19 Lessons I Learned As A Teacher

Isn’t it weird how things turn out?

Little did I know that a summer job back in 1991 would change my life forever.

To graduate from my high school I remember being told that I had to do 200 hours of community time. Now being in Bangkok at the time, and not speaking the language, made this difficult to say the least.

However, thanks to the 10-week summer vacation we were given each year, in my junior year I decided to put my time to good use and took on a summer job teaching English at my school.

19 Lessons I Learned As A Teacher

I’ll admit I wasn’t really happy about having to wake up at 6am over the holidays, but as summer school finished at 12pm, I found myself able to hang out with my friends in the afternoon and make some new ones in the morning.

How would I describe my experience in one word? FUN.

It felt good knowing I was able to help someone. I suppose that’s why many great teachers teach, because they love making a contribution, which is number 6 of Tony Robbins’ 6 basic human needs.

I enjoyed it so much that when the following summer rolled around I didn’t hesitate.

Fast forward to today, and I’ve been an educator for 24 years now. Originally I focused on English, but today I focus more on success principles, time management and marketing.

Teaching taught me a lot about human psychology and people’s drives. So just what have I learnt?

SEE ALSO: 21 Lessons I Learned From Living In Japan

Here are my “19 lessons I learned as a teacher:”

  1. People are not created equal (which is why we must find a teacher that works for us)
  2. Never hand over control
  3. Push them as hard as possible
  4. Play devil’s advocate (encouraging students who lack confidence, and warning those who are overconfident)
  5. Students, no matter what age, use whatever excuse they can to get out of work
  6. Young students give up extremely quickly in researching anything
  7. You can’t help everyone, but you try
  8. Find common ground
  9. Trust is everything
  10. Remember their birthdays, not many people do
  11. We all need practice, including teachers
  12. Review is critical
  13. We are all lazy (sometimes teachers more so than the students)
  14. There is a big difference between good and great
  15. Great teachers are worth their weight in gold (short-cuts, time saving tips, money saving tips in the long run, caring, go the extra mile, more than just a teacher)
  16. Magic is a great ice-breaker
  17. Games are how children learn best
  18. Attitude is what people remember, not skill
  19. Have fun

I could probably write a blog post about each one of these, but for now I’ll just let them sink in.

For me, teaching isn’t just a job, it’s a way of life.

I have a gift for it and love sharing my gift with the world.

For the teachers out there, do you agree with my list? Whether you do or don’t, I’d love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a message in the comments or PM me on FB.

Adrian Shepherd

ps. for people interested in listening to Tony Robbins talk about the 6 basic human needs – check out this video.

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