Top 5 essential teaching habits

Teaching students is more than a job. You might think that sounds a little cliché, and we’d be inclined to agree with you, but it’s true.  

It requires determination and commitment to the role and you could get lost in the myriads of marking and lesson planning that comes with the career.  

There’s no need to worry though, as we’ve got 5 essential teaching habits up our sleeves that are sure to work a treat! 

Be a team player 

We’re not just talking about your fellow peers here. You need to work with both students and teachers to maximise your potential in this career path. Learning is a team-building exercise that requires complete cooperation.  

Think of teaching as working together towards a common goal. At the end of the day, your students expect engaging lessons, while you expect cooperation. As long as this dynamic remains, your lessons should work well.  

Teachers often require help too, so you should always offer assistance where you can. Whether you’re planning a lesson as a team, or offering advice about a specific student, a little bit of help often goes a long way.  

Maintaining this cooperation is important, even during the hard times, as many ‘lone wolf’ teachers don’t last long in the profession. 

Create a plan 

You’ve probably heard this before, as it’s one of the most important parts of the teaching profession. From lessons, to homework, everything needs a plan of action.  

This enables you to deal with unforeseen circumstances as they arise, without affecting your overall lesson structure. That’s not to say that plans don’t change. In fact, it’s quite the opposite and you’ll be surprised at how flexible you need to be. 

It’s best to make a general plan for each lesson that you teach and then adapt the plan once you’ve started teaching. Each class will have different requirements, so you’ll have to tailor your plan to each set of students.  

It’s always easier to work from a baseline than to improvise on the spot, so make sure that you have a general lesson plan before you begin. If you’re struggling, there are several lesson plan ideas to get you started. 

Remember why you’re there 

If you’re thinking about becoming a teacher, then you need to know that it can sometimes be tough.  

It’s not unique to this profession, but stress, anxiety and uncertainty can creep in at the worst possible times.  

You may have a terrible lesson with some hyperactive students, or your students might be failing their exams, with no reason as to why. In these situations, it’s important to remember why you’re there in the first place and what makes you a good teacher.  

You’re teaching the next generation. The students in front of you will go on to have jobs of their own and you may be directly responsible for their ultimate choice of career.  

There are highs and lows, but the highs far outweigh everything else. Ultimately, as a teacher, you have a direct impact on your local area and the wider community. You may even have an impact on the entire world.  

Keep an open mind 

An open mind is a necessity in a classroom. Children from all backgrounds will be present in your lessons, and you’ll regularly converse with their parents too.  

You’ll receive criticism and praise from your colleagues, your students and their families. But, you’ll be expected to act rationally at all times. 

Therefore, it’s vital that you remain open-minded about your teaching methods and outcomes. Previously, we mentioned lesson planning, which needs to be flexible to increase its effectiveness.  

This goes hand-in-hand with an open-minded approach and improves your capabilities as a result. 

It’s okay to laugh

The best teachers inject a small spoonful of humour into their lessons. In 2013, a 40-year study was published that showed the beneficial impact of humour in the classroom.  

According to the research, it helps with memory, increases the positive perception of the teacher and eases students into difficult topics. If humour isn’t your forte, that’s okay too. You can use funny clips or pictures to illustrate your point instead!  

Humour isn’t simply used in the classroom either. It helps you to navigate through hard times and unfortunate circumstances. Sometimes, all you can do is laugh and that’s okay.  

A worthwhile career 

Being a teacher is hard work. As with any job, you’ll often find that it consumes your entire life, as you’ll be working at all hours of the day to manage your workload effectively.  

You’re also saddled with responsibility too, as your students are solely dependent on you to ensure proper mental development. You might be thinking, what’s the point? Well, that’s an easy one for us to answer.  

Are you now familiar with the top essential teaching habits? 

Teaching is one of the most rewarding career options out there and we’re not just saying that because we advertise teaching jobs!  

Trust us, we’ve been there through the tough times. We’ve seen tantrums and arguments and we’ve left with a smile on our face.  

You know why? Because at the end of it all, when the revision is over and the exams are complete, the students thank you. And that’s enough. Your work is instantly worth it. You’ve done a good job and it all starts again next term.  

Check out our handy guide on the 6 important skills to include on your CV.

About the author: Gavin Doyle is an educational recruitment consultant at REESON Education, London’s premier teaching recruitment industry. Originally from Truro in Cornwall, Gavin now resides in Kingston-upon-Thames and has worked in recruitment for 11 years. Prior to this, Gavin spent six years teaching PE in schools across Cornwall.

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