Teaching is arguably one of the most important professions in modern society. Learning is an essential part of everyone’s lives and teachers are the people responsible for passing knowledge in a manner that an individual understands. If you have been thinking about becoming a teacher, or looking for supply teacher jobs, you might find it intimidating, particularly when you know how you go about it may affect your students’ future. While starting out is not easy, if you are passionate about it enough, things become smooth and your career becomes exhilarating.
That said, here are a few tips to make your first year less overwhelming:
(i) Come Up With a Solid Plan
No matter the grade you will be teaching, it is imperative that you carefully plan the curriculum for the entire year. By the end of this period, your students need to have learned a certain amount of knowledge. Failure to schedule each lesson will lead to less-than-desirable results from both you and the students. You can use curriculum planning software to help you plan for each and every lesson.
Keep in mind that there are some days when you may have to go against your schedule. Extreme weather leading to canceling a school day is a good example. As such, you will want to schedule a few extra days so that you can have a bit of flexibility toward the end of the year.
(ii) Embrace Technology
We live in an age where almost everyone has gone digital. People, particularly students use smartphones, laptops, and tablets on a daily basis. While you should not allow them to use the devices for social media during the lesson, it is best to leverage this technology to take teaching to the next level. There is a wide array of technological applications that can help students. And we are not just talking about the basic tools like MS Office. There are many other tools that can help students learn better. A few examples include:
Google Earth– This is one of the best 3D Map applications that come in handy in regard to the earth’s geography and history. It is especially useful for students who learn better visually. If you are teaching your class about Sherman’s March to the Sea or the Roman Empire, Google Earth outmatches any maps printed on textbooks.
Grammarly– This is perhaps the most popular writing assistant application out there. It helps spot spelling and grammar issues in any text in most applications.
Socrative– This application allows you to make simple educational games that the students can play on their devices.
(iii) Mix Up the Teaching Styles
It goes without saying that each student learns differently. You will come across reading/writing learners, visual learners, kinesthetic learners as well as auditory learners. Since teaching can be overwhelming, most new teachers gravitate towards making lessons that use one form of teaching, particularly the one they are most comfortable with. This might be a good way to reduce your stress and anxiety, but you may not be reaching every student in the class.
When planning your schedule, it is advisable to switch your teaching style as regularly as possible. Instead of teaching about Jane Austen, take the class outside and have them do the Victorian-era dance. Instead of having the students read poetry, have them write it in order to have a better understanding of creative writing.
(iv) Avoid Setting a Negative Precedent
Some students can be unruly and they are the most undesirable and challenging part of teaching. However, it is important to be patient and know that some may be dealing with issues at home that it becomes hard for them to lead a normal life at school. As a teacher, you should avoid setting a bad precedent. If you allow them to get away with unruly bad behavior at the start, they are likely to do the same throughout the year. Early discipline is advisable, and remember that you can always incorporate humor to make your actions less frightening.