How to Be a Successful Teacher

This blog is about ‘How to Be a Successful Teacher’. But what does that mean? Is being a ‘Successful Teacher’ an act of destiny, a chance that only some selected individuals from around the globe get? We’ll see in this blog.

There is no recipe to be a great teacher, that’s what is unique about them.”

We have heard this quote before. But how true is it. Being in the education industry, and having opportunities to interact with daily, we gave this idea a serious thought

We’ve had chances to listen to some of the brightest minds in the education industry. Based on what we have learned from them, and drawing from the stories and experiences of highly successful teachers, it seems that teaching is, after all, a learned skill. We get that one can be naturally be talented as a teacher, and that’s just as true. But the fact that teaching, as such, is a 100% inborn talent, is open for interpretation

Teaching is a learned skill. The more time you spend doing it, and the more thoughts and effort you put into it, you will eventually improve. Like any other abilities like sports, or public speaking, or cooking. So the more you love teaching, the more you are committed to that passion, the more you work to polish that skill, you will eventually become a great teacher.

“You can’t be a great teacher. You have to become one.”

To share what we have learned, we have created a short list of characteristics that we found most common in successful teachers.

  1. Successful teachers have clear objectives.
    Skilled teachers always set goals and objectives to take away the haze in measuring student performance and classroom efficiency. They have a clear idea as to what they should achieve. With a goal at the end, the path becomes more easy to map out.
  2. Successful teachers have a sense of purpose.
    This is correlated with the previous trait. Successful teachers have a passion that drives their journey towards greatness. Having a purpose, an aspect that excites you will help a great deal to keep the spirit up even during mundane eventless days and low times.
  3. Successful teachers loves feedback.
    Feedback is essential in keeping the teaching career running. Successful teachers speak with their students, learn how they feel, what they care about, and use that knowledge to draw their interest.
  4. Successful teachers know when to listen to students and when to ignore them.
    A teacher who never listens to your students, you’ll fail. A teacher who always listens to your students, you’ll also fail. This is crucial because there will be times when the teacher will have to take decisions that might not fare well with their students. A successful teacher holds their ground. They know when to listen to their students, and when not to.
  5. Successful teachers know how to take risks.
    Risk taking is part of the success. What matters is the nature of the risk we take, and the reason we choose. As Albert Einstein so eloquently put, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.”
  6. Successful teachers are consistent
    Consistency is not to be confused with adamancy. Successful teachers are consistent but reliable. They can be counted on. Consistency in principles and ideals goes far in inducing respect among students.
  7. Successful teachers adapt to student needs
    We have already written so much about this. Adapting to the changes in student interests, trends, innovations, and shifts in the industry is a crucial skill needed to stay relevant. Every successful teacher has made that transition to adapt. In a changing environment, it’s pretty basic to stay responsive and react to those changes.
  8. Successful teachers welcome change in the classroom
    As long as we are on the topic of adaptation, let’s make it clear that adaptation doesn’t mean taking in everything that’s new. A successful teacher keep their judgement open, and welcome new changes that improves education for their students and themselves. However, stay put for changes that negatively affect the productivity and experience.
  9. Successful teachers take time to explore new tools
    This is also part of staying relevant. Every day there are new technology platforms and tools being surfaced that could make or break the teaching game. Successful teachers often search for these tools and integrate them into their strategy to improve efficiency, reduce tenuous mundane workload, and boost the quality of education.
  10. Successful teachers never stop learning
    To expand from the last point, a successful teacher always stay updates and keeps on learning. It could be about the subject they teach, an industry breakthrough, an interesting hypothesis in research, or something that would simply improve the lives of their peers. Learning is elementary in teaching.

“You learn, you grow, and you learn to grow.”

Here’s a few pointers to get you started on the path to becoming a great teacher

Great teachers all have two things in common:

1) they are committed to their students, 

2)and they are ready to do whatever they have to do to help them succeed.

Being a great teacher is all about passion, persistence, and perseverance. Here’s a few tips that we’ve discovered that helps you to improve your teaching.

Develop a positive classroom environment

  • Create daily objectives for your students.
    As we mentioned for teachers, setting objectives can also help students stay more focused.
  • Listen to your students. (Feedback)
    Listening to your students helps you figure out what works and what doesn’t. This can assist you to reinvent your teaching strategies.
  • Push your students to succeed.
    Inspire your students to achieve success. It’s one of the most revered signs of a great teacher.

Dealing with Classroom Challenges as a Teacher

  • Interact with your students in a thoughtful way.
    If you have to discipline them, or provide advice on something, do it thoughtfully. Try to understand the student’s perspective and react to their behavior.
  • Engage your students and participate.
    Engaging students is one of the key elements where many teachers go wrong. Students are your audience, and it’s your responsibility to keep them interested in what you have to say.
  • Offer assistance to struggling students.
    A classroom is a very diverse environment, and there are many types of students present. Try to provide a friendly, open an avenue for students who struggle with social interaction, learning disabilities, etc.

Maintaining the Growth Mindset as a Teacher

  • Be professional.
    As a teacher, you have your limits. Stay inside the boundaries at all time, and even when you’re being friendly with students. Be the teacher who’s their friend, not the friend who teach.
  • Create good relationships with the parents of students.
    Extend your influence by also interacting with the parents. This might be difficult in higher education, and not necessary at all times. But it does help to build your reputation.

Improve as a Teacher

  • Seek out teaching mentors.
    Draw inspiration from your role models and other successful teachers from around the world. Learn about how they made it to the top, and understand why they were successful.
  • Take time to reflect.
    After you take feedback, take some time and reflect upon your own performance. This elf-assessments will open up fresh perspectives and ideas that could help you improve as a teacher.
  • Take advantage of professional development opportunities.
    Invest some time in research. Publish your work. These are all very helpful in building a professional reputation as a great teacher.

Harness the power of EdTech as a Teacher

  • Learn about updates
    The edtech industry is teeming with great innovations, tools and platforms. Take some time every day to make yourself updated on these trends. 
  • Analyse areas that could benefit
    Besides learning about new things, also look for areas in your classroom, or teaching life that could improve with the help of technology. This often helps to strike surprising, out-of-the-box solutions that brings name and fame in your peer community.
  • Suggest and share solutions that work.
    Be helpful. Share your strategies that works well, like our wonderful customers share their experience with Linways Academic Management System. This helps to save hours of work from everyone’s life. And a good act doesn’t go unappreciated. It always leads to more.

So that’s about it. We have shared what we have learned as traits of successful teachers, and some helpful tips that gets you there. However, these are not a final, ever-inclusive list. There might be some things we’ve missed, that you could share in the comments. Please let us know your thoughts about this, and maybe we can start a conversation with teachers around the world, and share our thoughts. 

Also published on Medium.