Tag Archives: teacher confidence

9 keys to success

Student Climbing Books Shows Education

‘Success does not just happen.’

We need to work hard to attain it, with focus and persistence, when others may give up. Some habits support this; others can stand in the way. Below are 9 habits to help you attain success.

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1. Work hard, organise and prioritise Hard work will get the results with the formula: ‘your input will equal your output.’ . There are no short cuts. Write a daily ‘To Do’ list that you mark off as you complete each task. As additional responsibilities develop, include it in your list. Prioritise your tasks according to time deadlines and importance. Ask yourself: ‘what is the best use of my time now?’ This will focus your actions to become strategic, rather than haphazard, and bring you closer to achieving your goal.

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2. Don’t procrastinate When we put things off, the task list grows as additional responsibilities require attention. As Nike claims: ‘Just do it’ to free yourself to new situations and to tasks that come up. This will avoid a bottleneck that will see you struggle to cope.

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3. Overcome obstacles, flexible approach The path to work often includes difficulties and unexpected obstacles. Rather than focus on these, take a solution approach to overcome or minimise problems. It will encourage creative thinking, a lateral approach, and positive behaviour. As the situation changes, a flexible approach enables us to modify the original plan with thinking and behaviour that accommodates new circumstances.

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4. Maintain stress and manage conflict During the course of work, we face stress and conflict that we need to manage. Place stress and conflict in perspective, view the issues objectively and recognise our responsibility in the part. We do not complain, blame others, or make excuses. Rather, we view conflict as a challenge to address, learn from and ‘move on’ with added learning to apply to a new situation.

arrow 95. Apply a positive approach Our approach to completing the task can assist us to do the best we can, or bring out frustration and a negative attitude. A positive approach to work, people and life will help focus on the good aspects of any situation. It will motivate us, help to establish good relationships, a positive work environment, and values that support our job, learning, and an innovative approach.

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6. Respect relationships at work and home We drop our ego, and are sensitive to the rights and needs of others. Successful relationships are based on understanding and how we communicate. Often, the same message can be said in a tactful and positive way that shows empathy and kindness.

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7. Be resilient With difficult times, many people struggle and give up. Rather than walk away, look at the challenge to accomplish. Zig Ziggler’s approach: ‘When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal, you do not change your decision to get there.’ Keep going and persevere, even when you want to give up. These are the stepping stones to success.

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8. Encourage healthy life habits Engage in healthy behaviours for living a healthy lifestyle. Healthy habits include: eating healthy food, exercising, having sufficient sleep, and modifying consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. Create a work/life balance with time for work, family and friends. It will avoid workholism and the resulting burnout. In its place will be time for our personal selves to enjoy with family and friends, hobbies, exercise, or time to ‘be.’

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9. Personal commitment Commit to being the best person you can, work on shortcomings, and develop skills. Take time to review your work with a constructive eye. Appreciate your outcomes, the effort, and your learning, but also areas that can be improved. Look at the reasons, and take action. This is part of a professional repertoire, to keep learning and growing to attain wisdom and higher level behaviour. Lifelong learning supports professional development through undertaking training courses, mentoring, coaching and informal learning to propel us to greater heights in our personal and professional life.

Refine your attributes both personally and professionally. Keep learning and growing. Adopt a healthy lifestyle to bring out the best in you. My life motto: ‘Enjoy the process.’

‘Make positive choices in your life.

Leah Shmerling is the Director and Principal Consultant of Crown Coaching and Training, and is a Certified Retirement Coach. She has over 30 years experience in career development, life coaching, education and training. Leah holds a Master in Professional Education and Training, Graduate Diploma in Career Development, a number of Diploma qualifications in Vocational Educational Training, and Certificates in Life Coaching, Mediation Skills, and Psychodrama. Leah is a professional member of the Career Development Association Australia (CDAA).Leah is a professional member of Australian Career Professionals International (ACPi-Aus). She has international accreditation and is Board Certified as a Career Management Fellow with the Institute of Career Certification. Contact details for Leah Shmerling:

Check out Leah’s Cert IV Online courses. These courses are available to any industry not just educators.


Improving student outcomes (Part 2)

studentsWe asked 6 of our presenters, what they believe are the most important elements for improving student outcomes.  In the second part of this blog post, we here from our other 3 interviewees, all experienced classroom teachers and TTA presenters:


Ken Webb

Stage 6 teacher, Government and Independent schools in Modern, Ancient and Extension History. Senior marker for the NSW HSC, Member of the Independent Schools Examination Committee. Highly regarded author of History texts and Study Guides Australia wide.

In Stage 6, what has always worked for me is to focus on general planning and organisation.

For example, map out every lesson of the year.  Start by knowing exactly how many lessons you have in a year, the topics, number of lessons per topic, how many lessons will be personal research, how many will be video and so on.

You can also be spontaneous; but being anal about planning means that you can ensure variety in your teaching – and that helps kids.

And talk to people – share ideas…you will pick up great ideas – sometimes quite simple ones.


Anita Chin

Mathematics Consultant, K-8, across Australia and the USA.  Secondary teacher. Lecturer The University of Sydney.

For maths, the starting point is improving teachers’ knowledge of the content.

Student’s results will naturally improve if teachers better understand how the curriculum fits together across the years, because in any classroom students will span.

This is particularly evident in the middle years, where it is common for children’s learning to regress or appear that way, for example, with fractions and algebra.  In some Year 7 classrooms, only ½ the class will be learning at a Year 7 level.

Student outcomes could be improved if primary teachers had a better understanding of where students are coming from and going to – for example a year 5 teacher needs to know Year 3 and 4 content, as well as the content for Years 5,6 and 7.  Student outcomes would also be improved if secondary teachers had a better understanding of the Stage 2 and 3 curriculum.


Darryn Kruse

Principal and teacher at Williamstown High School, Victoria.  Teacher of history, social education and English Years 7 – 12.  Widely published author in the area of The Inquiry Classroom.  Experience teaching across Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and USA from Year 3 to university level.

  1. Understand individual learning goals for students
  2. Have a never-ending focus on growth; not merely completing tasks
  3. Ensure opportunities for students to discuss and throw out new ideas, to make mistakes and to take risks with learning in order to refine their ideas.  Mistakes are really good.  They are gateways to learning and growth if followed by reflection.
  4. Provide opportunities for students to reflect and synthesise new material, so they connect prior knowledge with new understandings


To read more about these presenters and the courses they offer, visit their profile page on the TTA website: Darryn Kruse, Anita Chin, Ken Webb

TTA offers ver 300 fully accredited, high quality practical professional development courses for teachers, delivered by over 200 experienced presenters across Australia via face to face or online.  www.tta.edu.au

Improving student outcomes (Part 1)

kids in huddleWe asked 6 of our presenters, what they believe are the most important elements for improving student outcomes.  Here are their answers:


Joanne Blannin

Primary Teacher in France, England, America and Australia.  ICT Coordinator, Laburnum Primary School, Victoria and currently undertaking a Doctorate of Education focusing on the use of ICT in education

The research shows that engagement is the most important key to a student’s success.

Students may be motivated to win a sticker or prize but that is not enough.  Teachers need to find tools that are engaging and that deepen the learning.  Examples include online quizzes or blogs with a share and comment function.  These are engaging for students and therefore achieve outcomes although the topics discussed are not that different.


Kery O’Neill

Veterinary surgeon. Research scientist. Science educator at primary, secondary, tertiary and community levels. Post Graduate Certification in Brain Based Training.  Previously a Senior Biology Teacher and HSC marker.

Know the children in your class well and work with their wellbeing.

  1. Keep in mind the big picture and help students to see and understand what the big picture looks like for them.
  2. Take the time to understand why education is important for the individual students you teach, and help students to see and treat education as a gift not a punishment


Dr Karen Lambert

Lecturer in Human Movement and Health Education, University of Sydney, HSC marker, PDHPE Specialist

Learners will have better outcomes when students have greater control over their learning and they are inspired with it.  For me, the key elements are:

  1. Engagement and connection
  2. Variety and creativity
  3. Authenticity
  4. Transmitting inspiration and motivation for learning.


Look out for Part 2 of this article with comments from 3 other highly respected educators.

To read more about these presenters and the courses they offer, visit their profile page on the TTA website: Joanne Blannin, Kery Neill, Karen Lambert

TTA offers ver 300 fully accredited, high quality practical professional development courses for teachers, delivered by over 200 experienced presenters across Australia via face to face or online.  www.tta.edu.au