Highly successful schools in the US reward their teachers and they know teachers make or break a classroom. Teachers don’t teach to get rich, but appreciation by way of compensation is appreciated. A unique compensation program developed by an exceptional charter school is the American Prep Builders Club. This club allows parents to donate to the teachers and staff at American Prep. Parents reward their children’s teachers with just a small donation that goes a long way. Parents’ donations show teachers they are valuable, and this gives teachers an uplift to make them great.
What Makes a Good Teacher?
Teaching is an ever-evolving and lifelong learning profession. Teaching is full of challenges – and one is the remuneration. However, despite the low pay and long hours, a good, dedicated teacher can gain rewards no other profession gives them. They change the lives of millions of students.
Here are a few suggestions to helping you become successful and great:
- Teachers must be resourceful. They spend their days in front of 25 to 35 individuals with different personalities and needs. Being adaptable means knowing learning is a complex process, and everyone has a different way of learning. Teachers need to apply different teaching styles to reach different learners in their classrooms. Understanding tht students are all different, gives a teacher the opportunity to plan and direct their lesson plans to appeal to the diverse group of students in their class.
- Being patient is a huge challenge for teachers. It takes a special person to tamp down tempers, hurt feelings, pride and moods to teach children. Some students comprehend the subject with minimal effort while others struggle and require more extensive explanations. Patience means taking the time to explain concepts, being available for questions, and taking the time to tutor after school or give additional help to a struggling student.
- A sense of humor. Have you ever had a teacher with a sense of humor? Who laughed at themselves and with the class? A sense of humor is a critical element of the classroom. Laughter can bring an unruly class together, opened a closed mind, and endear students to one another and to the teacher. Laughter and a sense of humor allows a teacher to reach a hand out to the challenging, the unhappy, the scared child. Laughter is a common language, it’s easy, and it motivates students to behave. Highly successful schools in the US and their teachers know that a sense of humor is vital to learning.
- A great teacher must know how to answer questions. They need to be understandable. Having clarity is also a demonstration of transparency in their approach to instruction. Clarity attempts to help students understand and comprehend the subject. Clarity includes explaining course goals, reviewing and summarizing course materials and possibly bringing in outside materials to help make learning easier for students.
- Producing well-planned lessons, being on time, and having a classroom conducive to learning takes organization. A well-organized teacher can get through the challenges of the day if she/he is well organized. Basic school essentials, planning, and preparation help a teacher’s schedule flow smoothly despite difficulties. Highly successful schools in the US encourage teachers to be organized especially during the first few weeks of the school years. Organization sets expectations and classroom behavior for the entire year. In a 1998 paper, Harry Wong wrote that classroom management depended on a teacher’s early organization skills. Organization skills lead to student cooperation, productive learning environments, and engaged students in the classroom.
- By adapting teaching materials and creating appropriate outside teaching materials teachers can build rapport with the students. American Prep Builders Club donations are the perfect means to give teachers the funds to bring in different materials, enhance the learning environment, and be imaginative.
- Create a positive learning atmosphere. Let the students know who you are and allow them to engage with your personality. Keep classroom rules on the positive side, and always let your students know you believe in them. Highly successful schools in the US retain good teachers by creating positivity passed on to the classroom. Believe in your ability to learn with your student. When dealing with student conflicts or behavioral issues, be objective instead of accusatory. Begin by asking what happened and let the child do the talking. Keep your environment safe and let your students know they are protected while in your classroom.
- Develop good rapport and avoid showing favoritism. The ability to engage and involve all the students is rewarded by the American Prep Builder’s Club. Favoritism is an “insidious snake” that comes unnoticed into your classroom. It poisons morale from the inside out. If asked, teachers would admit that they play favorites. Although it is understandable for students to see, favoritism has no place in the classroom. The key is to treat everyone equal including the unruly student.
There are those who are born to teach, yet others strive to reinvent themselves. Highly successful schools in the US encourage teachers to continue learning, to improve themselves, and to become highly successful. Being a teacher is satisfying and challenging. Good teachers make positive impacts on young people daily. Teachers impart to their students’ academic skills. They also teach students how to behave fittingly, how to play and work with others, and how to achieve goals. If you want to make a real difference in the world, consider becoming a teacher in one of the highly successful schools in the US – American Preparatory Academy.