This is the fifth in a series of 10 lessons retired teacher Tom Krause says every new teacher needs to learn to grow in the profession.
Welcome to teaching! You are now part of a profession solely dedicated to helping students of all ages learn. It is a profession where the more you give, the more you get in return. Most famous people are eventually forgotten, but teachers live on in the hearts and minds of their students.
First you need to learn the rules and operating procedures of your new building and district. Once you have that down, it is time to grow into your occupation.
These are lessons every new teacher should learn. Do not expect to learn them all at once, but as you gain experience, you will find these lessons valuable.
5. Make it Interesting and Understandable to All
Students cannot learn what they cannot understand. Forget about what they should know. The only thing that matters is what they do know. It is easy to place the blame in education on someone else. As if someone had done his or her job better, the student would know more. While that may be true, it is completely meaningless to the student’s future. Their future is now in your hands and it is up to you to move their education forward.
New teachers need to learn that just because a lesson is understandable to them, it may not be to their students. Successful teachers find ways to make the lesson simple and relevant to all their students. This takes lots of experimenting, but once achieved, the benefit for the student is enormous. It is exciting to see their eyes light up as their confidence from mastery is born. Instead of boredom, momentum grows as the students look forward to what they will learn next.
Sometimes accommodations must be made for special needs children, but that must not be seen as a roadblock. All students celebrate learning as one. No one is left behind. Everyone is pulled forward to a new exciting level.
Teaching is more than passing out information. Teaching is helping students understand. One of the goals of great teachers is to teach in a way that all students understand easily. This eliminates a lot of tension and stress in the classroom. It shows the teacher cares about the student. It places the burden for learning more on the teacher and less on the student.
It is the mark of a true professional.
Previous Growing Into Teaching Posts
- Part 1: Be Yourself
- Part 2: It’s About the Students (Get to Know Them)
- Part 3: Understand the Importance of Readiness
- Part 4: Value of the Teacher/Student Connection