How do we be the best teachers we can be?

As we are now either one or two weeks back into the 2012 school year I think the above question is a vital one and one we should revisit on  a regular basis.  I would like to use this post to as a platform suggest a few ideas that could help us be the best teachers we can be….

1.  Ask yourself, at the end of every school day ‘What did I learn today?‘  It could be about a brilliant new lesson you delivered or even how you successfully handled a difficult situation with a student or parent.  Make a note of these so you can come back and review them and build on them.

2.  Work ‘ON’ your career as well as ‘IN’ it.  We all know that school weeks flash before our eyes in an instant; teaching a full timetable, using frees to plan lessons and assess; parents’ evenings and running extra curricular clubs to name but a few commitments we have to the school and the students (I’m not complaining here by the way, I love my job and everything it entails!).  However, how much time to we give to improving ourselves as educators? Indeed, do we have time?

However, no matter how busy we get, I think we must be proactive in educating ourselves as teachers.

How many CPD opportunities have you found for yourself or put yourself forward for?  Have you experimented with any new pedagogiacal practice to excite and engage your students?  Samuel Beckett’s ‘Ever tried.  Ever failed. No matter.  Try again.  Fail again.  Fail better’ springs to mind here.  Get out of your comfort zone, try something new in the classroom; it could be the best thing you ever do..

Are you on Twitter As someone who is limited (but looking to improve) with technology and social media I have found twitter to be a small revelation.  It’s connected me with educators all over the world and allowed me to share ideas and use new ideas on a daily basis.  It offers brilliant CPD opportunities and you can dip in and out at your leisure.  If you’re a teacher and you have not joined the revolution, do it! Now!

3.  ‘Think different’ & ‘Don’t settle’.  You may recognise these words; Steve Jobs and Apple are responsible for them both.  In other words, be curious about education and question everything;  not to be difficult or  to cause trouble or to be rude, but to try and enhance everyone’s educational experience (students, teachers, parents and the community).

I am going to stop my brief ramblings now and leave you with two videos to watch.  The first one is Apple’s legendary 1997 ‘Think Different’ campaign with individuals who did just that.  It would be interesting to know how many of the brilliant people in this advert left school with any tangible qualifications that helped them later in life?

The second video is Steve Job’s commencement speech at Stanford University’s back in 2005.  Believe me, it’s a cracker with great messages throughout including ‘don’t settle’ advice.  Enjoy!



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