Some say teaching is an art, some say teaching is a learned skill. One thing's for sure, if you are not serious about teaching, you will not succeed. As your career advances, your skills at actual teaching will improve. But what about the other things involved with being a teacher? Just because you can stand up in front of a class and "teach," it doesn't mean you are actually a teacher! And you do have to become a teacher for the right reasons.
1) Be there- If you are not in your classroom, you are not teaching. Yes, teachers must take days of occasionally, but do not make it a habit. If you are feeling a little sick, unless it is serious, show up!
2) Be Accessible- You need to help your students at all times. That means before school, during lunch, and after school. No, you do not have to do it all the time. Start out with something like two days a week before school, lunch, and after school. You are the best tutor your students can get. Teach them!
3) Know your students on a personal basis- Talk to them during lessons. What is their favorite music? TV? Movies? Talk to them in the hallways. The more you know, the more you can adapt. It is easy to converse during class time. Little comments between concepts can go a long way. If some show up early for class, you can really get personal. No class time? Pass out a questionnaire. Above all, learn their names quickly!
4) Know the parents- Get phone numbers. Make two calls a day to parents. If you can, make more. They do not need to be long. Just a short hello and that you are interested in their child. In just a short time, you can indeed make contact to at least one parent of each student. Parents can be your biggest ally. Students will perform and behave better if they know you are talking to their parents.
5) Know your subject- If you do not know what you are doing, how can you teach? This involves complete preparation.
6) Attend school events- Make yourself seen at school sports and performances. Being seen in this setting shows students you care about them and support them.
7) Visit the neighborhood- If you do not live in the same place as your school, make some visits on weekends. Go to a local place to eat. Shop at a local store. Many of your students may have parents who own local businesses. Patronize them. Visit a church. The more your students see you, the more they will be willing to behave in class. They will see you as someone who is willing to be on their level.
8) Eat Lunch on Campus- Wander around at lunch and sit at a student table. Buy a school lunch and join them. Many students help sell food. Make a point to buy something.
9) Be fair- Expect the best, but be flexible. Fairness does not have to mean leniency It simply means to grade your students on a balanced scale.
10) Never lose your cool-Bite your tongue. All things will pass. Never carry a grudge. Things in your classroom will happen. This goes hand in hand with being professional. Acting like a raving lunatic is a sure way to shorten your career.