Teachers play a huge role in children’s lives as they’re growing up. Students spend numerous hours every week in the classroom from ages 5 to 18. That’s a lot of time spent around teachers! For many students, their teachers may be the only role models they’re ever exposed to and they may spend more time with them than they do their actual parents. This issue is why it’s vital for teachers to prepare to be stellar role models to their students. Here are some ways they can accomplish that.
To be a good role model, you need to have passion for what you’re doing. As a teacher, this means you need to feel passionate about teaching and the students you teach. It’s so easy to burn out and feel hopeless when you’re having a tough year, but you can make it through if you have genuine passion for what you do. Your students will see this passion in you and it’ll hopefully spark some of their own for a certain subject or hobby!
Like I mentioned above, it’s easy for an educator to feel burned out. That’s why perseverance is such a vital quality to possess. You’ll need to persevere in order to be an astounding teacher, especially during those days when it’s tough to continue. When you have a difficult student, it’s important to be able to persevere and continue attempting to connect with them.
It’s important to know what your personal set of values are when teaching. Students are going through the time in their lives when they’re trying to figure out who they are and what their own personal values should be. If you can stand firm in your values, it’ll encourage students to stick to theirs. Values differ from person to person, but a couple that are important for educators to own are honesty and humility. It’s important to admit mistakes so students realize you aren’t perfect, while also being upfront with them.
To become an effective role model as a teacher, you need to be committed to the students and make sure they know that. They’ll trust you and believe your interest is sincere. A way to get this point across to them is to show a commitment to the local community as well. By volunteering and being involved outside of your workplace, you’ll show students that you have a genuine interest in them and where they’re from and you aren’t merely “doing your job.”
Have respect for your students. While it’s true that respect must be given to be received, many students may not understand what it’s like to have an adult who really cares about them and wants to listen. No matter how unruly a student may be, treat them with as much respect as possible. Try to never lose your temper and call them names or curse at them; these actions will break down any professionalism and cause students to not respect you.
The most important part of being a good role model is having the ability to communicate effectively with the students. By knowing how to talk to them about their interests, their hopes and dreams, and themselves, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level, which will inspire them to view you as a role model.