Studying to be a teacher? In light of World Teacher’s Day 2018, Dr Susan Ledger, Associate Dean of Education at Murdoch University offers 7 tips that will help you succeed in your first year of teaching.
1. Get to know your students and how they learn
No two students are the same, so take time to get to know each individual and how they learn. Not only will you gain a greater idea of their strengths and weaknesses, you’ll also get to know their interests and what motivates them to learn.
2. Share the responsibility
Education is a team effort between students, parents and teachers. So when starting a new job, don’t shy away from getting to know fellow teachers, staff and parents and implementing a collaborative approach to learning.
3. Find yourself a mentor
Never underestimate the power of an experienced mentor that has your best interests at heart. Whether you’re stuck on a lesson plan or feeling unsure about your career, a good mentor will provide you with the direction you need to get back on track. Previous lecturers, prac supervisors or prac colleagues are all great mentor options if you’re unsure who to turn to.
4. Be creative with your lessons
Creative, stimulating lessons are a great way to spark student interest and encourage participation. Teaching in a creative way can help to keep students focused and retain information. If you’re stuck for ideas on how to make your lessons more creative, check out the AITSL or Harvard Project Zero websites for inspiration.
5. Organisation is key
Like any job, teaching can be stressful if you don’t stay on top of your planning. In the first few months of starting your job, try to put some time aside after each day to reflect on your lessons. Take note of how your student’s learn, how you can measure the success of a lesson, and remember that there are always resources available if you get stuck. Continue to implement learnings from previous lessons and reflect on what could improve.
6. Make learning relatable to engage students
It’s so much easier to understand a new concept when the content is interesting and easy to digest. When planning your lessons, keep in mind your students' interests and learning capabilities. If the content you’re teaching isn't engaging, think of a way you can relate it to something they are interested in.
7. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you're feeling overwhelmed
Full-time work can sometimes feel overwhelming at first, so don’t be afraid to ask your colleagues for help or guidance. Chances are, they went through the same experiences and can provide you with coping strategies and advice.
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