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December 2017
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  1. Don’t get discouraged early in the game

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    Gretchen Lorraine Hillcrest

    The demand for teachers has been on the rise and therefore, in order to recruit more of the workforce, the hiring qualifications have become less stringent. Teaching is now an option not only for recent graduates that had their sights set on teaching for years; but seasoned workers looking for a career change and even retirees looking to supplement their income may now consider the teaching profession as a viable option. So if you find yourself wondering if you would make a good teacher, here are some things to consider.

    The best teachers are the ones with experience.

    You can expect that this is definitely one of those professions that requires on-the-job training. There are some things you can study and plan for in advance; but there is no substitute for what you will learn by actually doing the job. A good teacher will make an effort to apply what was learned (the hard way) the previous year and adapt and adjust, in an effort to do a better job the next year, and the next year after that. And so on. So don’t get discouraged early in the game.

    A good teacher should have decent communication skills.

    A better than average command of verbal and written communication will serve you well. Surprisingly, verbal skills are more desirable than the written skills, because simply standing in front of the class with a well-written lesson plan is not enough. The teaching part is being able to effectively communicate the lesson to the students. There are plenty of avenues to pursue to strengthen your verbal skills if you feel that you need to sharpen those skills as time permits.

    Creativity, Imagination and Organization all come in handy.

    Classroom learning can get very monotonous and even the brightest students can lose interest, especially in this day and age of instant gratification. Throwing in ‘challenges’ like jeopardy sessions or spelling bees; well thought-out creative ideas that spark interaction among the students and between the students and the teacher will definitely enhance the learning environment.

    Teaching is not strictly a Monday-Friday, 9am – 3pm job.

    If you are looking for a job that you can leave behind when you walk out the door, teaching is not it. You will need to spend time grading papers, creating lesson plans; and getting involved in school activities. Summer off is the bonus; though you may find yourself involved in teaching related activities during the summer to some degree or another. And of course, if you are looking to get filthy rich, this is not the job for you. This may sound obvious, but if money really is important and you are not happy with the salary, it is very likely your unhappiness will manifest itself in your job performance (in a negative way).

    Teaching requires self-evaluation; patience and understanding.

    Being able to step back and look at things from other perspectives; to be fair and honest will help you to evaluate if what you are doing is working or if you need to change your approach. If the entire class fails an exam, chances are you need to change your methods; a good teacher will take responsibility for the failures as well as the successes.If you have a temper, you should be able to control it. If you are unable to control your temper, you do not belong in a teaching job, or any job in which you have responsibility for others; especially children.Remember that you are taking on a career that will put you in a role-model position, so behave accordingly both on and off the job. Keeping that in mind, the golden rule is the best one to strive for; love your neighbor students)as yourself and do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The same rule we should all keep in mind daily.(19)

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  2. Teaching tips: Step-by-step guide to preparing students for presentations

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    Mumbling voice shuffling feet averted eyes fidgeting fingers on crumpling note cards These are the common elements of a student struggling to give an oral presentation in front of a class of their peers. As oral presentations and public speaking continues to be an important part of the curriculum at... Comment
  3. Subject knowledge is important

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    As a teacher I continually consider whether I embody the characteristics of a good teacher. Reflecting on practice, evaluating events and circumstances, is surely necessary for success in all professions but perhaps more so in teaching, where the future prospects of young people may be improved or impaired according to the skills of their teacher. Most people have... Comment

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