There’s no question that teaching is an art. It takes time to get into a good routine, but it’s important to continually refine your methods. Here are four tips for how to boost the quality and effectiveness of your teaching:
Focus on essential college skills. Your students need skills like critical thinking and perseverance just as much as subject-matter knowledge. Take time every day to teach your students how to analyze, discuss, think at a higher level, and problem-solve. The lasting impact will help your students far beyond their time in your classroom.
Ask for feedback. Your best source of information about how you’re doing is your students. Establish an open dialogue with them to solicit feedback on your approaches to different topics. Ongoing informal feedback on what is and isn’t working will help you make tweaks throughout the year (rather than waiting until any formal end-of-semester assessments).
Solicit peer feedback. Even if your school does not have a formal peer-teacher feedback program, you can ask trusted colleagues to observe your teaching and offer their comments on areas where you are most effective and where you could improve. Administrator reviews are valuable, of course, but evaluations from your peers might offer new insights.
Continue to seek new knowledge. Talk to your colleagues about what they’re doing in their classrooms. Follow education blogs for fresh ideas. When selecting professional development courses, choose carefully, focusing on those that will ignite your fire and help you learn new skills and grow as a teacher.
You hold your students to a high standard. Set the bar high for yourself as well! The impact will be noticeable, and your students will reap the benefits.