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20 Tips for New Secondary Education Teachers

written by: chemteacher•edited by: Donna Cosmato•updated: 9/7/2009

This two part series highlight tips to help you be the best teacher you can. Welcome to the journey!

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    This two part series highlight tips to help you be the best teacher you can. Welcome to the journey!

    1. Be confident. Nothing will defeat a teacher faster than being uncertain. Confidence in your subject matter is critical. Know your stuff inside and out.

    2. Network. Teaching can be a lonely occupation unless you are intentional about seeking connections. Find a mentor in your school, join a professional association, or seek out like-minded teachers in cyberspace. You will find a wealth of knowledge and help if you look.

    3. Stay on top of paperwork. One late night grading will pay off. You will mentally be able to move on to the next thing and your students will benefit from the immediate feedback. Devise a system that helps you handle paperwork. For example, if I collect a homework assignment I will grade it using the 5-4-1 method. This means that a student earns 5 points for completing it, 4 possible points for correct answers, and 1 point for neatness, name, etc.

    4. Be a professional. Dress and act the part of the teacher. Leave high school trends for the students and take your dress cues from your colleagues.

    5. Quit comparing. It is so tempting to compare yourself to other teachers, especially those who teach the same subject as you. This comparison can stunt the growth of your own personality, however. Find your personal style and go with it. You will blossom into your own personal best.

    6. Do something to refuel. Teaching is demanding. You could give every waking hour to this profession and still not get it all done. If you don’t find something to refuel you will burn out. Take time for yourself regularly so that your perspective doesn’t suffer.

    Records, records, records. Keep a meticulous record of discipline, whether big or small.