Seven Mistakes of Inexperienced Teachers

As new teachers, we all have to gain experience in classroom management, especially when teaching larger classes or high school students.  If you realize that other teachers have better results with the same students, you may make some of the mistakes that are mentioned in our blog today.

1.  We focus on being liked.  A lot of people want to be liked; however, if you keep thinking about how you want your students to like you, this is absolutely going to affect your teaching in a negative way. You have to focus on being a good teacher whom your students can look up to . Ironically, students normally end up liking teachers they respect more than ones who are trying to be the cool teacher.

2.  We yell at students.  All of us have yelled at some point, but if this is your habit, it’s not a good one. Yelling may produce a moment of silence before the students continue talking even more, and it almost always results in a loss of respect. So instead of berating students and flying off the handle, try taking a deep breath, getting really quiet, then calmly but firmly saying what needs to be said.

3.  Inexperienced teachers let little things go.  When I first started teaching I let a lot of little things slide because I didn’t want to whack kids on the head for seemingly insignificant things. The problem, though, is that if you don’t address little problems, they will quickly grow.  As a result, your class will be out of control.

4.  New teachers are often inconsistent.   I know it’s tough to be consistent.  But inconsistency in our classroom management really leads to so many problems.   It is imperative to force yourself  to being consistent.

5.  Inexperienced teachers often fail to properly prepare.  We all forgot thing, but if you find yourself habitually starting class not really being sure what you’re doing today, you’re in trouble. Yes, you might make it through the class, but you’re just not going to be as effective as you could be if you’d prepare adequately.  I have all my classes for my training program prepared and keep them in plastic pouches, including the handouts.  In that way, I am always prepared.

6.  It is a mistake to be defensive.   It can be a student, a parent, or an administrator who’s critiquing us.  When we get defensive, we rarely deal with the issue properly. We need to seek first to understand and be open to the possibility that there might be a better way. We’ll grow as teachers and also gain a lot of respect. A little humility surely goes a long way.

7.  Thinking that what you are doing is good enough.   Whenever we start to think that we’ve got it all, that we don’t need to keep learning and growing, we start stagnating.   And we become less effective than we could be if we kept looking for new ideas and better ways to teach.

Do any of these bad habits look like some of yours?   What are you doing or what did you do to overcome them?   Are there any other habits you think contribute to ineffectiveness?  Share your thoughts with a comment below.

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