If you ask a student what makes him or her successful in school, you probably won’t hear about some fantastic new book or video lecture series. Most likely you will hear something like, “It was all Mr. Jones. He just never gave up on me.”
What students take away from a successful education usually centers on a personal connection with a teacher who instilled passion and inspiration for their subject.
It’s difficult to measure success, and in the world of academia, educators are continually re-evaluating how to quantify learning—but the first and most important question to ask is: Are teachers reaching their students?
Here are 25 things successful educators do differently.
25 Things Successful Teachers Do Differently
1. Successful teachers have clear objectives
How do you know if you are driving the right way when you are traveling somewhere new? You use the road signs and a map (although nowadays it might be SIRI or a GPS). In the world of education, your objectives for your students act as road signs to your destination. Your plan is the map. Making a plan does not suggest a lack of creativity in your curriculum but rather, gives creativity a framework in which to flourish.
In short, not necessarily. You’ll come across Oxbridge students who don’t (but don’t be shocked to meet quite a few who do).
While every individual application should be treated on its own merits, there are a few boxes you should tick to keep your Oxbridge hopes alive…
1. Get good grades
Yes, your grades will need to really dazzle. GCSEs are seen as evidence of work ethic – and you need a really strong one of those to cope with studying at Oxford or Cambridge. Our ‘guesstimate’ is that the average successful applicant has around eight A* GCSEs – or 8/9 grades under the new system – under their belt.
Don’t have top GCSE grades? You might still have a chance – find out more with our helpful guide to the importance of your GCSE results.
And of course you need the A-level grades that Oxford and Cambridge ask for, for a given course – search for a course to see what these are exactly, as there can be some extra requirements or conditions. Our guide to the real story behind entry requirements sheds some light on what these are.
As per recent changes to A-levels, these are the grades you achieve in your final exams at the end of Year 13 (but you’ll apply with predicted grades based on your Year 12 performance). So expect for these to be scrutinised alongside your GCSE grades, plus any admissions tests the university requires you to take – more on this below.
2. Show wider reading
If you’re considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge, there are a few things you’ll already be aware of. The Boat Race, the Bullingdon Club, and the infamous May Balls to name but a few. What you may not be prepared for is the horror show of the admissions process. From drafting a personal statement that shows off your subject knowledge, to prepping for the famously tough interviews, the application experience can be gruelling.If you’re considering applying to Oxford or Cambridge, there are a few things you’ll already be aware of. The Boat Race, the Bullingdon Club, and the infamous May Balls to name but a few. What you may not be prepared for is the horror show of the admissions process. From drafting a personal statement that shows off your subject knowledge, to prepping for the famously tough interviews, the application experience can be gruelling.
It is hard to argue with this list of 20.
- Arrive at lessons on time.
- Well prepared lessons which are not too much teacher led.
- Set a good example in terms of dress.
- Happy, purposeful and not moody.
- Fair to all with high expectations.
- Witty and clever – slightly quirky.
- Know all names and use them.
- Excellent subject knowledge – feel safe that they are going to cover everything.
- Can explain things clearly and simply.
- Up to date with the use of technology in their subject.
- Teacher, not a friend.
- Variety of methods used to teach.
- Prepared to have a more relaxed lesson at times.
- Does not overuse school sanctions to get control of a class.
- Good class control- prepared to deal with troublemakers for the benefit of all.
- Encouraging not critical of pupils understanding.
- Popular amongst other staff members.
- Good knowledge of exam questions and how they will be tested.
- Active in other parts of school life such as sport and other clubs and societies.
- Give extra help away from the lessons if not understanding.
There are of course many more. Please do comment with your suggestions.