Your students can help you be a better teacher.
Let Your Students Help You Be a Better Teacher for Them
A good teacher always has objectives
Adopt a positive approach and make it clear to your students at the start of each lesson what they need to study that day. A clearly planned learning structure will make it easier and more achievable for students to learn effectively – in itself a motivating factor. Teaching is a dynamic process, so respecting their dignity and individuality will get their approval. Build a relationship with mutual trust and through active involvement.
Have purposeful direction
As the organiser, manager, and possible designer of the entire learning experience, set down guides, such as to-do lists or a step-by-step plan. Provide a grounding by outlining the basic content of the subject and its relevant terminology. When the learner knows the basic principles of the subject it makes things more understandable.
Remain firm and consistent
As a teacher, be firm from the beginning. Students respect a teacher who is confident and consistent. It doesn't pay to be too nice, but you don’t need to be a tyrant either. You’ll always find students in a class who play the wise guy and think they know better and try to question or distract you. But, they are also distracting the rest of the class. Stay constant and don’t lose direction. Establish boundaries, as boundaries make students feel secure.
If you notice that a student seems distracted or stressed, find out why. They could be experiencing personal problems or be depressed and, in this case, you should be supportive of them. Be aware if the quality of a student’s work deteriorates or they seem disinterested. Don’t criticise and make them feel bad by accusing them of laziness. They might see you in a kind of parent’s role. You could even approach them after class and do a little casual investigating to find out exactly what is going on.
Be a friend but keep your distance
Be involved with your students, even if you are nearly the same age, but know when to draw the line. Maintaining your authority will strengthen your position. Remain professional. Your students won’t respect you if you try to act or speak like them or be on their level. Get their approval by being a source of inspiration without getting too close.
Use your time wisely
Don’t waste time with unnecessary chatter. Have a professional learning environment with an emphasis on the subject and its content rather than yourself. Students don’t want to hear personal stories and what you do after class, or how things were when you were a student. They have enough things to focus on without hearing about your life. These are not going to impress students, if anything they might lose respect for you and be discouraged from coming back.
Relevance to their lives is important
You want your students to remember your lessons, so find a way to connect the information you give with something that relates to their lives. Involve them in purposeful dialogue. Teach them to think for themselves and allow them to comment. Maybe one of them has a story or situation that applies and will help explain what is happening, but don’t let their story take over the lesson. Steer the lesson back to the subject without wasting too much time. Terminology and basic principles are important. Make things interesting by using an example of something they can relate to and how it will help them in the future.
Variety is key
Show your enthusiasm by using as many different resources for your lessons as you can. Find out what interests your students – things they can relate to. Search for things like books, music, videos, speeches and presentations. Use striking teaching media where the content stands out becomes more relatable. Then explain what’s going on to make it easier to understand. Learners comprehend things more effectively when they have the opportunity to form a mental image of the object. Link new contents to relevant concepts that they already know and learning content to previous work. Give students the opportunity to discover things for themselves. Teach in a big variety of ways.
Don't hold back on explanations
Unless the basic concept of a subject makes sense to students, they’ll find it difficult to progress. Learn from their responses. If you notice a student is struggling, don’t reject them or make them feel stupid or fall behind. Show patience and invite them to tell you if there is something they don’t like or understand. Then go through the material again. You can use different methods until they do understand. This will also help the whole class.
Be a positive influence
Ultimately, show you care about your students and encourage them to do better. Show an active involvement. Show that they can rely on you for support and that you are always there for them. Don’t let them give up, motivate them to do better and give praise where praise is due. Remember you are playing an important role in helping to mould their future success and guiding them with choices that need to be made.
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