Are you a teacher? Congratulations on being in the profession!
As a professional teacher, you have many things going on, but learning new skills is a great way to excel at what you do.
Whether it’s tackling certain classroom management techniques, establishing healthy habits with your students, or simply applying your own creativity to teaching, there are plenty of ways for educators to be more successful in their educational work.
Why Become a Better Teacher?
You may already be trying to improve yourself in some ways, but if you’re not, this is a good time to start.
Many teachers ask: “How do I improve my skills?” This is a good question because there are a lot of ways to become a better teacher, from getting a Single Subject Teaching Credential qualification to going on lots of CPD courses throughout your career, improving is on your shoulders.
Motivate Your Students & Increase Student Engagement
Teachers want to increase student engagement, and one of the best ways to do that is to motivate students by utilizing their interests.
Engaging students’ passions and curiosities in the classroom helps keep them motivated, interested, and learning for longer periods of time.
Students tend to enjoy learning when they feel like it’s fun. If a teacher can make his or her lessons entertaining as well as educational, it can help students enjoy being in your class more often.
Although it’s great if you can get your students excited about your subject matter all the time, you also have to realize that educational material is sometimes boring or dull, even for adults themselves.
Teaching Strategies That Actually Work
In the field of education, you need to constantly stay on your toes and be working toward continuous improvement. To help you do that, here are 15 tips for teachers who want to get better at what they do.
Always Plan Ahead (But Don’t Over Plan)
Kids’ attention spans are shorter than ever before, with the deluge of technology being thrown at them 24 hours a day.
It can be hard to get them engaged with the material when they’re more interested in their cell phones and tablets than they are in English class or math class. So how do you keep students’ attention?
Schedule breaks that are still brief enough to keep them interested but long enough so they can take a break and get out of the classroom for a while or even get some fresh air. Use short attention-getting exercises like hot potato or musical chairs during these breaks.
Make Your Lessons Interactive
You can use the ever-popular “teacher whiteboard” to create engaging visual lessons that go beyond simply writing words on the board, but you can also use a dry-erase board and markers to engage your students in interactive lessons.
This requires more effort on your part than simply writing words on a board, but it can be worth it.
You may find that it’s easier to keep students’ attention if you are using interactive activities.
Spend More Time Writing Less
Just because you’re more likely to write more words than read them doesn’t mean you should make every single assignment “word-heavy.”
Write engaging, targeted assignments that involve everything from analyzing characters and themes to using historical facts about the time period the lesson is covering.
You’ll find that when you focus on quality, not quantity, writing is easier for everyone involved.
Break Up the Lesson
When you’re a teacher, there are weekends and other days off, but when your students only have one or two days off per week, it’s easy to make lessons that are simply too long.
Break them up into smaller chunks and focus on making the beginning of each lesson engaging and the end broader.
This will help make your lessons far more effective and memorable for students.
Make Learning Fun (But Not Cheesy)
If you’ve been a teacher for more than a few years, you know that there are plenty of times when you need to make sure students pay attention in class, but that doesn’t mean you have to make it boring.
Have fun with your lessons and try to make learning fun for your students by eliminating dull or overly-serious assignments.
Research has shown that when students feel inspired, engaged, and entertained in the classroom, they will pay closer attention, learn more of the content you are teaching, and retain more of what they have learned.
A lot of teachers out there use really good techniques that increase student rewards for participating in class. Be creative and think of ways that you can use rewards to keep your students paying close attention in class.
That could be using prizes for the best participator or the best answer in a particular subject.
You can even let students choose the reward, which will make them feel more involved and like they have actual choices.
Increase Your Awareness of Your Students’ Learning Needs
You can play the roles of both a teacher and an administrator when you’re monitoring your student’s progress and learning patterns.
By keeping track of how they are doing in each lesson, you can determine which skills they might need more help with and create special lessons to target those areas.
This is especially important for students who are falling behind, but it’s also good for students who are doing exceptionally well to ensure that they don’t become bored in the classroom.
Make Use of Technology
Another added benefit of using technology in your classroom is that it helps students from all kinds of circumstances get a better understanding of the lesson materials.
By using a variety of digital educational tools, you will be able to reach students who can’t make it to every single class but need this information to do well in the class.
You can even use technology to help students relax and engage with the lesson material by incorporating music or video clips into their lessons. This is a great way to make lessons more fun for students and more engaging for you.
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