4 essential ingredients for positive teaching in 2018

Teacher talking to pupils

“I never teach my pupils. I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” (Einstein)

Teaching is a highly demanding job. There’s no shortage of challenge and staying positive throughout the school year isn’t always easy. Many teachers come back from the Christmas break feeling slightly jaded from over indulgence, but with every intention of making the New Year a positive one.

Throw in these 4 essential ingredients and you’ll have every chance of making it through the school year with a positive spin all the way to the summer holidays. Concentrate on the conditions and learning will happen.

1 – Be an inspiration

Great teaching can change lives. It’s what every great teacher aspires to do. You can give your pupils as much information as you like, but without an inspiring relationship with your class, much less learning will take place. Find connections with your students and use this to make the material you are teaching relevant. Your aim is to motivate. Teach your pupils to never miss an opportunity to be fabulous. Use your posture, presence and demeanour to support your endeavour.

Being an inspiration shouldn’t stop at the classroom door. Inspire colleagues to stay positive too.

2 – Plan your personal and professional growth

It’s no surprise to learn that teachers who have a growth plan, not just for their teaching career, but also for their personal life, often have greater success with their students. Teachers who are in learning, have a greater capacity to understand the difficulties and obstacles pupils face with their learning.

3 – Practice what you preach outside of school

Being a teacher is a vocation. That’s why many teachers end up doing additional teaching outside of school, such as at a YMCA or a youth project. Even if you don’t have time for that, address how you speak with friends in various situations and use positive dialogue to promote the growth of the teaching profession.

Staying positive inside and outside of school is probably the most difficult to carry out, but a positive attitude is a catalyst for positivity from your pupils in the classroom.

4 – Reinforce positive behaviours

Positive actions need to be taught. Don’t assume your pupils automatically know positive behaviours and what is expected of them. Create a classroom code of conduct to help the children in your class understand positive and negative behaviours. Ask your pupils the ways they like to be treated and elicit lists of behaviours that are respectful, fair, kind and empathetic.

Strengthen the motivation for sticking to the classroom behaviour code by recognising and acknowledging positive actions. Ultimately, you want students to identify with good behaviour and feeling good about themselves.

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