Monday, June 27, 2016

5 Powerful Habits of the Most Influential Teachers

There are plenty of teachers who dream of having their big name, but few of them achieve the expert status often needed to gain students and peer support, recognition and turn the dream into a reality. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of information students consume makes it easy for talented teachers to appear faceless or identical to their peers.

Behind Every Genius is A Thought Process
Expert status requires a commitment to gain knowledge and energy to engage with students in your field, which can be daunting to a busy teacher. But wouldn't the benefit of a strong personal brand and established credibility go a long way in that pitch meeting you're sweating bullets over?

Here are five habits to foster in order to cultivate your expertise and influence as a successful teacher:

1.  Own your subject.
Though the time needed to develop expertise can vary, you need enough experience to understand the history of your subject, the different perspectives on it, and the direction it's moving toward. In-depth knowledge of your subject demonstrates your credibility and strengthens your contributions to the field.

As your knowledge increases, produce relevant content to share and be open to those who challenge you. Share articles and commentary (yours and others') on social media. Participate in debates, conferences, and webinars. Ask questions of other experts and be available to answer questions.

Strive to become the go-to person for insights related to your subject.

2. Plant your flag.
Once you understand the different perspectives in your subject, formulate your own position. If your viewpoint is controversial, stand your ground. Students and other teachers will listen if you're honest about your opinions and back them up with strong evidence, but a neutral voice is often lost in the noise.

A healthy debate will always draw attention, so be willing to enter into tough conversations with positivity and respect in your classes. Offer to co-host a webinar or write a guest blog post for someone with a different viewpoint, then invite them to do the same for you.

3. Share your expertise.
When you've made your views and expertise clear, people will look to you for insights when your subject changes or faces problems. Opportunities to share your knowledge strengthen your expert status, so stay in your student's line of vision.

True expert status is conferred by third parties, not just declared by you.

Booking consistent speaking engagements, leading workshops, or making yourself a regular presence on Social media are great ways to demonstrate your knowledge and to share your contributions to your subject. A publicist can help with the heavy lifting here, even if you only engage their services periodically.

4. Demonstrate measurable results.
As your efforts begin to pay off, your speaking and result histories will be invaluable in confirming and increasing your expert status. Highlight these accomplishments on your website and social media pages, and be prepared to give brief, clear explanations of your successes in classes and conversations with peers.

5. Stay relevant.
If you were expert in your subject in 1998, it doesn't mean that you're still an expert in 2016. Keep up with subject changes to keep up your expert status.

Attend conferences, develop new skills, read current subject articles, and participate in online conversations. Seek out the new teachers in your subject and learn from their fresh perspectives. Set aside time annually to evaluate how your goals align with the state of teaching field in your area, and ask yourself what you need to do to grow and maintain your expert status.

Is it time to write a few articles for media placement? Finish off that advanced degree? Take a leadership position in a school association? Write a book?

Earning respect as an expert is a fulfilling, if at times exhausting, process. By investing your time and energy in developing your knowledge and sharing your ideas and insights with others, you will ultimately build a personal brand that speaks for itself.

By: Zafar Ali Khan

Zafar Ali Khan "ZAK" is an O/A level Computer Science Pakistani educator, entrepreneur, and former programmer. He supports a free online education platform to impart O and A level resources. His resources include notes, video lectures, online discussion groups, an artificial intelligence based virtual assistant, upcoming Android and IOS based apps and a website.

ZAK is teaching a wide spectrum of learners, mainly focusing on Computer Science 2210 and 9608. ZAK has a stellar online following, which is evident from his 50,000+ online followers. These exist wherever CIE is offered.

ZAK has taught in many auspicious and renowned institutes throughout Karachi for the past 18 years. His teaching methods coupled with his most innovative digital resources helped students achieve outstanding grades including distinctions in CIE. ZAK is an associate of The Mauritius Institute of Education (MIE), which is a Parastatal body, working under the aegis of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources of Mauritius. ZAK's yearly seminars and one-day marathon classes are very famous among the learners.

Before opting for a full-time teaching profession, ZAK has had the privilege of being associated with renowned public and corporate organizations. He has worked in a diversified array of the large local and international corporations both as a part of them and as a consultant. This wide array of organizations commence from Pakistan Army Engineering Corps to the Galileo Emirates, Dubai and The Acutus NY, USA. Industries that ZAK has experienced with, before opting for a teaching profession, are engineering, pharmaceutical, digital video R&D and customer reservation system (CRS). His expertise as application developer, IT administrator, project manager and IT teacher in a wide variety of business applications has always helped him in innovating teaching styles and resources.

ZAK can be reached:

For O/A Level Computer Science resources visit