5 Ways to be an Effective Educator

Teachers are truly remarkable, but with any career we can all evolve.

According to our founder and CEO, Aaron Copeland, here are the five critical qualities that teachers require for success.

1 . Make every effort not to compare students, especially young children.

A child’s norm is their environment, regardless of its’ misgivings.

All the dysfunction, habits and societal and economic behaviors are normative, which translates to their culture, their being. Until a new environment is experienced, a child has no reason to believe home is any different from the rest of the world. Be gentle with them when they enter school for the first time. Focus on the learning instead of the performance. This will allow each student to contribute to society, not from a comparison of peers, but the exploration of the depths of their individuality.

2. Understand your biases and do your best to move past them.

As a teacher, you are the crossing guard for all the cultural differences in your classroom. Your words matter, and they will both affirm and negate realities. Do everything in your power to ensure that your students feel safe, seen and respected. The learning will follow.

3. Give the students, and yourself some grace.

Each child will bring in habits and educational priorities of their families. You will too. Give yourself the space to learn from each other’s upbringings to get on the same playing field. Be kind to yourself in the process.

4. Advocate for yourself and your coworkers.

Unfortunately, we have not yet reached a national consciousness to recognize that teachers do so much. Lean on your fellow teachers for emotional support, and consistently communicate your needs to your network and support staff. A healing and rejuvenation process is needed for you to do your best. You can’t do it all, but you can do more with the right support. Do the best you can, if you haven’t taught the best you can today, just do better tomorrow.

5. Be present with your student’s needs.

Before jumping into action for a struggling student, take a moment to pause and consider what emotional support they may need in the moment. Some days, a student won’t be open to learn, and you must be okay with that. A nurturing environment can always allow them to catch up.

The most important is to never forget the point of your position. Your purpose is to help students discover education, to define the world we live in and to lead them to question the old ways to perceive new realities to benefit humankind.


Enjoying this interview? For the full piece in Thrive Global, head here.