Become A Better Teacher: 20 Things You Can Learn In 10 Minutes

become a better teacher

20 Things You Can Learn in 10 Minutes To Improve Your Teaching

by Terry Heick

Becoming a better teacher is likely a big part of why you’re here.

Based on reader feedback, surveys, comments, and other observations we’ve noticed over the years, the vast majority of you are already ‘good’ at what you do.

Few incompetent professionals that consistently seek to improve remain incompetent. Whether knee-deep in a book or here on TeachThought reading and skimming and sharing and responding to ideas, it’ll be difficult for you to resist growing.

A lot of what we discuss here at TeachThought, however, is very macro stuff–broad looks as the possibilities inherent in modern pedagogy, and the dangers we risk by not understanding them. While we try to balance that with use tomorrow in your classroom tools and strategies, we can always be better there, I think.

In response, below I’ve collected 20 (mostly) simple things you can do (relatively) quickly to become a better teacher. The list is purposely diverse because I wrote it and can’t stay focused on anything for longer than 4 minutes, it seems.

Most are based on resources we’ve already created here, so where relevant I’ve linked to said resources.

20 Things You Can Learn In 10 Minutes To Become A Better Teacher

1. The purpose of an assessment. (Also, simple assessment strategies may not be a bad idea either.)

2. How to create and share files via Google Drive.

3. Four alternatives to letter grades.

4. How to quickly estimate the reading level of any student.

5. One writing strategy universal enough to improve the writing of most students in most circumstances no matter the content area or assignment. TAP is a decent approach–here’s a prezi explaining more.

6. The difference between doing projects and project-based learning.

7. Three differentiation strategies.

8. Five ways to quiet a noisy classroom.

9. One new way to use Bloom’s Taxonomy (or any other thinking framework) in your classroom.

10. The favorite ‘thing’ of your most challenging student.

11. How to use a hashtag to allow your students to ask questions (anonymously or otherwise).

12. Three team-building games you can use at any time to break the monotony, pickup the energy level in the classroom, facilitate teamwork, help students get to know one another, etc.

13. How to use question/answer stems to promote stronger discussion with and between students.

14. Three grouping strategies.

15. How to setup a feed (RSS or social news reader) of some kind to skim new ideas in education.

16. Why giving homework is probably doing more harm than good–so maybe alternatives to homework for a quick read?

17. How to use a choice board (a great differentiation strategy–see #7).

18. A decent/mostly accurate/usable definition for critical thinking.

19. A working handle on the gradual release of responsibility model.

20. One way to promote digital citizenship in your next unit of instruction/project/lesson, etc.

become a better teacher

20 Things You Can Learn In 10 Minutes To Become A Better Teacher