People in all career fields want to grow and develop their skills, and finding methods of personal development for teachers is no exception. There are numerous ways for teaching professionals to grow in their career and become better at what they do for a living. Below are just a few of them, as well as some information you may not have known about this very smart goal.
Some Basic Ways to Improve as a Teacher
Teachers by nature always want to better themselves, and as with other careers, there are specific things that teachers can do to improve the odds of growing in their field so that they can be happier and make more money. These include the following:
#1: Get an advanced degree. A bachelor’s degree is usually the only thing required to be a teacher, but many schools offer better salaries to teachers with master’s degrees or higher. It also helps you teach at the college level, which many teachers aspire to do.
#2: Gain more experience. Like any other job, teachers can improve their skills the more they actually go out there and teach. They can also teach at more than one school and teach short classes in-between regular school semesters. The more they get out there and teach, the better it is for them.
#3: Read, read, read. There are thousands of books, magazines, and periodicals that provide invaluable information for teachers, and, in fact, many of them are specifically made for this particular career. Best of all, these publications give practical advice that teachers can take back to their classrooms and apply directly to their students.
#4: Workshops and conferences. Each year you can find workshops, conferences, and continuing education classes to attend. In fact, the latter are required for teachers in most states, and because they provide invaluable information in these sessions on a variety of topics, they are never a waste of time for teachers.
#5: Go online and do some research. The internet provides a plethora of information on all types of careers, including teaching. There are online articles, classes, and even blogs that will help you get the most out of your career as a teacher. Better still, most of them are free.
#6: Listening to your administrators. School administrators don’t get where they are by doing nothing. They’ve earned their positions, so it is wise to choose one of them as a mentor and accept advice and recommendations from them. They can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and even help you work on certain things to improve your odds of success.
#7: Write in your journal daily. This may not sound like much, but the truth is, journaling helps you reflect on all aspects of your life and can show you the direction you’re going in if you pay attention to what you’re writing. Certain patterns will emerge when you go back and read some of the things you have written, so any type of personal development for teachers should include this activity.
#8: Rely on a more experienced teacher for assistance. If you team up with a teacher who’s been doing this longer than you have, you’ll be amazed at how much you’ll learn from that person. Experience counts when it comes to professions such as teaching, so watch those people carefully to learn all you can about this field.
#9: Rely on social media for assistance. Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are invaluable because many organizations designed to help teachers improve their skills have pages on them. Become a member, or “like” or follow their page whenever you can, and you’ll be surprised at how much you’ll eventually learn.
Two Areas Will Often Meld into One
Both professional and personal development can contain some of the same concepts and characteristics, and as with all other professionals, teaching experts need to heed certain pieces of advice if they want to grow and thrive as both a teacher and an individual. What should teachers do if they are aiming for this type of personal growth? Below are some basics:
#10: Make sure that your interpersonal relationships are good ones. You have to be able to relate to others in a positive manner if you want to grow as a person and in your career. If your relationships need a little improvement, work on that aspect of your life until you are comfortable with it.
#11: Wake up early every day. No one can deny that if you wake up early, you simply get more done by the end of the day. Waking up early can help you become more organized and structured, but of course, the main benefit is that you can scratch more of those items off of your to-do list every day.
#12: Don’t rely on other people to solve your problems. Always make sure you accept responsibility for any problems that arise, and work on them yourself until you’ve taken care of them. This doesn’t mean that you cannot accept help from others; it just means you should consider your problems your responsibility, and move forward from there.
#13: Learn to manage your stress. You can do this through meditation, taking more “me” time, listening to some of your favorite music, and many other ways. Everyone has stress, but it can overwhelm you and prevent you from getting things done if you let it go awry. Recognize when you’re stressed, and do something about it immediately.
#14: Make sure that you always have the right attitude. Periodically we all need an attitude adjustment, so when you need your adjustment, make sure that you do it as quickly as possible. Your attitude says everything about you, so you want it to be a good one, regardless of what you’re going through at the moment.
#15: Work on your self-confidence if you need to. Everyone has something to be proud of, so if you feel your confidence slipping away, make sure that you do something about it. Lack of self-confidence can wreak havoc on both your personal and private life, so any type of personal development for teachers is going to include this basic rule.
#16: Get rid of any bad habits. Bad habits can kill any chance of being successful at anything, be it personal or professional. Habits such as procrastination, showing up late for your appointments, and spending too much time on the Internet are always going to stand in the way of true success.
#17: Concentrate on being more proactive. Anticipate your problems so that you can take care of any challenges as soon as they pop up and before they become too severe. Being proactive makes you feel more in control and makes you a much more effective and efficient individual, and it is much easier to do than you might think.
#18: Don’t let your past ruin your future. Whatever happened in the past is over, so forget about it and move onto the next phase of your life. Clinging to things that happened in the past is pointless and wastes a lot of hours, but if you learn from your mistakes and move forward, you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish.
#19: Concentrate on making better decisions. Be decisive, explore all of your options, and feel confident that you’re making the right decision given what you know. That’s all anyone can expect because everybody makes the best decision based on what they know at the time.
Being a teacher affects every part of your life, and you need organization, confidence, and a definite plan so that you can be a success. The above goals help you achieve those three things and much more, and if you’re interested in more practical tips, just read on.
Personal Development Plans Work Wonders
A personal development plan is what all teachers need if they want to do better in both their private and personal lives. This is a specific plan that you devise and list in writing, with specific goals as well as the steps that you are going to take to achieve your goals. In fact, without a personal development plan, your chances of getting what you want out of life are drastically reduced. Here are a few reasons that a personal development plan is a must for teachers:
#20: You are almost guaranteed not to achieve your goals if they are not a part of a structured, professionally written plan.
#21: They help you prioritize your plans and goals. Once you start writing things down, you can easily see which goals should come first because they’ll be right in front of you, making it easier to move to the next step.
#22: They’re very inexpensive and effective. You can use a regular notebook, journal, or planner to write down your personal development plan, and personal development for teachers is no different.
You can even have two separate plans if you like – one for personal use and one for your career. As a teacher, you may even find that the two can be combined into one main development plan, but however you handle it, the important thing about a personal development plan is simply to have one.
Setting Goals Is Easier Than You Think
Naturally, the most important part of any type of self-improvement plan is to set goals for yourself, regardless of how big or small those goals may feel to you. If you need help getting started, the following tips will likely help:
#23: Improve your technology skills. Can you work on your personal development without a computer or tablet? Of course you can, but it will be much more difficult, so go ahead and take advantage of modern technology before you start planning for your personal growth.
#24: Make sure that you have the right mindset. You have to think clearly before devising a list of goals for yourself, whether they are professional or personal ones. Clear your head and have a self-confidence mindset before you start working on your personal development plan.
#25: Improve your organizational skills. You have to be organized to write down a list of goals. Otherwise, that list is going to be a mess, and it will be difficult to work with every time. If you get more organized, everything about your personal development plan and process will flow smoothly and be more effective when it’s all said and done.
#26: Determine what you want to accomplish in the end. Both professional and personal development for teachers involve knowing just what you want out of life because this is the only way that you’ll be able to put it in writing and in detail.
#27: Get more active politically. This doesn’t necessarily mean paying attention to what is happening in Washington, D.C., it just means making sure you know which laws your state legislature is considering that might affect your career and your personal life, among other things.
The art of teaching is an ever-changing area, which is yet another advantage of making sure that you are continuously growing in both your personal and professional life. Without doing these things, you won’t be able to keep up with endless advances and changes that seem to come about every school year, which can put you behind rather quickly and jeopardize your career.
Some Final Thoughts
Teachers have to be organized to succeed at their jobs, and if you’re a teacher concentrating on personal development, it is naturally going to make you a better teacher as well. You can improve your skills as a teacher, be able to think better on your feet, better understand your job as a whole, become more confident and sure of yourself, and most importantly, make better decisions and choices in all aspects of your life.
Both professional and personal development for teachers are important to your success, and since the two areas are often difficult to separate, it is good to know that there are ways to devise and measure these areas so that your plan is more likely to succeed in the end.