Tips to Become a Stellar Teacher

Are you going to become a teacher? Maybe you had a student teaching experience or have started your very first year in your own classroom. Either way, the tips shared in this blog post will empower you to stellar teaching status in no time!

But first, let me give you some general wisdom:

Teaching is hard work, but so rewarding.

Hang in there during the tough days and savor all the amazing days too.

You’re about to impact generations of kids in the most unbelievable way! 

How To Establish Yourself as a Leader in the Classroom

Teaching is leadership. It requires you to have control over the classroom while conveying content. You are leading students in rule and routine following while leading them to new heights in their understanding. Both of those skills take practice.

Since you are a student teacher, you are coming into an environment where there is already an established leader in both classroom and content. You will step into those leader’s shoes to replicate the same outcomes.

Below are steps you can take to show students you too are a leader:

  • Have a class meeting to discuss how you are going to teach them from time to time and that the rules and routines apply just the same
  • Begin by taking over simple leadership tasks (ie. walking to recess or doing a read aloud)
  • Stand with authority (feet planted facing students, arms at your side, and eye contact around the room)
  • Wait for the majority of students’ attention before giving an announcement or instruction
  • Deliver instruction with volume, calmness and confidence
  • Praise students for following classroom rules and routines
  • Deliver consequences with firmness and fairness
  • Be clear in what students are to do, how and why
  • Remind students it is the behavior not the person that is being corrected

How To Adapt to your Cooperating Teacher’s Classroom Management Style

The fun part of learning to teach is watching a variety of instructional styles in action. This helps you envision what you might like to try out in your own classroom.

As a student teacher, you will replicate the classroom management style that is already established in the classroom (regardless if you would do that in your future classroom or not).

Some quick advice:

1.Be willing to try what is already the established norm

2.Ask for clarification when necessary

3.Take notes of what you plan to keep or tweak for your own classroom

Below are tips on how to adapt to your cooperating teacher’s classroom management style:

  • Meet with your CT to ask about the classroom management plan
  • Understand the purpose behind the management plan so that you can verbalize it to students to aid in compliance
  • Ask for feedback as you implement various aspects of classroom management (ie. leading transitions, delivering consequences, giving directions, etc.)

How To Adapt to your Cooperating Teacher’s Classroom Management Style

You will have the ability to teach a variety of students in a variety of settings. This helps you think about what type of school you’d like to work in, what type of leadership you want to learn under, and what type of students you’d like to teach.

Each staff member at school sites, from the custodian to the principal, are worthwhile connections. They know a lot about the inner workings of the school and can provide excellent tips and advice.

Below are tips on how to make connections at your placement school(s):

  • Introduce yourself to everyone you meet
  • Ask questions when you want to know more
  • Share details about yourself (ie. where you are from, what school you attend, what you look forward to the most about teaching etc.)
  • Ask colleagues for hiring recommendations/introductions
  • Attend after-school events (ie. parades, games, festivals, etc.)
  • Hang where teachers congregate (ie. staff lounge, workroom, etc.)
  • Join the email chain (ie. school newsletter or staff email list) to remain up-to-date while gathering contacts you might need in the future

Want more tips?

  1. Grab the student teaching kit here. 
  2.  Snag the “Elementary EDUC 101: What They Didn’t Teach You in College” book available in print or digital format.
  3. Connect with me 1:1 for ongoing support!

How have you become a stellar teacher? Share your tips below!

About the author, Gretchen

I am a teacher trainer and coach. Working elbow to elbow with teachers and teacher leaders to ensure instructional proficiency and student achievement soar lights me up. We have a real need in our nation for strong educators to remain in the field. My blog, book, podcast, courses and instructional materials are geared towards empowering teachers (and those that lead them) to receive the support needed to grow and thrive today, tomorrow and always.