It is easy for teachers to feel like the weight of the world is on their shoulders. Not only are teachers trusted with the learning and development of children, they must also act as inspirational and influential ‘role models’.
But in many respects, the attitudes and attributes of good teachers go hand-in-hand with role models…
- Advocate good discipline
In addition to being the gateway to good learning within the teaching environment, advocating good discipline can also determine whether an individual is a role model or not.
With a discipline system that learners fully understand, you’ll be able to focus on the job in hand and be seen as a master of your craft.
- Motivate with energy
Think carefully about the inspirational affirmations you can introduce to your students to install belief in their own ability. For example, you could make more of an effort to create engagement from the get-go or ensure that content is enjoyed and learnt over the long-term.
By constantly challenging yourself to motivate with energy and enthusiasm, you’ll soon become a role model in each and every lesson.
- Take centre stage
Don’t think of taking centre stage as a pedestal to showcase your own knowledge. Instead, provide opportunities for students to demonstrate their highest levels of excellence.
If you recognise learners and their work as the centrepieces to the teaching, you’ll soon achieve role model status.
- Be an innovative thinker
It can be tempting to use outdated or old resources when energy and confidence levels begin to drop. But this is when you need to be at your most innovative, as it is the learning experiences that students will remember you for.
So, consider innovative quizzes or games, spark debates in original or novel ways, and get learners to take an active interest in feeding back what they have learnt.
- Professionalism not perfectionism
As a teacher, you must always make an effort to set the example. You should be approachable but know when to remain aloof. You should listen indiscriminately, problem solve effectively, and be a reliable mentor to students.
You won’t get the aforementioned ideals right every single time, but professionalism will shine through more than perfectionism.
- Provide feedback
Students typically hold teachers in higher esteem if they take the time to comment on the work they have produced.
This is often a challenge due to the sheer volume of work a typical teacher has to deal with, but written acknowledgement and verbal feedback shows that you aren’t ignoring the effort of students.
- Show ambition
Teachers should model themselves on what they want their own learners to aspire to. This must start with providing commitment during every lesson.
Students will mimic ambition shown by teachers, which often leads to greater self-development and better discipline.
- Reflect reality
Every good role model goes through a lifelong process of reflection. In fact, it’s often easier if you think of the term role model as ‘real model’.
That way, you’ll soon realise that role models aren’t perfect and that positively adjusting to any imperfections will make you a better teacher, as well as a better person.