10 Things Teachers Can Learn from Each Other
It’s no secret that we learn best from people who we view as respectable, educated, and experienced in a particular area, and we learn the most from others who have “been there, done that.” As an organization founded by teachers, we know the value of learning from our colleagues and growing with wisdom because of the advice and lessons we receive. Embrace the community of teachers around you, and you might just find yourself learning one of these great things from another educator.
How to Stay Organized
If you’re a teacher, you know the struggle of staying organized. Between various textbooks, stacks of papers to grade, correspondence with parents, and more, each school year begins as an uphill battle to become and remain organized. While the internet may give you some good baseline ideas, other teachers may have some tried and true systems that they can share with you to stay organized all year long.
How to Utilize Technology in a Productive Way
Technology in the classroom can be incredibly beneficial, but it can also become incredibly distracting. Kids can become easily distracted, and while technology can help you engage students in an innovative way, it can potentially cause some focus pitfalls if you’re not careful.
Asking other teachers for advice on how to productively integrate technology into daily lessons is a great start. Some teachers may have creative ways of using standard technology, like Smart Boards, computers, or tablets, while others may have suggestions for new websites or apps you can use to test students’ understanding of a subject.
How to Handle Discipline
Even though you’re primarily a teacher, the job entails that you might also have to serve as a part-time disciplinarian. You may be responsible for setting and enforcing your own rules and standards of behavior for your classroom, or you may be given a baseline of standards from your school. Other teachers may have some advice on how to handle general disciplinary actions, such as not completing a project or sleeping in class, and some teachers may be able to offer advice when you’re faced with an unexpected disciplinary issue. You can seek the advice and experience of other teachers to learn some effective methods of disciplining your students, and they may even give you some things that aren’t worth trying because they do not tend to work well.
How to Engage Students
This is probably one of the hardest things that any teacher has to learn. For many teachers, the first few years are simply about getting through the curriculum, hoping students pass their tests, and keeping up with grading. But really engaging students and getting them excited about learning should be on the forefront of every teacher’s mind. Other teachers, whether at your school or elsewhere, can give you ideas for how to make certain lessons more exciting, such as creating a physical representation of a land battle or letting students grow flowers to learn about plants. Experienced teachers have a lot of great ideas for differentiated instruction to allow every student opportunities to learn with his or her own learning style.
How to Motivate Students
If engaging students isn’t hard enough, many teachers also struggle to motivate students. Some kids are happy to participate during in-class activities, especially when they’re fun and engaging. However, some students simply aren’t motivated by anything school has to offer them and struggle to find subjects that interest them.
Every teacher has had students like this, and some have succeeded at motivating them! Those are the teachers you want to talk to if you’re facing this issue. Experienced educators can give you insight into these kids’ minds and give you ideas that you can implement immediately to try to motivate such students. You likely became a teacher in order to impact the next generation and to share your love of learning, and every student deserves to be encouraged and to have a chance at achieving success. Don’t give up—some students are simply harder to get through to. But, that’s where other teachers can give you some words of wisdom and help you motivate the unmotivated.
How to Encourage Leadership
Every classroom has natural leaders, but fostering that leadership into a positive trait can be challenging for some teachers. At the same time, students who are normally quiet and less outgoing are often incredible leaders who simply need the opportunity and some encouragement in order to lead. Discussing leadership with other teachers can give educators great insight into how to encourage positive leadership within the classroom. Leadership skills will take students down many roads far outside of the classroom, and if a teacher can understand how to encourage that leadership within students, both educators and their pupils will benefit substantially.
How to Empower Students for Long-Term Success
The goal of teaching is to not only educate students on what they need to know right now in school, but also to empower them to achieve and retain success in the future. Teachers can create an atmosphere of acceptance, encouragement, safety, and belonging, and if done effectively, students will carry those principles with them outside of the classroom and well beyond their schooling years. Teachers can learn from each other how to instill those ideals in the classroom, as well as can learn how to foster the climate of social diversity and the importance of having a positive impact on society.
Teachers can gain wisdom from other educators on how to teach students the value of success and how success comes in a variety of forms. Teachers can not only help students think positively and outside of the ordinary, but can also give them valuable tools for achieving success, such as study skills, writing and communication skills, and more.
How to Involve the Local Community
Particularly if you didn’t grow up in the area you’re teaching in, getting the local community involved in your educational efforts can be daunting. Maybe you want to plan an event for the school that requires community involvement, or maybe you’re simply struggling to get the parents of your students involved in what you’re doing in class. Lots of other teachers have been there—whether in your school or not—and they can offer some great insight into how to involve the local community.
How to Choose the Best Curriculum
If you are responsible for selecting your school’s curriculum, you know what a challenge it can be. Finding the best social studies curriculum that both engages students and helps them learn about history, society, and more can be incredibly difficult. This is definitely a topic that other teachers can help you out with. Talk to curriculum coordinators in other schools and districts, and be sure to look at testimonials of other teachers.
How to Be a Better Teacher
Studies have shown that when teachers watch their colleagues teach, they become better teachers themselves. At the same time, being observed makes teachers think more thoroughly about what they’re doing and how they approach each teaching opportunity. Everyone can learn from other people about how to be a better person or how to improve, and teaching is no different. If you’re a teacher and are looking to become an even better teacher, look for opportunities to connect with other educators and inquire about the lessons they’ve learned throughout their career. The community of educators is thriving in our country, especially with the inclusion of social media and the easy access to other educators across the country.
TCI was founded by teachers and for teachers. We are educators, and we know what educators need and want, which is why so many school districts and school administrations have utilized our curriculum. Embrace the notion that teachers can learn a lot from other teachers, and trust the name that teachers everywhere trust for the best curriculum available.