Ten things teachers do to be successful often remain hidden to both teacher and observer. They do not impress onlookers in the classroom, and teachers do not intend to impress with them. Actually, those teachers who perform these 10 things seldom think of them as “10 things teachers do to be successful” in their teaching.
To identify these “10 things” and understand the reasons they produce success, we must first define success in the world of education. When do we know a teacher succeeded? What are the marks of teaching success? Who establishes them?
Government committees use standardized tests. Faculties exercise peer evaluation. Students draw on personal criteria. Each group paints on the wall a mark that harmonizes with its beliefs. It marches teachers forward one by one to see if they match up to the mark. Critics deem teachers successful if they reach the mark, even if they must stand on performance tiptoes to do so. In reality, every one of those methods of judging teaching success depends greatly on students.
We cannot cleanly divide things teachers do from things students bring to the experience. While this does not render any of those tests of success invalid, neither does it get to the root of success. What 10 things teachers do to be successful go deeper?
To me, the 10 things teachers do to be successful in imparting knowledge to students all flow from character development. Teachers who work conscientiously to build strong values based on moral absolutes take giant steps toward success in teaching.
Such teachers study to master definitions of individual character traits. They accept the truth that exercise of character on the job will demand personal sacrifice. They reckon with the reality that there will be consequences, some pleasant and some unpleasant. Nevertheless, they want to add each trait to who they are. They begin to exercise traits. They work to strengthen character until the traits become as habitual as eating and sleeping. From that strong character come the…
10 Things Teachers Do to Be Successful
Courage of Convictions – They develop backbone by building the courage of their convictions. They take time to hammer out solid moral values of what they should and should not do in life. They determine to stick by those beliefs, and they stand up for them without fear of what others may do or say to them. This frees such teachers to give themselves to their work.
Creativity – They develop immense creativity. This trait equips them to step “outside the box” when they become conscious of unmet student needs. Minds freed from the defined course package, they inject unexpected sights, sounds, and actions using whatever materials are available to clarify concepts for every learner.
Diligence – They develop diligence, lavishing on their teaching more than enough effort to merit their salaries. They seek to understand well all material they teach, and all the students in their classes, as well as the unique needs of each student. They apply themselves with unremitting attention to cover lessons clearly and in such a way that no student lacks needed help.
Integrity – They develop integrity, a trait that prevents these teachers from disharmony, i.e. vacillating in words or actions. They send a consistent message to colleagues, students, and other staff members. They show consistency in their treatment of students and staff. If they must change their minds on a matter, they are careful to provide sound reasons for the change.
Love – They develop love, the greatest interpersonal trait. They work into class time every possible effort to become acquainted with students’ temperaments, inner needs, and desire. They apply the understanding gained to do what is best for their students, sacrificing where necessary what might be best for the teacher in order to address student needs.
Patience – They develop patience, overcoming their own feelings of anger, frustration, or inward anxiety at the adversity directed at them. These teachers take control of their own emotions rather than vent on students or others, and remain focused on the goal of conveying information in a manner that will ensure high academic attainment whenever possible.
Punctuality – They develop punctuality, an evidence of the value these professionals set on the task of preparing young people for profitable adult lives. Present in the classroom before the bell rings, they come thoroughly prepared in mind and with needed materials. They order their lives in a manner that allows them to meet every deadline without last minute agitation.
Respect – They develop great reciprocal respect from colleagues and students by building their own respect. They model for everyone in the school the high regard they hold for the pursuit of education. The modest business attire they wear shows that they do not view education as a casual matter. Their actions and words likewise prove that they are involved in worthy work.
Responsibility – They develop responsibility for their duties, taking it upon themselves to be sure they know exactly what is expected of them at any given time. Teachers such as these then go into action, focusing on full and laudable completion of each duty or task. They give, asked or unasked, full account of how and when they have fulfilled their duty.
Self-Control – They develop strong self-control, studying their own nature carefully to ferret out the impulses, wishes, irritations, and triggers that frequently become troublesome. Then these teachers act to restrain the troublemakers within, often at personal sacrifice. They place the welfare and success of their students ahead of their own desires and itches.
Astute readers protest, “Why stop at those ten character traits? Where are equitableness, fairness, and tolerance? Why did you not include kindness?”
A blog article’s confines limit space, but you have made a perceptive observation. The teacher who unlocks the doors of teaching success will indeed include work to develop every character trait. Those traits in our brief discussion simply represent the most important 10 things teachers do to be successful.