Great Tips for Beginner Teachers and Professors
Helpful Tips for Beginner Teachers and Professors
Taking on a new role as a teacher or professor can be a highly rewarding adventure. It can also come with a steep learning curve and be highly challenging. Even if you’ve experienced the same settings as a student that you’re now reentering as an educator, many aspects of teaching can only really be mastered by experiencing and perfecting them through trial and error.
However, there are plenty of ways that you can prepare and practice for teaching that can ease the transition and help you hit the ground running. Here are a few of the best tips for quickly finding your stride as a new teacher or professor.
Practice Your Public Speaking Skills (Your Students Will Thank You)
Every teaching role on the planet includes an element of communication with others, and outside of tutoring, that almost always looks like a group of people at a time. Even though there are certainly differences between the acts of teaching and public speaking, there are actually large amounts of overlap between the demands of these two roles.
Thus, honing your public speaking skills as a teacher can actually be a huge help for both yourself and your students. From learning optimal breath and speaking mechanics to analyzing how you structure your sentences when you communicate your content to achieve better clarity, the techniques and concepts that inform good public speaking can be of huge help to educators of every kind (and to their students, who benefit from these improvements as well).
Learn the Nuances of Teaching Via Different Platforms and Settings
As the popularity of virtual classrooms, remote classes, and video sessions has grown over the past decade, and then as the restrictions of COVID-19 caused massive changes to the traditional classroom format, many educators have underestimated the significant adjustments necessitated by differences in teaching settings.
This has led to sub-par educational experiences for both teachers and students in countless remote courses and online academic settings. As a teacher in today’s tech-laden world, it’s vitally important to understand what it takes to teach in virtual settings and how to adjust your teaching techniques accordingly. In all likelihood, you’ll need to employ these skills at some point in your teaching career (and perhaps you already need them in your current position).
Make Your Grading Policies Clear - And Then Stick to Them
Senior teachers know that setting clear policies in place at the beginning of a class or term can save tons of time, energy, and frustration down the line. When you get to midterms or the end of the semester and half of your students have questions or complaints about homework and grading practices, having a clear document or rules in place to point them back to can make it infinitely easier for you to navigate any tensions or conflicts with unhappy students (or their parents).
Further, once you’ve outlined the way you plan to handle situations, don’t change your policy unless an adjustment is absolutely necessary. Not being consistent in how you apply your rules is a sure-fire way to create more conflict when students receive different treatment and that news spreads amongst your classroom.
Develop an Ethical Framework for Your Teaching
This isn’t a topic that is often discussed within teaching how-to’s and isn’t usually the first thing a teacher thinks about when preparing for their courses or academic year. However, creating an ethical framework as an educator is a very important component of your overarching teaching strategy. It deserves some concerted thought, ideally before you first enter the classroom or start grading papers. Your ethical framework as a teacher helps inform everything you do and every decision you make.
To create an ethical framework for yourself as an educator, think through a few questions and, ideally, write the answers down somewhere you can read them again or see them often. Why are you teaching? What do you believe each of your students deserves from you? What values and beliefs will drive how you operate? What things must happen in your classroom? What things must not?
You’ll have help, of course - the responsibilities and expectations you’ve agreed to take on from your institution or employers as well as any legal and regulatory requirements you’re subject to all help shape this framework. Creating this framework for yourself helps provide a strong foundation for the rest of your teaching decisions.
Be Aware of What Resources Your Students Have Available to Them
The resources your students have at their disposal will vary drastically from institution to institution and from setting to setting. For example, the help offered to students in an inner-city public school setting will look very different than those offered by a collegiate institution. As a teacher, it’s greatly to both your advantage and your students’ advantage to know what resources and aids are available to your pupils.
This helps them utilize help and support they may never have known about otherwise. And it helps save you time by allowing you to signpost any students that might need extra support to resources that can help them more effectively than you might be able to, saving yourself time and energy that you can devote to your primary responsibilities.
These tips and many more can each help bolster an aspect of your new teaching role and help you avoid the common pitfalls that can sometimes befall new teachers. Incorporating these strategies can help not only you but your first students get the most out of your new teaching post.
There are no comments for this story
Be the first to respond and start the conversation.