Teaching style is a finely honed skill. It is the method of delivery, classroom management, and overall relationship with students that allows a teacher to be effective — or causes her to be ineffective. With any luck, you are in a school district that will be patient as your style develops and evolves. Experience and problem solving on the fly are the best ways to find what is important to you. Some teachers, however, may find themselves in a school that has certain expectations. Regardless of what scenario you are in, here are three must-haves for your bag of teaching style tricks.

1. Be authentic. Students see through us when we are not genuine. Authenticity comes from showing students what you value and having expectations based on those values. Use real situations, model what you expect, and point out the teachable moments whenever they arise. Once you establish what you value for yourself and your students, they will know what to expect and react accordingly in moments when you have to think quickly or make a snap decision. These authentic values will be your classroom management. Once set, they free you up to explore other areas of your teaching practice.

2. Be prepared to be flexible. Class size, the mixture of kids, or the time of day are just some of the factors that may affect how classes respond to your style.

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