Teaching is something everyone does during their life. Think about it, have you ever explained anything to anyone? In those moments, even if you were just explaining what you did the night before, you were teaching. You were “teaching” someone else about your personal experiences.
Kind of makes you think of teaching in a new light, right?
It’s something we all do; it’s something we can all improve upon. Some people make the mistake of focusing on the information itself, rather than the manner in which the information is conveyed. Teaching is a skill; a skill that everyone can learn to do, and learn to do better.
Here are your 5 must have qualities if you want to be an effective high school teacher:
1) Analogies. Many times the information being taught is an abstract idea. But since humans are so heavily dependent on their eyes, the more you can use visual tools to describe an idea, the better understood it will be. And analogies are verbal tools.
2) Patience. Certain personality traits must exist naturally within someone in order for them to be a good teacher. And when it comes to explaining new ideas, possibly having to go over them many times in many different ways, when these are daily occurrences, patience becomes vital. But patience is truly only necessary if you don’t truly love the process of teaching.
Helping someone make a new connection is the job. If you want to get that part over with as soon as possible, because you run out of patience quickly, then you don’t love the job.
3) Creativity is a vitally important characteristic you must learn as you pursue your masters in secondary education. As leader of the classroom, you not only dictate how the material is presented, you also dictate the environment within which it is presented. Maintaining attention while fostering a fun, stimulating, and receptive environment can be a delicate balancing act without creativity. Develop your creativity by using your imagination more frequently. Play guessing games. Play them in class. You’ll notice that this is where your students may outshine the teacher.
4) Observant. Which students are visual? If you want to count yourself among the masters in secondary education, you have to know where your student’s knowledge of a given subject is. Students learn differently, pay attention when certain tactics help a student “click” and remember to use that as a tool of education in the future.
5) Students are not children in high school. At this level students are young adults who may have fewer experiences, but whose brain works just as well as adults. High school students are not children, however if you treat people with an expectation of behavior, often you draw that out from them. Great leaders expect a lot, and that’s a big part of why they are effective. They draw the best from people.
Excellent character traits are nothing more than habits of behavior. Anyone can make a habit from any behavior, as long as it is repeated enough. All you have to do is make yourself display a behavior until your brain learns how to put that behavior on auto pilot. Then that behavior will become a description, or an aspect, of who you are.