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Practices that Ensure Teacher Success

Practices that Ensure Teacher Success

ASCD Smartbrief contributor Annette Breaux has defined ten different things that teachers who have mastered the craft understand and practice on a daily basis — saying that the practices are essential for new teachers to consider when entering the profession.

The first thing that Breaux recommends for new teachers to tap into and says that master teachers rely on is a professional learning network or just in general a good support system. Research has proven time and again that mentorship and induction programs, as well as collaboration among teachers, increases the quality of the individuals in the profession.

"Learn from as many teachers as you can both in your school and online, particularly the top-performing teachers. Do not be afraid to ask for assistance, ideas, and information..Fellow colleagues are always happy to offer their advice and guidance, and they'll look forward to learning from you, too!" she said her in post.

She also recommends adopting positive practices, such as avoiding negativity in the school building and being the happiest-looking teacher in school.

"Students need happy, positive role models in their lives. And students respond more favorably to teachers who appear to love what they are doing. Yet, walk down the hallways of almost any school and you'll meet too many teachers who appear far too serious. Make a concerted effort to appear happy every day. Fake it on your bad days. Make your classroom a cheerful place to be."

She suggests starting the school year with a solid classroom management plan that includes definitive and well-known rules for students to follow to ensure classroom order. She recommends creating classroom tasks that are fun, meaningful and doable. And above all, she recommends letting students know that you care.

"The old adage 'I don't care how much you know until I know how much you care' is particularly true in the classroom. Get to know your students, and tell them, often, that you care. Even when you're firm with them or doling out a punishment, stress that you care, that you are on their side, and that you will not give up on them, even when they are tempted to give up on themselves."

Another couple of practices that master teachers have down pat: using social media appropriately and communicating with parents.

Teachers skilled in the profession know that social media has its advantages and should integrate it into classroom learning while being careful to avoid abuse.

She recommends an "excellent New Teacher Chat (founded by Lisa Dabbs) [that] takes place every Wednesday night from 8:00 to 9:00 p.m. eastern time on Twitter, providing a supportive space where new and experienced teachers can share their insights and resources. To participate, use the hashtag #ntchat."

As for communicating with parents, social media is one of the platforms master teachers utilize to maintain heavy communication with their students' parents. One way is to host an online page so parents can easily see what's happening within the classroom and see how their students are contributing to classroom efforts.

"A parent who has received several positive communications from you is infinitely more likely to work with you to solve an occasional problem than a parent who has never heard from you or who only hears from you when trouble is brewing," she said.

Read Breaux's full list of tips here and comment with your thoughts below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

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