How do you know you are a good teacher if you are just starting out? One way is to ask yourself, “HOW do I feel?” Another way, a better way, is to ask yourself, “WHAT do I feel?”
Feelings of a College Instructor
College instructors experience a variety of feelings and emotions, some more so than others. Some of the most prominent emotions that good teachers feel, in the order they often occur, are expectation, motivation, contemplation, perspiration, frustration, determination, inspiration, revelation, maturation, and self-actualization.
Are you a good teacher? You probably are if you experience all these feelings.
Getting Started as a College Instructor
Try not to learn the hard way, though to some degree we all do. The most important thing you can do is plan and prepare before you step foot into the classroom for the first time.
This preparation starts with a well written syllabus. Some of the more critical elements of a good syllabus are well-written learning objectives, a clearly stated grading policy, and a statement of your expectations as an instructor. These may seem obvious, but why then do so many instructors do a poor job?
Instructor Education and Training
Teaching certification is not required of college and university instructors. Discipline specific certifications are required in some areas, but colleges teachers are not required to certify their ability to teach. This does not mean that teaching education is not important. It is!
There are explicit requirements for secondary education instructors, and they experience challenges similar to those that college freshman and sophomore instructors confront. If you are interested in a higher education degree for teaching, consider a secondary education degree at an online university to advance your career and gain valuable teaching skills.
Are You a Good College Teacher?
If you have the heart and do the preparation, the answer is likely to be yes. If you have also invested in your own education to advance your teaching skills, the answer is almost certainly yes.