How to become a better leader in the classroom

How to become a better leader in the classroom

While the role of an educator already has authority built in, many teachers seek the opportunity to create even more change for their current and future students. Instructors want to extend their influence to stronger leadership positions. Due to their daily interactions with pupils, these teachers often have the best insight into critical decisions regarding curriculum and instruction techniques, according to the Southwest Educational Development Laboratory.

The best place to start this work is in the classroom. Let’s look at how educators can become better leaders in that environment:

Focus on communication

Educational instruction would not be successful without a proper exchange of information. Every student understands course material differently, requiring teachers to develop multiple strategies for delivering learning objectives. A focus on communication helps instructors foster stronger relationships with their pupils and sets the tone for behavior in the classroom.

In addition to modeling positive behaviors – including demonstrating respect – instructors should be mindful of their body language and engage in conversations that are appropriate for the classroom, according to the National Education Association. For example, while politics is an important topic for discussion, educators have to be sure to share a balanced perspective – enabling pupils to come to their own conclusions instead of pushing a personal agenda.

By concentrating on promoting an inclusive environment for students to communicate with both their peers and their leaders, teachers can develop stronger interpersonal relationships with learners and ensure their classroom is always moving forward.

How to become a better leader in the classroom

Do not sacrifice personhood

As an instructor, it comes with the territory to guide students in multiple ways. Not only must educators deliver a curriculum as well as a strong learning experience, but they have to teach their pupils about the world outside of the four walls of the classroom. It is difficult to complete this objective without having a full understanding of what makes each and every learner tick, in addition to how a teacher’s actions will affect those qualities and skills.

In an attempt to go above and beyond for their students, teachers may begin to sacrifice elements of their personality. This creates a lack of authenticity in the classroom, something students crave. To help pupils meet their personal ambitions and become the best version of them, instructors have to remain genuine. The Association for Supervision and Curriculum recommended educators lead with the following:

  • By example.
  • Humility.
  • Trust.
  • Loyalty.
  • Respect.
  • Self-awareness.
  • Humor.
  • Accessibility.
  • Integrity.
  • Transparency.
  • Tolerance.

Students acquire more from their teachers than they may realize. By setting a good example, educators can show pupils that they will receive a lot from the hard work they put into their studies.
Incorporate authentic learning

While classroom instruction is an important and often required element of education, hands-on learning experiences can offer students a better perspective of their future. Implementing authentic and real-world opportunities for learners can make the process that much more meaningful for all parties involved, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

To incorporate this teaching method in a successful manner, educators need to give their pupils legitimate problems to solve by using the knowledge, skills and abilities they’ve picked up in the classroom. Activities that enable learners to step into various roles within business endeavors and includes participation by leaders in the field provides students with tangible experiences that will give them a well-rounded picture of the complexity of real world while promoting self-confidence and adaptability to a variety of situations.

Look for support

Teachers can learn a lot from their fellow educators, as well as school leaders. While expanding leadership roles is an important element of improving education overall, instructors cannot complete this goal alone. Instead, they need a trustworthy and steadfast support system on their side.

Enabling peers and institutional authority figures – like teaching colleagues, principals and school administrators – to sit in on a class can offer teachers a wealth of details and suggestions they may not have thought of before. Yet, access to these dependable and open facilitators can be more challenging than expected. Instruction that is too heavily scripted or micromanaged can be detrimental to creating this support, as school leaders may not have confidence in teachers’ ability to go off-book, according to The Center for Teaching Quality. This strictness can be detrimental to both instructors and their students, and requires further consideration on the part of institutional principals and administrators.

Plan ahead

There is a reason why consistency is key in the classroom. Students react well to routines and schedules designed to ensure important assignments and tasks are completed in a timely manner. In addition, uniformity creates a standard for students to follow. It is important for educators to always plan ahead, whether in the form of daily lessons, overall curriculum or pre-determined strategies for interacting with learners. A lack of structure could result in resentment, lost respect and students attempting to test their instructors, according to Smart Classroom Management. Spelling out the day’s work ahead of time as well as utilizing the same behaviors and actions toward all students will ensure everyone feels as though they are treated equally.

Never stop learning

Education requires constant adaptability. Certain strategies will not work for every student, so teachers have to come up with new and improved tactics to utilize as time goes on. Being a leader means keeping eyes and ears open to what is – and is not – effective for learners, and developing approaches that keep students’ strengths and weaknesses in mind, according to the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

In addition to the continuation of personal learning, teachers should share their observations and concerns with their fellow educators. Not only can this action encourage peer recommendations, but it can inspire teachers to test out new plans in their own classrooms. This method of leadership can be infectious, causing the school as a whole to implement teaching strategies that are well-received by students of various capabilities.

Educators take on the role of leaders as soon as they gain their teaching certifications. This position can be challenging, but rewarding as teachers watch students build confidence – both inside and outside the classroom.

Earning a master’s in education from the University of Cincinnati will equip educators with the tools and training necessary to fulfill their duties as leaders. Practitioners can complete the coursework online, which offers a flexible learning experience for educators still working a full-time job.


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