What Makes an Effective Teacher?

Teacher StrategiesIt takes more than a love for kids to be an effective teacher. And while a love for kids is an absolute must, specific skills are needed to motivate students and increase their learning potential. By understanding the best avenues to pursue in order to promote learning and actively stimulate children, teachers will be better equipped to effectively instill change within their communities from the ground-up.

The impact of a good elementary school teacher is something that sticks with a child the rest of their life. It sets the tone for what children will come to think of the education system as a whole, so sparking interest at a young age is absolutely crucial. Someone who can make learning fun, engaging, and memorable will certainly contribute to promoting the value of an education to children.

Our guide on what makes an effective teacher might sound all too familiar, especially if you’re an education student or already in the classroom, but sometimes it’s helpful to remind ourselves how to be the best we can be at our jobs. Elementary school educators form the building blocks of the system our children are only beginning to climb and below we help underline the best ways to maximize your impact.

Check out our tips below for a little inspiration and guidance.

  • Preparedness is Fundamental: Being prepared is more than just bringing handouts to class. It’s about being mentally and emotionally fit to teach and supervise children. Remember, each day is a new day so come to class with an open mind, a schedule of the day’s events and to-dos, and a back-up plan in place. Prepared teachers help propagate students to be more prepared as well and when you have focus, they’ll take notice.
  • Foster Individualized Instruction: This can be tough with a classroom of 25 students, if not more, but it’s not impossible. Each student learns differently, so it’s important for teachers to keep a variety of teaching strategies in their tool belts in order to reach all students. Below are a few helpful sites to help teachers enhance their pedagogical skills:
  • Encourage Creativity: It’s so important to stimulate students’ creativity and imagination. Keeping them off guard as much as possible helps make them more adept and agile learners. You can foster a generation of innovators just be encouraging students to experiment with improvisational skills, role play, and other active learning techniques. These activities not only build confidence but speech and language skills as well.
  • Demonstrate Kindness: Again, might sound like a no-brainer, but it’s easy to forget the importance of demonstrating kindness and caring when students are unruly or inattentive to instructions. But when students act up, that doesn’t mean you throw in the towel. It’s okay to share your feelings of disapproval—communication is key! However, remember that your students are human, too, and they will have days that they are distracted. Since they’re the embodiment of the limited experiences they’ve already had, all you can do as a teacher is provide memorable educational experiences that will have a significant impact on their development.

Being a teacher is one of the most valuable occupations out there. The 21st century has seen some pretty significant changes to teaching methods from educators in the field. You’re responsible for providing the best possible outcomes for your students, and that’s a tall order. But with the right tools and strategies, and of course the right attitude, your students will not only meet specific learning objectives but have fun while doing it.

What types of degree programs are offered in elementary education?

The path to becoming an elementary school teacher involves completing a bachelor’s degree in elementary education, earning a teaching certificate, completing student teaching, and passing licensing and competency exams in the state where you wish to teach. If you’re interested in learning more about specific elementary education degree programs, we’ve listed some featured schools below.

SchoolPrograms
Grand Canyon University
Grand Canyon University

Accreditation
  • HLC
Liberty University
Liberty University

Accreditation
  • SACS
Ashford University
Ashford University

Accreditation
  • WASC
Walden University
Walden University

Accreditation
  • HLC
  • NCA

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