Quick List of 50 Teaching Tips

1009465_notesI have had countless discussions lately with some of the newer teachers around me about some general concepts. This is just a random list of a few of the suggestions I have passed along to some of them that might be helpful to you or someone you know in some way. And it comes you way free of charge.

  1. Choose your battles
  2. Bite your tongue
  3. When someone offers you unsolicited advice, give them the impression that you are listening
  4. When someone offers you unsolicited advice, listen to them and apply the advice as quickly as possible
  5. Most unsolicited teaching advice is given because of a perceived urgent deficiency in your teaching
  6. When talking with students about negative behaviors, don’t chase other adults away, they could be used to validate your side of the story if the student or students gang up on you
  7. Talk less
  8. Only fix one problem at a time
  9. Keep students engaged as much as possible
  10. Think before you speak
  11. Think twice before you discipline
  12. Establish a consistent routine and stick with it
  13. Finding faults without providing solutions is complaining; and nobody likes a constant complainer
  14. Just because something is in black and white doesn’t mean it is going to stay that way
  15. Just because someone is in your email inbox doesn’t mean it is going to stay that way
  16. Just because someone overheard someone say it doesn’t mean it is going to stay that way
  17. You need to teach fundamental technique before you can presume to teach musicality
  18. Keep reviewing the fundamentals
  19. Most performance problems kids have stem from fundamental problems
  20. Control your classroom
  21. Practice “the look”
  22. Practice getting a classroom silent armed only with “the look”
  23. Shut up and teach
  24. Many problems can be ironed out with more repetition
  25. Prioritize your time
  26. Turn the ringer off
  27. Kill your cell phone while you are teaching — completely
  28. Get out of debt as fast as possible
  29. Spend less than you make
  30. Don’t save for retirement at 8% compounded annually when you are still borrowing money at 20% compounded daily (credit)
  31. Don’t save for retirement at 8% compounded annually when you are still borrowing money at 5.5% compounded monthly (loans)
  32. Use cash
  33. Pay your bills on time (nothing says “good morning” quite like a 6:30am gym shower)
  34. Set multiple alarm clocks
  35. Don’t check your email first thing in the morning
  36. Don’t check your email right before you leave school
  37. Be friendly to office staff
  38. Say or wave hello to your principal every day if possible
  39. Don’t gossip about students
  40. Don’t gossip about teachers
  41. Don’t gossip about administrators
  42. Ask for help
  43. Get to know the parents of your students
  44. Communicate better
  45. Videotape yourself teaching and watch it with an unbiased eye
  46. Don’t try to be friends with the students
  47. Don’t try to be enemies with the students
  48. Relate with the students as you would with any other person — respectfully
  49. Establish systems and routines for repetitive paperwork tasks (assign a student to take attendance each day, etc.)
  50. Don’t do anything simply because you think other people expect it or because you don’t want to let them down
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.

2 Comments on Quick List of 50 Teaching Tips

  1. "Videotape yourself teaching and watch it with an unbiased eye" – Wow! I think that's a great idea for improving ones efficiency. Assessing your own capabilities in the job you are in is very important for getting success. Even if there are certain weird points at the beginning of the list that I could not understand much, this list should be helpful for teachers irrespective of the institutions they are teaching in.

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