Hays UK blog


How to be a highly successful teacher

By Paul Matthias, National Director of Hays Education

It’s easy, and often a lot of fun, to focus on the ‘wow’ factor of teaching and how to stand out as you deliver your lessons. However, your general skills and approach in the classroom are fundamental to your success as a teacher, so it’s often worth checking in with yourself and remembering the basics. Here’s our list of the most important ‘habits’ you need to build into your classroom:

A cool head inspires respect

Working with children of any age can be frustrating at times, whether it’s general disruptiveness or just a lack of engagement with the lesson. Either way – what you’re dealing with is a lack of respect for your authority, and this is something you will only exacerbate by getting angry. Patience is one of the most important skills to have in a classroom situation and every good teacher understands they need to have perseverance with the students in their class.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ in teaching

Experienced teachers rely on a combination of different styles to meet their students’ needs. You need to be flexible when bringing lessons to the class – often adapting what may work for some classrooms to something very different. This habit comes in many forms but often includes:

  • Preparing unique teaching tools
  • Gearing your lessons differently for some students
  • Acknowledging the effectiveness of ‘visual’ vs. ‘verbal’ as a learning style.

By doing this, you can be confident that you’ve provided different options for your class. It may seem a risky manoeuvre, especially if you feel more comfortable with a specific teaching style, but with experience and practice, you’ll find it becomes easy to adapt yourself and develop this skill.

Positivity as you communicate

Sometimes when you have lessons to plan, marking to do and looming exams on your mind, it can be hard to hold onto your positivity. It’s important to do so though, as a positive outlook is infectious and your students really pick up on these signals, which contributes to the whole dynamic of the room.

Infusing your delivery with positivity is at the heart of the learning experience; if you can’t communicate the objective of your lessons effectively then this will ultimately be detrimental to your students. So, by honing your communication skills to include that infectious outlook, you will be better at delivering lessons and you’ll improve overall as a teacher.

Imagination becomes inspiration

Regardless of whether you’re teaching reception children or students in KS4/5 coming to the end of their education in school, imagination is always an important tool to utilise in your classroom. It’s important to engage your creativity and imagination to design new teaching resources and lesson plans, creating exciting ways for your students to learn.

If you find your ideas drying up, then ask around. You might take on board a suggestion by a colleague, or find inspiration from a TV programme or even social media if you try. Take the time to do this regularly and you’ll develop your own classroom abilities, as well as further engaging your students.

By keeping these ideas in mind and regularly challenging yourself on the basics, you’ll always be contributing to your ability to developing as a teacher. By adding or improving these things these as part of your classroom manner, you will soon see the results in both your students and your own happiness and productivity.

To find out more, or to discuss your employment needs in this field, please contact your local consultant.

About this author

Paul has been with Hays since 1999 and the National Director of Hays Education since 2007. He is responsible for leading experts from 40 offices across the UK who specialise in recruiting for Early Years, Primary, Secondary, SEN, Further Education and Leadership staff on a daily supply, long term supply or permanent basis. His extensive experience is invaluable to ensuring schools, colleges, nurseries, academies and MATs have access to the best possible candidates.


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