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50 Best-Kept Secrets of Teaching

50 Best-Kept Secrets of Teaching

Julia G. Thompson

Because becoming an accomplished educator requires passion, dedication, and deliberation, many of the most valuable lessons that any teacher can have must be learned the hard way: though experience. Sometimes, if we are lucky enough to learn from a positive experience, we will want to repeat it. And sometimes we gain valuable insights from an event so unfortunate that we vow to never repeat that experience—ever again.

In the list below, you will find just some of the many secrets to educational success that teachers have learned over the years. Some of these insights were gained from those pleasant, positive experiences and some were obviously not.

1. Never forget why you became a teacher.

2. If you don’t have a positive attitude, you should stay home and put us all out of your misery.

3. Keep small problems that way.

4. Praise good behavior and ignore as much of the bad as you can.

5. Want to avoid discipline problems? Make students feel worthy of your trust.

6. Smile at a student who is getting ready to misbehave.

7. Make sure to build motivation into every lesson. Motivation is the most important and the most undervalued part of any lesson plan.

8. Always have a backup plan for your backup plan.

9. Grouchy teachers have more problems than cheerful ones.

10. Enforce the school rules. If every teacher did this, life would be easier for us all.

11. Don’t waste time in debate when an infraction is clearly an infraction.

12. A messy desk is a sign of…limitless potential for trouble.

13. It’s not about you! Students should come first.

14. You are the adult. That’s the bad news. And that’s the good news.

15. Engaging lessons will prevent almost all of the discipline issues that loom ahead.

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16. You can protect yourself with professional behavior. When faced with a dilemma, always ask yourself what the most competent professional educator you know would do in the same situation.

17. Resolve your problems. Don’t just react to them.

18. Become a fanatically goal-oriented individual. Remember: Teaching is a deliberate act.

19. Listen more than you speak—to everyone, most especially listen to your students.

20. Join forces with other teachers. The synergy in a unified faculty is an awesome force.

Next page: More Best-Kept Teaching Secrets


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