How to Be an Effective Middle School Teacher Part 3

Read these tips to become the best teacher for your students.

Lean on other teachers.

The teachers around you understand what you’re going through. They can provide a shoulder to cry on, chocolate to eat, and solutions to stuff you’re dealing with in your classroom. I remember many Tootsie Rolls were eaten with my fellow teachers during my first year of teaching. They (both teachers and Tootsie Rolls) can help.

Form a positive relationship with each student.

Classes are more fun for everyone when students like and respect their teacher. More positive adult role models are always a good thing. Do you have a difficult student you’re struggling to connect with? Here’s how you can form positive connections with ALL of your students.

Use a paperwork organization system that works for you.

Teachers have a lot of paperwork. Find a good way to organize all of those student papers and documents before the school year even begins. Some problems happen when transporting student work to and from school for grading purposes. Originally, I used paperclips to keep my different class sections separated. Well, let me tell you, paperclips don’t like to stay on bulging stacks of paper that are repeatedly crammed into a bag and then pulled out again. My eventual solution was one of those expanding file folders with multiple pockets. I labeled each pocket with a different class section. Worked like a charm. Until the little claspy-thing weakened and the papers spilled all over the floor in one big ol’ mess. #experience

Communicate with parents often.

Unfortunately, the first time many parents of middle school students hear from a teacher is negative news about how little Jimmy or little Janie is acting up in class. Try to recognize and share positive things with parents whenever they pop up. Also, parents have a wealth of knowledge about their kids. Time and again parent surveys given at the beginning of the year have proven invaluable in my class. Learn more about using parent surveys in your classroom.

Anticipate possible problems and misunderstandings.

When lesson planning you should dedicate just a little time to thinking about what problems might arise during the lesson. Come up with solutions, clearer directions, and/or better approaches. This has saved my sanity many times, and, more importantly, decreased wasted learning time for my students.

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