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Teaching Strategies: 10 Tips to Have a Great Year

Janelle Cox

As you get ready for the new school year to begin, you are most likely thinking about what you would like to accomplish this year. Trying some new teaching strategies, giving your students more choices, or learning a new skill to teach your students. While all of these things are important to think about, we often forget about the little things, like being mindful, and staying positive. These little things that can help us have a successful school year. As you plan for the new year, take a moment to think about the following tips. These miniscule changes may just be the thing that you need that will make your year that much better.

1. Teaching Strategies: Be Positive

There’s much to say about being positive. Research is beginning to reveal that it’s a lot more than just displaying a happy attitude. Positive thoughts can have a great impact on your work, your health, and even your life. Bring this positive vibe with you to school. Be a positive role model to your colleagues and your students. This optimistic energy will not only help you succeed in life, but others as well.

2. Challenge Yourself

Don’t be afraid to take a risk and try something new. Is there a specific teaching strategy that you have always wanted to try but was afraid the students wouldn’t take to it? Or, have you always wanted to change your classroom so that it is more student-centered? Whatever it is, give it try. This is the year of new beginnings, challenge yourself and you won’t be sorry.

3. Be Mindful

Being mindful is much more than just reducing your stress. While it can reduce your stress hormones, it also can improve your attention, boost your memory, make you less reactive, and enhance your self-insight. Take the time each day to sit someplace quiet and focus your attention and your thoughts and your breath. This can be for two minutes or for ten minutes, whatever works for you. This is a great way to recharge, and refocus your energy so that you can handle whatever is about to come your way.

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4. Welcome Change

Not everything is always going to go as planned. There will be times when change is inevitable. Instead of fighting it, embrace it. While it may seem scary at that moment, just know that once you get through it, you will be OK.

5. Be a Role Model

You are a teacher, which means that students look up to you. Be a role model for your students, and a leader for your colleagues. Always remember that people are watching your every move, so make sure that you are representing yourself the way that you want to be represented.

6. Take Care of Yourself

One of the biggest ways teachers get burned out is when they fail to take time for themselves. You can’t be an effective teacher if you are unhealthy and burnt out. Be sure that you set aside time each week to do the things that you love.

7. Collaborate with Colleagues

Be a team player. You can achieve a lot more in school when you are part of a team. What makes a great team player? Someone that is kind, open to criticism, dependable, and able to listen to others. If you’re not on a team, then seek ways to collaborate with your colleagues. Take professional development courses, participate in teacher chats online, or ask your colleague next store to collaborate with you on a lesson.

8. Stay Away from School Drama

There is always going to be those teachers who get caught up in the school drama. You know, the ones that are in the lunch room everyday gossiping about other teachers or complaining about school administration. Don’t waste your time getting involved in these things. Instead of gossiping, focus on your students and all that you want to accomplish during the school year.

9. Maintain Positive Expectations for All Students

Not all students learn at the same pace or in the same way. If one student in underperforming, don’t make excuses for them. Instead, stay positive and find a solution.

10. Have a Good Time

Don’t be afraid to have a good time at school. Think back to when you were a student, and how much fun you had in school. Make learning fun, and don’t be afraid to laugh. When your students see you are having fun, they will too.

Do you have any tips that you would like to share? Please leave your tips in the comment section below, we would love to hear your ideas.

Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds a Master's of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com, as well as a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com and TeachHUB Magazine. You can follow her at Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, or on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators.