As an educator, it is your responsibility to build knowledge and creative thinking in your students. The better you are at that, the more you shape the next generation of thinkers. It’s not always about everyone achieving sky-high grades, though – often, you must teach positivity, reflection, and open-mindedness to make a real impact.
Whether you are a teacher, professor, or school leader, here’s how to make a real impact as an educator.
Also read: Four Main Types of Child Care
Further Your Own Education
While you might be focused on your students, it’s also a good idea to look at further education outside of your workplace. Not only will this provide you with more knowledge on teaching, but it’ll also expand your career horizons. If you’re a high school teacher, for example, you could pursue a doctorate that’d help you achieve a school leadership role, where you’d have more say on the way the school runs. The more responsibility, the more of an impact you can make.
Of course, it’s not always easy to go back to school for your master’s or doctorate when you’re a full-time educator. Luckily, you can pursue a Doctorate of Education online, allowing you to achieve an excellent education while working around your job. You can head over to our website to check out the most flexible online courses for teachers around.
Believe in Every Single Student
Every single student is unique. While one might not achieve high grades, they might be the best artist out of the bunch. Even those who aren’t as obvious with their talents have something to offer.
As an educator, it is your job to see the best in every student and focus on bringing it out. Whether that’s through words of encouragement, after-class revision, or praise on a piece of work. By believing in every student, you give everyone the chance to show off their abilities, even if they don’t believe they’re there at first.
Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
While it’s important to stick to the curriculum, you shouldn’t be afraid of taking risks from time to time. After all, you might figure out a teaching method that completely overhauls how you used to do it. The world of education is constantly evolving with tech and new methods, so hop on that train by trying out new things when an idea presents itself. You never know; a new idea could end up having a profound impact on your class.
Chat to the Faculty
As an educator, the chances are you don’t know everything about teaching. Your fellow teachers won’t, either, but they will know stuff you don’t, and vice versa. If you want to learn as much as possible, you should chat with as many members of the faculty as possible. Discuss lesson planning, communication methods, and more to learn about the different teaching methods when your goal is to provide the best education possible; the more input, the better. Remember, though, that you don’t have to take everything on board!
Up Your Skill Set
If you want to make a difference, you must first look inward and better yourself, which means upping your skillset. As an educator, the chances are you are already intelligent and talented in your area, but that doesn’t mean you can’t improve some of the soft skills. After all, the better you are at teaching, the more of an impact you make as an educator. Some skills to work on include –
- . Communication
As an educator, you’ll spend a lot of your time talking to people, particularly students. For this reason, you must be able to communicate clearly, effectively, and in a friendly manner.
Being organized is a must for educators, as the lessons are in your hands. Not only do you need to lesson plan, but you also need to manage documents, schedule meetings, and keep up with marking. By upping your organizational skills, you’ll become a pro at this.
- Listening Skills
Listening is just as important as speaking for educators. After all, you can’t teach without knowing where the students are at. To become a better teacher, then, you should practice active listening.
When teaching a group of students, you must have great leadership skills, so work on them. If you can, try out a leadership training course.
- Self-Care Skills
A skill often overlooked by educators is self-care. By getting better at self-care, you will go to work feeling much more energetic and positive, which will boost your students’ mood.
Take Advice and Criticism on Board
Your impact as an educator depends on how much you grow over your years of teaching, and to grow, you must take criticism on board. While no one enjoys being told what they’re doing is wrong, you must see it as helpful rather than an attack. That way, you can improve your methods and become the best educator you can.
Read, Read, Read
Just because you are the educator doesn’t mean your education has ended. Once you become a teacher, you must take up reading as a hobby. The more you read, the more you know, which helps you pass on vital knowledge to your students.
While reading is a great hobby to pick up in general, you should focus on reading about your teaching subject to be able to educate as well as possible. After all, nobody ever knows everything about a subject, so even if you are an expert in Mathematics, Biology, or Theatre, it’s important to carry on researching it.
Keep up with the Community
As an educator, you must teach your students what is on the curriculum. While this is the minimum of what you must do, there are other topics you might consider covering, too, to help your students grow as people. To do this best, you should keep up with the community surrounding your school/college. By having insights into where your students live, you’ll be able to cover more topics related to them and discuss issues that are happening nearby. Context always helps education!
Pick Up on Nonverbal Cues
Many students, especially younger ones, struggle to communicate verbally at times. In this situation, you should try and pick up on nonverbal clues like body language. If a student seems uncomfortable but doesn’t say it, you should address the issue as soon as possible. By doing this, you’ll have a better understanding of who needs extra help.
Create a Positive Learning Environment
No matter how great of a teacher you are, it’s challenging to keep a class engaged if you are teaching in an uncomfortable learning environment. While soft sofas aren’t suitable for most classrooms, you should prioritize comfort. If you’re looking to spruce up your classroom, some tips for improvement include –
- Bright Colors
No one wants to learn in a dark, dank room – it’d send people to sleep! Instead, choose bright colors that switch on the brain.
Everyone will feel more comfortable in a clean, organized setting, so come up with a system that suits all. For example, you could place some stickers on drawers to file away each student’s project work.
- Art Pieces
You’re there to encourage thinking, and art can do that, so consider placing some art pieces around the classroom. As well as photographs and paintings, you could include poetry lyrics and stills from movies – anything to get the brain going.
- Natural Light
Unless the sun is streaming into the student’s eyes, it’s best to let as much natural light into the classroom as possible, as this boosts positivity.
- Regulated Temperature
It’s difficult to concentrate on anything when you’re too hot or cold, so make sure the AC works in the summer and that the place is kept warm during the winter.
Get to Know Each Student
The biggest impact you can make is ensuring every single student reaches their potential, and it becomes much easier to do that once you know them properly. If you have a quiet student at the back of the class, encourage them to open up more, even if it’s after class hours. You might discover something about them that helps you engage their attention.
Focus on the Positives
Many educators find themselves overworked and overstressed, and this can lead to a negative atmosphere in the classroom. Unfortunately, this can then harm the learning experience. To make sure every student receives excellent education the moment they walk through the door, try to always focus on the positives, whether that’s a gradual improvement from a distracted student or a green light on a trip everyone has been hoping for. Students often remember the more positive educators, so be that for them.
Stay Passionate About What You Are Teaching
To make an impact in the classroom, you must be passionate about what you are teaching. By having that passion, you will pass it on to your students, who will, in turn, find learning much more fun.
As an educator, you have the opportunity to make a real impact, so embrace your position and cultivate a learning environment that inspires creativity, thinking, and positivity.