What teachers should and should not do

After I completed a practicum some years ago, high school students were asked by their teacher (my cooperating teacher) to list 3 things that good teachers do to help students learn and 2 things to NOT do. I have summarized and paraphrased their advice in my own words.

  • be nice and friendly, smile
  • be fun
  • listen to students (what they want, need, are confused about)
  • give examples and explain in depth (expectations, assignments)
  • stay on subject
  • be patient and don’t get mad
  • check to see if students need help by walking around and making oneself available
  • be nice but not too nice so that students won’t listen
  • don’t yell
  • do the homework or assignments yourself before assigning it to students (while I don’t think this is exactly possible, I appreciate the principle that teachers should ask themselves if they would be able to complete the assignment and if they would find meaning in it.)
  • don’t give too much work and give enough time to complete it
  • keep control of the class
  • be confident