Being a teacher encompasses so much more than relaying information from a textbook to a classroom of students, assigning homework, and grading tests.
The best teachers in every school do things differently from their colleagues.
They are the innovators, the motivators, the global citizens.
The Global Teacher Prize is “an annual 1 million dollar award that will be given to an exceptional teacher who has made an outstanding contribution to the profession.”
Whether you are an ESL instructor, a veteran teacher or about to enter the education sector, passion for your profession will help you shine in your career.
The Varkey Foundation established the award in 2014 with the intention of recognizing the greatest teacher in the world every year.
The winner of the Global Teaching Prize is selected by a large committee, dubbed the Global Teacher Prize Academy, which is composed of “head-teachers, educational experts, commentators, journalists, public officials, tech entrepreneurs, company directors and scientists from around the world”.
In naming the world’s best teacher, the Academy takes a lot into consideration.
Perhaps striving to meet some of the criteria they use in determining the winner of the Global Teacher Prize could help growing teachers around the globe develop their teacher skills and become better teachers.
Here are some of the considerations that will help you learn how to be the best teacher you can be:
- Passion for your profession
- Open communication and encouragement
- Great listener
- Innovative teaching styles
- Community building
1. Passion for your profession
Enthusiasm, warmth and caring all stem from passion for your career.
The more passion you have for your teaching profession, the more empathic you will feel towards your students and care about their long-term success and growth.
Passionate teachers can inspire their students and harness their curiosity for learning.
Remember, when you demonstrate to your students that you care, you will be far more approachable.
One of the many pros of being a teacher is being able to witness the positive effects you can have on your student’s lives.
2. Open communication and encouragement
Believe in your students and encourage them to be their best selves.
The truth is that students need someone to believe in them.
They may not always remember your lesson plans as they go through life, but they will remember you.
Are you someone that never gives up on them, even when they struggle?
Take notice of the different learning styles and do your best to adapt the curriculum and teaching methods in a way that creates a conducive learning environment for everyone.
Communicate that help is always available and lend a hand to those that need it.
Think of the classroom like an ever-evolving dynamic organism!
3. Great listener
A great teacher is an excellent communicator and listener.
Even students have bad days and deal with stress.
Listen to your students and take note of how everyone learns, where their strengths and weaknesses lie.
Provide opportunities for every single one of your students to assume leadership roles by demonstrating to them that their voices and opinions matter.
4. Innovative teaching styles
A successful teacher will always use the tools they have at their disposal to innovate new and fun ways of teaching.
The keyword here is fun, as including games during class time can help loosen everyone up and add a layer of humanness to the lessons.
Even the most mundane topic can become interesting depending on how you teach.
Take some time to explore the tools and resources at your disposal (music, educational movies, slide-show presentations, etc).
Students are already growing in a world where they are surrounded by technological innovation, so don’t be afraid to tap into this and advance the modern classroom.
5. Community building
A great teacher creates a sense of community in the classroom.
All students in the classroom should feel as if they belong and are supported by the environment in which they are in.
You can create a secure and supportive environment by facilitating group activities and encouraging everyone to ask questions and work together.
Plus, community building creates a sense of mutual respect in the classroom.
Bringing it all together.
These are a few tips that will help you be the best teacher you can possibly be for yourself and your students.
Maybe you can even be among the world’s greatest teachers!
Remember to be adaptable to classroom changes and have fun with it.
After all, growth and learning are never-ending.