101 Great Teaching Tips

1126742_2009A comment was left recently that said,

Joel, I really enjoy your blog. You have written some amazing articles that I have printed and put in my first year file. I am currently student teaching right now. I appreciate your honesty about how scary and hard it can be sometimes, but also the greatness in the experience. I am having the time of my life, and I hope the enthusiasm I have stays with me. Your blog is helping, so thank you! If you could give one single piece of advice to a beginning teacher, what would it be? Just curious!

That challenged me to see if I could come up with something I hadn’t written before that was better (or close to it) than all of the other advice I have gotten. Then it struck me.

One of my mentors told me before I went into my first job that, regardless of how long I stayed there, I should personally make a commitment to be there for at least two years.

Why do that?
The commitment keeps you from giving up halfway through when it gets hard, and becoming someone who runs from school to school throughout their entire career. We’ve all seen or heard about people like that. Don’t let it be you. If you commit to sticking with the program, it will keep you in there fighting when the odds seem to be stacked against you. It also keeps you actively involved in the classroom until the end of the year.

I remember as I was finishing my second year, I pretty much shut down as the school year came to a close. It was for no other reason than because I knew I wasn’t going to be there next year. I wanted to quit after my first year, but I kept the idea of commitment running through my head. It kept me in there, working to try to figure out how to do this whole teaching thing.

Ultimately, it’s a mental game. It forces you to submit just a little bit. It pushes us to exhaust our supply of possible solutions, and look to others for help. We never like to submit, but it’s often a good thing.

What else can you tell me?
As mentioned above, the first bit of advice is to commit to your job long-term. Additionally, let me recommend these 100 articles…

  1. Make a Two Year Commitment
  2. 4 Ways To Effectively Deal With Important People
  3. 5 Habits of Highly Effective Teachers
  4. 5 Keys To Educating People
  5. 5 Surefire Tips For Handling Misbehavior
  6. 5 Ways To Win When Children Test Your Limits
  7. 6 Motivation Techniques
  8. 8 Ways Blogging Makes Me A Better Teacher
  9. 9 Reasons To Quit Teaching (And 10 Reasons To Stick)
  10. 10 Things I Wish I Knew As A First Year Teacher
  11. 10 Tips To Stay Motivated And Love Teaching
  12. 15 Tips To Stay Positive
  13. 50 Classroom Management Tips I Have Learned This Month
  14. 50 Reasons To Love Your Job As A Teacher
  15. 65 Things You Should Do Right Now To Avoid Burnout
  16. A Customer Service Oriented Classroom Experience
  17. All Time Best Teaching Advice
  18. All Work And No Play Makes Joel A Dull Boy
  19. Apologizing
  20. Are Classroom Rules Needed?
  21. Are You Still Out Of Control In Your Classroom?
  22. Arguing Is Normal, isn’t It?
  23. Be The Best Teacher In The World
  24. Blogging Your Way To Being A Great Teacher
  25. But It’s Not Your Fault!
  26. Calling Home
  27. Can We Reach Every Student?
  28. Clarity Leads To Organization
  29. Classroom Management: The Key To Your Success
  30. Do You Run The Risk of Becoming Successful?
  31. Efficient vs. Effective
  32. Finding Excellent Educators To Emulate
  33. Gone Wild: Classroom Jobs
  34. Habit 1: Communication Procedures
  35. Habit 2: Classroom Procedures
  36. Habit 3: Relationship Procedures
  37. Habit 4: Personal Procedures
  38. Habit 5: Community Procedures
  39. Help! I’m On The Verge of Burnout!!! Do I Quit Teaching Or What Do I Do?
  40. How Do I Keep My Sanity?
  41. How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?
  42. How Do I Keep My Students Away From Me?
  43. How Do I Keep My Students Engaged?
  44. How Do I Keep My Students Interested?
  45. How Do I Keep My Students Learning?
  46. How Do I Keep My Students Quiet?
  47. How Not To Waste Spring Break (or Summer Vacation, or Christmas Break, or Saturday, or Tonight!)
  48. How to Empower Your Students
  49. If You Don’t Fill Your Schedule, Someone Else Will
  50. If You Make Only One Change This Year…RELAX!!!!!!
  51. If You Really Must Have Classroom Rules…
  52. Interview Tips
  53. Invalid Reasons Teachers Quit
  54. It’s The End Of The Year…Let’s Act Like Fools!
  55. It’s Time For An Attitude Adjustment
  56. Less Stress: Don’t Take Work Home
  57. Less Stress: Only Work At Work
  58. Less Stress: Play At Work
  59. Less Stress: Reduce Paperwork
  60. Less Stress: Reduce Phone Calls
  61. Less Stress: Reduce Responsibilities
  62. Less Stress: Work Hard At Work
  63. Less Stress: Work Only At Work
  64. Life Lesson 4: Choose Your Battles
  65. Make Love not War – How to Control an Unruly Class
  66. My Teaching Philosophy: The 50 Word Version
  67. Networking To Save Your (Teaching) Life
  68. New Classroom Rule: Don’t Talk To Me
  69. New Teacher Survival Kit
  70. Not The Best Day Ever
  71. Not The Best Day Ever Revisited
  72. Old School Classroom Management
  73. On The Brink Of Quitting
  74. Organization Leads To Sanity
  75. Overcoming Adversity
  76. Pacing: What Every Great Band Director Knows
  77. Questions That Will Save Your Career
  78. Repiteaching
  79. Sharpen The Saw
  80. Shut Up And Teach!
  81. Slow Down!
  82. So You Got A New Job! Should You Go Out And Buy A Bunch of New Crap?
  83. The Dip
  84. The Essence of Hope
  85. The Honeymoon Is Over: What Killed My First Job And 7 Tips For Getting Your Next Job
  86. The Single Most Important Advice Anyone Can Give To A First Year Teacher
  87. The Twelve Days of Teaching
  88. Three Basic Classroom Skills
  89. To Shut Up Or Not To Shut Up? That Is The Question
  90. Tools For Success
  91. Top 5 Character Traits Of Great Teachers
  92. Transforming A Tense Relationship Where There Is Low Respect
  93. Turning The Ship: Overcoming A History of Poor Teaching
  94. Valid Reasons Teachers Quit
  95. What If…
  96. Where Have All The Good Teachers Gone?
  97. Whitespace
  98. Why I Hated Teaching During My First Two Years
  99. You Better Smile Before Christmas!
  100. You Think You Pay Attention? What Else Are You Missing Out On?
  101. You’ve Been Teaching HOW LONG???
READ  The Years Are Building Blocks: Part Three

Wow. 100. Where has the time gone? All right. I admit, I didn’t write them all. But they all contain great information. I’ve learned a great deal through reading and writing them.

About Joel Wagner 522 Articles
Joel Wagner (@sywtt) began teaching band in 2002. Though he had a lot of information, his classes were out of control. He found himself tired, frustrated, disrespected by students, lonely, and on the brink of quitting. He had had enough. He resigned from his school district right before spring break of his second year and made it his personal mission to learn to be a great teacher. So You Want To Teach? is the ongoing story of that quest for educational excellence.

4 Comments on 101 Great Teaching Tips

  1. I am a student at Malone University. I am studying to be a High School History teacher. This semester I had field experience at a school where all the students had been kicked out of their home schools. At first I was really nervous, and I was not sure if I wanted to go back. As the semester went on, I really enjoyed being there. I am sad now that my field experience is over, and I am no longer going. It is very true with needing to stick with it. I greatly appreciate your advice of staying at one school once I become a teacher. I think it takes a while to get the hang of the place you are in.

  2. I am also a student teacher. I am really enjoying my time in the classroom, but can’t help thinking ahead to next year when I will have my own class. I appreciate all of the resources and advice you have on your blog!
    Thanks so much…I know they will come in handy now and into the future!!
    ~Kelli

  3. I received similar advice and it kept me in teaching. I actually did toy with the idea of leaving education at the beginning. I stuck it out a second year, but decided it would be my last.

    Toward the end of the second year, I caught an explosion full in the face. I wound up with a face (and eyes) burned and full of glass. I was told I might never see again.

    Needless to say, I had some time to think. Since I couldn’t see, I had little else to do. I realized how much I loved teaching and how much I would miss it.

    The eyesight did return and I moved on as a problem solver rather than whine about the kids.

    I don’t recommend this as a course of action for new teachers, but it woke me up to where the problems lay: mostly with me. Had I given up when I first wanted to, I’d be doing something else now and have no idea how great teaching really is. Now I solve problems rather than feel helpless.

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