Ever looked at the teacher down the hall or in the classroom next door and wondered, how do they have it all together? What is their secret sauce to getting it all done without feeling like a hot mess on a Monday morning?
Well, we are here to say those teachers that look like they have it all together, always have their report cards done on time and never forget special school events, all have one thing in common - they have systems and habits to help them achieve success.
So what are these habits you might ask? We have thought long and hard and have listed the 7 habits that we believe highly effective teachers share and engage in:
1. They use their time efficiently
This means they mark student work as they go (you most probably won’t
see piles of books backed up in their classrooms), answer emails straight away and if given a job to do, they get it done immediately. We have heard of teachers using the 5-minute rule, which means if something lands on your desk and you can do it within 5-minutes, do it right there and then. Highly effective teachers use their time effectively and therefore, can get more done.
2. They plan ahead and know where they are heading
Effective teachers plan with the end in mind. This includes carefully aligning units and lessons with outcomes required for the grade level and planning differentiated experiences to suit and cater to the students. By planning ahead of time and knowing what is expected of your students by the end, you will be able to set attainable learning goals and focus on the student’s learning needs.
3. They are on top of data collection and reporting from day 1
You may have seen that teacher on staff that pulls an all-nighter the day before reports are due (maybe that is even you!). Highly effective teachers don’t need to work all night to hand in their reports because they know that collecting data, work samples and anecdotal notes is important right from the beginning of the school year.
Is report card time always stressful for you? We can help!
4. Their main focus in the classroom is on relationships
You may have heard it before, highly effective educators believe in Maslow before Blooms. In other words, the student’s basic needs in your classroom come first, and without that, optimal learning cannot take place. They focus on building quality relationships with their students. As a result of this focus, students feel safe and secure, classroom management is usually under control, and the learning follows and flows.
5. They are learners themselves
Good teachers are lifelong learners, and hopefully, that love for learning is contagious in their classroom. Great teachers are:
Willing to try new things
Have a Growth Mindset
Dedicated to becoming better
We often say that modelling skills to our students are a vital part of the learning process. Our students are learning to be learners from their teachers too.
6. They have a positive attitude and are team players
Move aside Debbie Downers - there is no time for the highly effective educator to be dragged down by your negative energy. Having a positive attitude makes tasks and challenges easier to tackle (and let’s face it; the classroom has many challenges).
Moreover, these teachers work with others to make the most of their strengths and time. Sharing isn’t cheating, and teacher life is made so much easier when we share the load.
7. They are ordered and organised
We hear it time and time again, organisation is the key to having a happy teacher life. Highly effective teachers have systems in place to organise their classrooms and their responsibilities. This may include (but is not limited to), a teacher diary (with special events, meetings and due dates marked in), a place to store data records, a folder or digital storage space for meeting notes and professional development. As well, perhaps a storage system for resources and classroom routines that lend themselves to the students assisting with order and organisation as well.
So there you have it, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Educators. What essential qualities or habits do you think an effective educator should have?
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