100 Teacher Tips 95-97 | Benefit of the Doubt | Lifelong Learner | Winning Formula

Tip 95: Benefit of the Doubt

Give students the benefit of the doubt, but not repeatedly. Students may have an excuse or reason for breaking rules. Listen to them and accept it, but if they continually cross the line, or they do something wrong or inappropriate, take action.

We have to give our students a chance, because obviously things happen and they are also learning, but if they repeatedly cross that line, that is not good. If they continue to repeat the same mistakes, or don’t do their homework, or they get into fights, then that is a behavior that is unwanted and that you want to change.

As a teacher, it’s your responsibility to give them the benefit of the doubt, but if they do the same transgressions repeatedly, you’ve got to talk to them and you’ve got to punish them to change that behavior.

Tip 96: Lifelong Learner

Never stop learning. Be a lifelong learner, always lookout for new things to try in your classroom. We are often reminded that as teachers, we should also be lifelong learners. We should constantly learn and try new things out to improve as people and improve as teachers.

We should learn new techniques, use new content, and try different things in our classroom to become better. If we just do the same thing repeatedly, we won’t improve and remember, the world is also changing; we need to adapt.

We’ve seen this with teaching online. Teachers have had to learn new skills and that will continue to happen in the future. New things will happen and as teachers, we need to adapt, so we need to have the mindset of being lifelong learners. Learning never stops, we have to continually improve.

Tip 97: Focus on What Works

Strive for excellence, not perfection. What does that mean? If you have something that works in the classroom, be it a procedure, an activity, or a way that you teach, continue doing that. Add extra things to make it interesting, but if something works, don’t change it.

Remember the expression, don’t change a winning formula. Use the things that work for you that work for your students, but add some extra things and try different things as well. That being said, don’t stray away from things that work for you in the classroom. Consistency is key, so perhaps use 80 percent of the things that work and maybe 20 of new ideas that you want to try out.

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