By Team iCEV on December 31, 2019 at 11:34 AM
As 2019 closes and we move into a new decade, we want to offer 20 tips to help 2020 be your best year yet. While these tips are in no particular order of importance, we hope they will benefit you and your students throughout the coming year.
#1 Get Organized
To avoid last-minute stress and chaos, plan lessons at least one week in advance.
#2 Set Goals
Set goals for you and your students that are achievable but still challenging. Use these goals as a source of motivation throughout the year.
#3 Have Clear Expectations
Set clear guidelines and expectations early on. This helps establish a positive classroom environment and encourages respect between students and teachers.
#4 Encourage Creativity
Allow students to have some creative freedom on activities or projects. Let them explore their own interests and incorporate those interests into the subject and topic.
#5 Be Adaptive
Sometimes students aren't going to understand the lesson. It's ok (and necessary) to put a pause on plans and reteach as needed.
#6 Focus on the Positive
It can be easy to be overwhelmed by negativity, but placing an emphasis on a positive attitude and positive thoughts will make your classroom a happier and healthier place for you and your students.
#7 Be Flexible
Listen to your students. It is ok to occasionally have a "catch up" day and let everyone finish incomplete projects, assignments, or study for other subjects.
#8 Ask For Help
Don’t allow fear or pride keep you from seeking the advice of others. Recognize others may have more knowledge or experience than you and use that to your advantage.
#9 Be Brief
Regardless of the age or subject you teach, remember attention spans are limited. Address topics in the clearest and concise way and reduce opportunities that can lead to confusion or misinterpretation.
Not every student learns the same way. Employ various teaching methods and strategies to appeal to all learning needs and styles.
#11 Take Care of Yourself
It’s easy to get run-down. Remember it is important to take care of yourself so you can be the best teacher for your students.
#12 Incorporate Cross-Curriculums
While it is important to focus on your subject, remember learning is a holistic process. Find ways to incorporate topics from other subjects to help your students draw connections across subject areas.
#13 Limit Distractions
We live in a world full of distractions, and it is inevitable some of those distractions will be present in your classroom. Limit distractions such as cell phones and other forms of technology to keep you and your students on task.
#14 Focus on Relationships
Relationships are the key to building a positive classroom environment. Knowing your students on more than a superficial level will allow you to make their learning experience the best possible.
#15 Try New Things
It’s easy to use the same time-tested methods over and over again, but don’t allow yourself to become complacent in your teaching approach. Don’t be afraid to try new techniques and search for practices to challenge you and your students.
#16 Accept Failure
Failure is part of growth. Both you and your students will experience failure at various points of the year, but do not let failure deter you. Instead, use it as a motivator to achieve success.
#17 Find Your Own Style
Each educator has their own unique style of teaching, just like each student has their own style of learning. Figure out what methods suit you and your students best and focus on perfecting your unique teaching approach.
#18 Never Stop Learning
Just because you’re the teacher, doesn’t mean you are done learning. Seek out experiences such as training, conferences or workshops that will challenge you to grow as an educator.
#19 Take Breaks
The brain can only focus a certain amount of time before knowledge consumption is reduced. Set aside time in the day for you and your students to take a short break before re-focusing your brains.
#20 Find a Community
Teaching is not a solitary act. Seek out others who share your passions and interests and build relationships. These connections will help you to overcome difficult times as well as celebrate all the rewarding experiences that come from being an educator.
We hope you find these tips helpful as the new year begins and a new semester approaches. From everyone on Team iCEV, we wish you a Happy New Year!