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4 Ways to Sharpen Your Skills in a Teaching Career

As a teacher, you have probably developed some effective teaching strategies throughout the years. You already know what works and what will not work for your students.

However, ongoing challenges due to a constantly changing world and a new batch of students will require you to adapt, grow, and sharpen your teaching skills.

That way, you would be able to effectively engage your students. 

Check out some ways to sharpen your skills in a teaching career.

1. Sharpen Your Presentation Skills

To be effective as a teacher, you must be an excellent communicator. Therefore, you need to think about improving your presentation skills.

One of the most important aspects of a presentation is shaping the content and style to fit your students.

It’s worth looking into simple online education training courses that facilitate presentation skills because, in your classroom, if you can’t present in a manner that is both interesting and understandable to your students, you cannot expect them to learn.

Whether you’re new to the teaching profession or not, preparation is the key to a successful presentation. The best teachers are always well-prepared.

Take the time to organize your thoughts before you start with your presentation. Avoid speaking in a monotone. Vary the speed and pitch of your voice for emphasis and effect and pause if necessary.

Minimize the use of filler words. If you need time to think, pause for a few seconds before moving on to the next point. Use facial expressions and gestures to easily explain and emphasize the material you are presenting. 

Try to show enthusiasm and passion for the subjects you are presenting. If you do not show interest in the subject, you cannot expect your students to be interested in it. Point out any fascinating aspects of the topic you are presenting to pique your students’ interest.

When doing a presentation, try to make eye contact with your students instead of looking at the chalkboard or wall. Build a rapport with your students and ensure that their attention is with you.

2. Learn about E-Safety

The Internet can be an excellent tool to teach your students. Unfortunately, it can also be harmful to them. There are predators and other individuals who will take advantage of the students’ vulnerability and try to harm them. In order for you and your students to be safe online, you must learn about E-safety.

As a teacher, you can help your students stay safe by talking to them about proper Internet use and warning them about online dangers. But before you can teach them, you must also understand the dangers of using the Internet.

For instance, they could encounter inappropriate content such as obscene language and pornography. There’s also the risk of cyberbullying and cyber harassment from other Internet users.

To keep your students safe, discuss the importance of keeping personal information private. Tell them that it’s a bad idea to post personal information online, especially their addresses and phone numbers.

If criminals get access to this information, they could use it to do something bad against them. It’s also important to set standards for what the students can and cannot do online.

As their teacher, you have to make the rules, so they know what is expected of them when using the Internet.

3. Learn about Supporting Young People with Mental Health Difficulties

Classroom sizes could range from 15 to 30 students. Even if only three of these students have mental health problems, that is already a huge burden for the teacher, especially if they do not know how to deal with mental health issues.

Not only that, but some teachers may also have their own mental health issues to deal with. Thus, teachers must be taught how to support young people with mental health difficulties.

Teachers should know how to recognize mental health issues among the students. They should learn about the symptoms of some of the most common mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Their role is to provide a safe environment for these kids, encourage good health, and give them access to mental health resources.

Teachers must also try to be culturally sensitive, create awareness, and work with the students and their families to ensure that the kids get the best possible help.

Developing a flexible environment in the classroom can also help students dealing with mental health disorders since kids are not expected to be perfect.

Addressing a student’s mental health disorder can be done in various ways. These include teaching the students problem-solving skills, helping them to set goals, and providing a safe haven for them when situations arise that require interventions.  

4. Learn about Mindfulness

Teachers live a busy lifestyle. The endless cycle of juggling work life and personal life can be tough. And in an effort to accomplish the necessary tasks such as preparing lesson plans and grading students, you could find yourself losing connection to the present moment.

Practicing mindfulness can help teachers deal with the day-to-day stresses they are faced with. Mindfulness is purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting this without judgment.

Studies show that practicing mindfulness is the key to reducing stress and achieving overall happiness.

The act of mindfulness originated in Buddhism. However, other religions also use prayer and meditation techniques that can help shift the thoughts away from the daily preoccupations and into the moment.

One of the biggest benefits of mindfulness is improving a sense of wellbeing. Being mindful of the present life can make it easier to enjoy the pleasures of life as they happen. This makes it easier for you to fully engage in activities and deal with adverse events. 

By focusing on the present, teachers who practice mindfulness may find that they are less likely to get caught up with the daily stresses. They will be less preoccupied with concerns about their profession and develop deeper connections with their students.

Scientists have also discovered that practicing mindfulness can help improve physical health in various ways, from relieving stress to lowering blood pressure and reducing chronic pain.

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