Resources for Educators

Teaching Tip

From the Teacher’s Aide Newsletter

2016 January


In my observations of many teachers and their various teaching styles, I find that the most effective ones are those who know how they come across to their students (how their students are receiving their words and their behaviors). They know their content well enough to deliver it at the appropriate time and in the appropriate manner, and are somehow able to adjust in the moment when necessary. Unfortunately, many not-so-effective teachers think they are doing a great job. That’s not necessarily because their teacher skill-set is lacking. It’s because their self-awareness is low.

The start of a new year is typically a time for self-reflection and setting goals. As teachers, the self-reflection part is paramount to our success. But it must be accurate self-reflection. We must be able to see what we do through the eyes of our students… what we do well, and what we do poorly. We must become more self-aware. It’s a simple process, really, but not so easy. It can even be painful at times. But if you want to be the best teacher you can be, you must:

  • Talk to your Program Director to find out what instructional resources are available to you.
  • Find out who the best teachers are on your campus. Ask them for advice.
  • Ask someone to observe you. This can be your director, another teacher, or another person you trust. Have them report on their interpretations of what you said and how you said it. Ask their opinions on how your attitude was conveyed. Did you come across how you intended?
  • Know your students. Pay attention to their body language and level of eye-contact with you. Are they reacting in a way that matches your intentions?

Wishing you the best for this new year, in your classroom and in your life.