Something that I admire about outstanding teachers is that they can think on their feet. This attribute is one that can be developed by teachers that prepare intensively. Prior to a lesson, teachers should have developed a plan for success. This plan for success is applicable to every lesson. When teaching a concept, teachers need to subdivide topics into sub-topics. This will provide students more opportunities for success. Teachers should provide a variety of problems that will make mastery of concepts more likely. Common errors should be discussed during the lesson. Although preparation is key for every lesson, there will be situations where a teacher will need to come up with a different way of teaching a concept or solving a problem.

When students are having difficulty understanding a concept being taught or a problem being solved, a teacher needs to remain calm. During these times it helps if a teacher can place themselves in their students’ shoes. Try and determine why they are confused. Think of what alterations you can make that will bring clarity to students. Solicit the help of members of the class if necessary. You will be surprised as to how students sometimes provide ingenious solutions to problems being taught. Do not panic. Trust in your abilities to teach. If you are unable to find a better way of presenting a concept or explaining the solution of a problem, share this with your students. Let them know if you need to do some research, and then revisit the concept or problem you are teaching. It may be necessary for you get help from your peers. The Internet is another resource that you can use to assist in finding different presentations for teaching concepts or solving problems.

With experience you will develop the ability of thinking on your feet. Keep in mind that preparation is key, but be able to calmly address any concerns that students have. If during preparation for a lesson you feel uncomfortable teaching a certain concept, reach out to your peers for help. Never teach a concept if you are not prepared. Not being prepared decreases your ability to think on your feet. Outstanding teachers have self-confidence. They trust that they can teach any concept. If you work diligently at improving yourself as a teacher, you will find that you can overcome any obstacle.

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