The word “advice” can get peoples’ hackles up in a hurry. It’s human nature to enjoy giving it and to loathe receiving it. However, Terry Heick at TeachThought has a few pieces of teaching advice here that you’re going to want to listen to.
Terry is the founder of TeachThought and an educator himself. As such, he’s heard and collected a lot of his own valued teaching advice over the years:
“You can’t teach if you’re exhausted, misinformed, too hard on yourself, disconnected, or misunderstand your role in some critical way (as a colleague, a peer, a teacher, a department leader, etc.) It’s not your job to save the world. Every child needs something different.”
What makes the profession of teaching more enjoyable and sustainable? These bits of teaching advice from TeachThought contain the answers.
10 Valuable Pieces of Teaching Advice for Every Teacher
Focus on your professional learning network. We’ve got a list of terrific tools for helping you do that in this article.
Treat the school year as a marathon, not a sprint. Every learner is different and unique and will take a different path to learning. Be there to guide them on their way, because that’s why they need you.
A million tools and strategies are unnecessary to good teaching. This is all about balance; find what works best for you and your students, and keep it simple.
Don’t take it personally. As far as teaching advice goes, this can be hard to adopt, and especially for new teachers. The truth is teaching is a tough job because people are complicated, and you can care deeply while still being objective and professional.
The students should talk more than you do. In other words, give them ample room to express opinions, ask questions, converse collaboratively, and surprise you with their insights.
Your thinking is everything. This is actually no different from any other close relationship you have.
You’re a professional who controls your own attitude. What this means is that you choose how and when to react. It also means that both mentally and emotionally you bring to your classroom only what you carry with you.
Your influences last a lifetime, so use them wisely. The students might forget what you say, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.
Teach them the skills that matter. School is there for the students, not the other way around.
Find your identity as a teacher. Why do you teach? What makes you curious? Most of all, what do you love about your students? Consider this your personal teaching “brand.”