With school in full swing, teachers all around the world are working hard day in and day out to provide the very best education for their students. They are planning lessons, holding conferences, getting to know students, setting the guidelines for assignments, adjusting instruction according to student need, working way past the school bell, helping students learn what they need to know to be successful in school and in life, and so much more. As an Elementary Education major who is preparing for student teaching in four short months, I am becoming more and more aware of the array of responsibilities and demands that every teacher has. Through all the hustle and bustle, we may need to stop and remind ourselves that our purpose is for good, not for stress or for unrest. So, here is a good guide of what we should keep in mind and some things we should strive to do as teachers. I present to you, the 10 Commandments for Teachers.
1. Get to know your students and invest in their lives.
Imagine what classrooms would be like if every student knew they were cared for and known by their teacher. Getting to know our students matters! Be available, be present, be invested. Show your students you care!
2. Be enthusiastic and excited about teaching and learning.
Your students will know if you love what you do. Believe it or not, they can read our emotions pretty well. If we are enthusiastic and excited about what we teach and what our students are learning, this will leave a great impression on them and further their excitement too!
3. Develop good relationships with parents/guardians.
Good relationships between teachers and parents/guardians can do nothing but enhance a child's academic success. Parents/guardians are your #1 resource for getting to know the needs of your students well beyond the classroom.
4. Prepare thoughtfully.
Think about the needs of your students. How can you present a lesson that will be engaging to your students, but be at an appropriate level for each student too? This may take time, but it will be time well spent in the long run
5. Teach in a way that is relevant to your students.
You will have a student at some point in your teaching career ask, "When will I ever use this in the real world?" Trust me, I was that student. Make your instruction relevant! Show students how this concept relates to themselves, to their communities, their state, their world.
6. Take time to rest and revamp.
You need this time. For the good of yourself and your classroom, take time to stop, relax, and truly rest.
7. Be mindful of the words and actions you choose to use.
Practice mindfulness daily. Make sure your words and actions are lifting others up rather than bringing them down.
"The tongue is a small thing, but what enormous damage it can do." - James 3:5
"You are what you do, not what you say you'll do." - C.J. Jung
8. Build strong, helpful relationships with your coworkers and administration.
Good relationships are key! While you may be focusing on building your classroom community, take some time to build community with your coworkers and administration too!
9. Be professional.
Be on time, follow procedures, take charge, embrace change, take responsibility, and even in dressing professionally - let excellence be your aim!
10. Give it your all!
Give it all you have while you have the chance! You have the great opportunity, as a teacher, to positively influence students and make a difference in their lives. So look ahead towards the possibilities of who these amazing young learners can be and let that be your motivation!
And don't forget to have some fun with your students too!