It seems that there are teachers that are always looking to improve the way they teach and the way the impact their students. If you are of this mindset, then this information is for you. I believe that every teacher wants to make a better impact in the lives of their students. I believe that every teacher wants to be a better communicator of the message of hope and inspiration. I just think that teachers sometimes lack the resources and motivation in order to execute the actions required for this aspiration for the future. My goal is to produce an aid here in this piece by giving you the tools in the form of four critical questions to ask of yourself, propelling you into teaching success.
1. What is the overall skill I want my students to implement into their lives?
The answer to this question must come from deep inside you based in a foundation of values towards the greater whole of education. You will find the answer in the nature of a mission statement. Some examples may include the following:
- “I want my students to implement kindness towards others in all of their interactions.”
- “I want my student to implement discipline in their daily lives.”
- “I want my students to implement the skill of direct communication in the work place.”
This is a skill that will be embedded within the subject that you teach. If you teach english, you may select communication. If you instruct sports, you may select discipline. But, no matter the subject your overarching skill should be one that transfers to other areas of their life, after they have left your council.
2. Who are you teaching?
Understanding you students is an extremely critical components to effective instruction. I’m not simply speaking in terms of surface level understanding. Rather, getting to know their fears and aspirations are extremely valuable for guiding them to a successful life. Ask leading questions that give you a sense, without prying, of what they want out of life. Again, not simply the surface level things like a good job or a health. Instead, try to understand how they view their own potential and weaknesses. This will allow you to push them into the direction that grows their potential and gives them more confidence to tackle larger and larger challenges.
3. Are you engaging in three or more ways?
I know that teachers don’t want to be known as individuals that “teach at” their students. As educators we must understand that teaching goes beyond the mere transference of information from one person to another. Instruction is the art of engaging the student in the joining of the unknown with the known. In order to do this effectively we must ensure that we are engaging our students in more than one way. The ways of engagement are listed as follows:
- Mental – intellectual
- Physical – neurological
- Emotional – psychological
- Action – physiological
- Results – actualizing
- Guidance – interaction
With each of these engagement components there are different benefits. As a rule I ensure that I apply at least three in every lesson. This allows me to feel confident in that the information lingers with the student long enough for them to have the new information become apart of who they are.
4. I’m a staying true to my values?
Do you know your deepest teaching values? If you don’t, let’s figure it out fast. It’s vitally important that you understand the core of your operating system – core values. For example, my core value links to the teaching of skills my students can transfer to other areas of their life. This is very similar to a personal mission statement. The difference is that you link this to core value is the center from which you take every action, every word, and every thought. The core value that is linked to my above statement is “connection.” I want my students to understand the connection that is found in everything we do. Furthermore, I want them to understand the connection between their actions and their results. This key core value is one that will serve them the rest of their life.
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