Every professional career has a set of rules that aren’t written in black and white – but determine the sustenance and longevity of one’s career. The same applies to teaching, because some of these rules will not be pinned anywhere – but will control the trajectory of your career. They include;
1. Students first
Besides your employer, your students are your bosses. This is because their payments are what keeps the school flowing and operating smoothly. This means you have to do everything in the best interest of your students.
2. Build relationships
Over the course of your career, there are so many people that you’ll interact with, including students, colleagues, administrators and parents.
Your ability to connect with these people beyond the surface is one great determinant of success in your career.
3. Set clear rules
A good relationship with your students can be maintained only if you set out rules that they have to follow to maintain it. Students have to know your clear rules right from day one.
The mistake that novice teachers usually make is waiting for students to make mistakes so they can tell them what to do.
4. Exercise fairness and consistency
There are so many teachers that don’t judge students fairly, or discriminate – or administer different punishments to different students. That’s a terrible mistake!
You have to be fair and consistent in your judgment so your students can equally respect your rules and maintain order.
5. Be prepared
As far as teaching and controlling students is concerned, you have to always prepare your mind by expecting any outcome possible. This will give you a calm approach to any sort of unpleasant surprises.
6. Keep learning
Learning is endless, and once you stop learning, you start dying. Teaching, just like any other profession in the world, is evolving. You have to keep up with the pace and learn new things or soon you’ll be left behind.
7. Your problems don’t belong in the classroom
There are so many things you’ll experience, and you’re just human – so your brain will keep bringing them up. However, you have to know how much they can affect the quality of your work – therefore, you have to leave them at the door.
8. Your safety is paramount
As a teacher, you have to be able to uphold your safety above everything else. Within or outside the school, there will be some compromising situations – sometimes life-threatening.
Therefore, you have to be able to guard yourself and stay safe enough to keep functioning.
9. Cooperate with the administration
Your bosses might be good or bad. However, you have to be able to study their behavior and know what to do in order to maintain a good relationship with them.
10. Understand your students
There is a lot about your students that you have to know and understand including their names, whereabouts and performance record. This will help you figure out a way to help them in case they need your help in any aspect of their education.
11. Listen more than you speak
Your administrators, colleagues, students and parents will always be able to confide in you easily, because you are a good listener. Besides that, you’re always able to understand someone better and help them if you listen.
12. Take ownership of your mistakes
There are so many mistakes that you’ll probably make over the course of your professional career. Sometimes you can blame someone else for them and get away with it, but don’t fall in that trap.
Owning up to your mistakes will give you a better chance to solve the problems that you’ve caused.
13. Seek advice from other teachers
Everyone that’s been in the game before you might always know something you don’t. Therefore, don’t be afraid to ask the experienced teachers how they manage to stay in the business. Maybe then, you’ll learn from them.
14. Be flexible
There are so many changes to the school operation, student behavior or your daily schedule that you won’t have time to complain about. All you have to do is be flexible and adjust with the situations that come your way.
15. Be an encourager
Being able to encourage students is one of the many strengths of a teacher. This is because discouraging your students will only make their performance worse – and it gets back to you.
16. Never embarrass your students over academics
There are some things where embarrassing your students is a perfect measure to make them humble, but education isn’t part of that.
Once you make fun of students because of their academic performance, you demoralize and make them deteriorate even more.
17. Have fun
If you can’t find a way to have fun doing what you’re doing, it’s likely that you’ll not be able to do it for long. The same applies to teaching.
If you have fun teaching, your students will have fun learning.
18. Be involved in the lives of your students
Students sometimes need someone they can talk to. As a teacher, you’re their guardian while they’re at school, meaning you have to talk to them and guide them in the right direction.
19. Keep up with the times
There are so many new tools and technologies that are being invented to ease your work as a teacher through enhancing communication and efficiency.
As a teacher, your adoption and usage of these tools will get you a step further in your career.
20. Loosen up
Even in the process of chasing greater heights as a teacher, you don’t have to forget your mental health. One of the ways to safeguard it is by enjoying your leisure time outside school.
On the contrary, some teachers will spend even their leisure time at school, but that will only make things far worse.
Many of these rules, you have been following without even knowing it – because they are mainly intuitive. If there are some of these rules that you haven’t been following well, that you feel you should, you should start right away.