I have found that I am the type of teacher who is always wondering how I can do better? How can I do better teaching my students? How can I do better connecting with my colleagues? What can I improve my craft? The following are FOUR ways that I would recommend to try to improve your teaching skills:
- Watch your Colleagues. I don’t mean get creepy and watch their comings and goings, but observe your colleagues in action. What are they doing in the classroom that you can use in your own? What do you like about their teaching?
- Strengthen Connections with your Colleagues. Engage in casual conversation. What are they doing this weekend? How are their own children? How are they working with such-and-such a student that might help you? Learn more about your colleagues and who they are as people. Learn more about what motivates them and perhaps you can offer guidance when necessary.
- Focus on your Students Experiences. How are your students learning in your class? Do they open up or provide no intellectual benefits to the classroom? What kind of experiences are you offering your students? Are they having fun while learning the content? Do you understand where your students are coming from; what obstacles are preventing them from learning?
- Learn more than the Curriculum Requires. Continually reading and learning about your content area is an important part of best practices. Professional development is sometimes hard to come by, but if you can find appropriate seminars or conventions that would help you improve your knowledge of the content area in which you teach.
In the profession of teaching, there are always ways in which we can improve. It is never easy, but it is required in order to improve our craft and engage with our colleagues and students.