, start one and get credit for innovation.
  • Ask your team-mates how they developed their style and technique.
  • Learn to Facilitate Discussion Teaching: This isn’t your father’s lectures! We need to lead educational discussions and draw out experiences and insights in order to make our lesson meaningful and exciting.
  • Remember: every student teaches, every teacher learns! When they see your attention, enthusiasm and openness to new learnings, your students will be more engaged.
  • Cultivate and Practice active listening: Stop completing their sentences? Engage them through careful focused attention, and then clarify what you heard. You will be showing them how to communicate your interest and how much you value their insight. Other students will see this and try to do the same.

No one gets it right the first time, and there is no such thing as the one true way to teach. It’s important for you to find your authentic voice and that you be willing to share your vulnerability to learning in the moment with your students. These tips will help you on your way.

Good luck!

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