Congratulations on your decision to become a teacher! Teaching is a rewarding career, as you will have the opportunity to inspire your students as they transition through dynamic periods of personal growth. To be a successful teacher candidate, you should make good use of the resources of the university, such as the Servant Educators program at Grand Canyon University. Have constructive discussions with your peers, and be receptive to feedback and new ideas. Here are a few more ideas to help you succeed as a teacher candidate:
Improve Your Communication Skills
Effective teachers must excel at communication. Even if you consider yourself a good communicator already, there is always room for improvement. Remember that communication is a multidirectional process. When you teach your first class, you may have students who interrupt, use undesirable behavior or disengage. Be patient and communicate your expectations early on.
You can also invite your fellow future teachers to form an interactive study group with you. Each person can take turns delivering a brief lecture, with the other group members assuming the role of the students. The feedback you gain from these mock classroom sessions can be invaluable.
Start a Lesson Resource Journal
Successful teacher candidates take notes in all of their classes, but you can go a step further by creating a lesson resource journal. In here, you will jot down quick notes for ideas for making lessons engaging to students. Sometimes, all it takes is a memorable trivia tidbit to make the whole lesson more interesting. If you are going to be a high school history teacher, for example, you might spark student interest in a lesson on D-Day by discussing the self-destructing dummy paratroopers that were dropped to distract German troops.
Volunteer to Work with Students
As a teacher candidate, you are already busy with your coursework but do try to take the time to volunteer. Any volunteer position that involves working with students will be excellent preparation for your career. Effective teachers know how to relate to students and how to motivate and inspire them. You will get plenty of practice interacting with children when you sign up for volunteer opportunities, such as Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University.