A Teacher's Personal Blog

Archive for the ‘Teaching Challenges’ Category

Motivating Lazy Students

Teaching is a rewarding and satisfactory career but it can frustrate you when you have to deal with unmotivated lazy students. If you have lazy students in class, you should devise some strategies to motivate them. Here are some guidelines in this regard:

  • Encouragement is the first and foremost strategy which you can follow. Reward lazy students if they ever participate in class activities. These rewards should not necessarily be gifts or something. Just a praising word like “good effort” or “good job” is enough. When a student feels an experience of inner accomplishment and satisfaction, he is more likely to become motivated.
  • Build a rapport with students. A good teacher always makes students feel comfortable and confident and thus succeeds to create a safe and positive environment. Students always want to be cared and understood. They should be given confidence that it is really all right even if they give wrong answer to a question.
  • Do not only teach the students but get them involved in class. Create opportunities where lazy students can participate. Make assignments more interesting and engaging. For this, you will need to modify your lesson plans. Try to turn your lecture into a discussion class or a fun activity. An interesting and bouncy lesson motivates students.
  • Make students feel that they have choices and powers in their educational life. Make your assignments flexible so that students may decide how to involve themselves. For encouraging lazy students, allow them do some projects on their interests even if these projects are not a part of study.
  • Encourage students to work as a team. Let them complete their projects as a team. It will give students a chance to feel that they belong to each other. This will also motivate lazy students to contribute more of their efforts.
  • Make students know that lessons relate to their real lives as well. When they will feel that lessons affect them personally, they will pay more attention to lesson. For discussions, choose topics from newspapers and let students analyze them to learn life lessons.

Tips to Teach to Non-Verbal Students

Non verbal students communicate in a different way therefore they are taught in a different manner as well. Non verbal students may be autistic, deaf, mute or kids with other disabilities. Teaching to non-verbal students is a true challenge and special teaching techniques are required for this purpose. Here some guidelines are given in this regard:

  • Assessing a student’s developmental skills is quite important for a teacher especially in case of non-verbal students. Before you develop an educational strategy, know what your non verbal student is capable of doing. Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and evaluations are those documents which can provide you detail about needs of non verbal students. They also provide you recommendations.
  • To teach non verbal students, you should use visual cues. Visual cues work as the voice of non verbal students who are limited in communication and do not have skills. Illustrations may be used as an idea, want or command. For example, if a non verbal student wants to drink water, he can point to a picture of water bottle or glass.
  • Adaptive communication tools are really helpful to teach non verbal students. Many such products are available which are especially designed to help students with special requirements. Communication builders use pictures and sounds to help special kids learn communication skills. For example, you can have computer software that can tell what is being typed.
  • You will also need to learn sign words. This will help non verbal students to communicate with you without using any adaptive equipment. Other students in the class can also benefit from these signs and create social rapport with non verbal students.
  • Use body language as a communication tool. This tool is especially useful for those students who cannot use their body parts. Simple things like eye blink, head nod and finger points are some signs that non verbal students can use to answer your question.
  • Being a teacher, you should place non verbal students as close to yourself as possible so that they can communicate with you easily.
  • Encourage non verbal students for the efforts to communicate. Encouragement and praise is necessary to let them develop their communication skills continuously.

Dealing with Students Who Come Late in Class

Classroom management is a whole process. Being a teacher, you have to keep an eye on a number of factors to make your class organized, disciplined and managed. You have to deal with noisy students, disruptive students and late comers. Today we will give you some tips to deal with students who often come late in classroom:

Set Clear Rules

First of all, you should set clear rules regarding punctuality. Students should know that there are clear and defined rules about punctuality. They should be aware of the consequences of being late. They also need to know that those consequences will definitely be applied every time they will get late.

Don’t Let Late Comers Disrupt Class

When a student gets late, allow him to sit on seat but do not address him at that time. If you will start scolding that student during lecture, it will disrupt whole class and other students will start enjoying this situation. Do not let a late comer disrupt flow of your lecture.

Ask Students to do Previous Work

Always follow up lateness and make sure students are doing missed work as well. You can also use this as a consequence for lateness. Ask late comers to complete their previous work regardless of their excuses. You can listen to their problems and excuses but make sure to give them work which they should do in break or at home.

Encourage Students to Come on Time

To encourage students to come to class on time, give them rewards and acknowledge them. Make students understand that good attendance is easy to achieve so everyone of them can make it possible. To further motivate students, you can also conduct a sort of competition between different groups.

Keep Record of Lateness

Also manage to keep records. Ask students to fill a form in which they should give reason of late arrival along with arriving time. Send copies of these forms to students’ home along with a notification bearing consequences.

Problems Faced by Teachers in Classroom

Teachers may have to face a lot of distractions in classroom daily. They may have to deal with uninterested students or they may suffer from burden in absence of parents support. But good teachers always remain committed to their profession and try solving these problems. The most common problems faced by teachers in classroom include the following:

  • Young students often show an ignoring and neglecting behavior as they do not know the importance of education. Such uninterested and unmotivated students cause frustration in teachers and are a real challenge. Teachers can overcome this problem by understanding what their students are interested in. Teachers can then help their students achieving their goals by encouraging them.
  • Disrespectful behavior from students is also a problem teachers usually face. Especially teens of this era show such behavior to their teachers as they see disrespectful attitudes towards teachers in different movies or shows.  If teachers want to solve this problem, they should involve parents in this matter and encourage them to become involved in their child’s educational issues. When parents will become involved in all this, they will teach their kids to respect their teachers.
  • Teachers also complain about lack of parental cooperation and guidance with them. A student can become successful only when parents support his teachers. But in fact, parents start attacking teacher when they hear complain from their kid against teacher. Parents like to defend their child without knowing their child’s behavior and problems.
  • One of the toughest competitors of teachers in classroom is the cell phone. Vibration and ringing bells and students texting their peers cause distraction. Although cell phones are strictly prohibited in classroom, some students still bring them regardless of the consequences. Such students should be dealt with an appropriate behavior according to their age group.
  • Technology has become an essential part of education so classrooms today are equipped with computers. Computers are provided to students to get help and knowledge online and make assignments. But some students start misusing computers for personal purposes. The best way to overcome this problem is to monitor students strictly while working in computer lab.
  • Sleep deprived and lethargic students are quite irritating for teachers. Such students find it difficult to concentrate on lecture and appear bored. Lethargy and exhaustion may be caused by many factors one of which is doing job in parallel to studies. To solve this problem, teachers need to talk to students and their parents as well.
  • Teachers are sometimes afraid to discipline a student because of risk of lawsuit if they fail to handle situation correctly. Teachers     require support of parents, administration and school board in this regard.
  • Teachers must prepare preschool lesson plan in order to co-op with the challenges of teaching students in a systematic way.

Teachers have a great responsibility and to meet this responsibility, teachers need support and help. Parents and school administration should communicate properly with teachers for betterment of students and class discipline.

Tips to Deal with Lazy Students

Having a lazy student in your class is quite irritating. However, dealing with lazy students is not so difficult. Here are some tips to deal with lazy students:

  • First you need to communicate acceptable standards for participation in class. Ensure that students understand these requirements and know how they are expected to meet them. Also make sure to hold all students to these standards. To establish the requirements, you need to be consistent.
  • You need to engage lazy students in classroom discussions and activities. Involve them in class by asking questions about daily assignments. If a student knows that he will be called and asked questions, he will definitely do the work. If you know that a lazy student is unprepared, don’t question him as it will cause embarrassment on his part.
  • During class discussions, give proper time to students to answer your questions. Silence is as uncomfortable for students as teachers so students will be prompted to respond.
  • Praise lazy students for answering your questions even if these are not correct. It will encourage students and build confidence in them to speak up and participate. If you have to criticize a student, try to disguise that criticism as a compliment.
  • If a student shows inappropriate behavior, meet that student to discuss bad behavior. You can even hold a meeting with your colleague to ask for an appropriate action. Never meet the student or colleague in front of other students.
  • In severe cases of bad behavior, you can remove students from class. If there are some other disciplinary actions provided by institution, follow them.

How to Deal with Slow Learners?

Teachers always find it difficult to deal with slow learners. Often teachers try to advise such students and get results by negative enforcement like punishment. But it is not the right solution. Teachers should give time to think over such students to reach a better solution. Following guidelines will help teachers to improve slow learners:

  • The more a teacher thinks about a student, more he gets the solution. Being a teacher, you should try to understand problem area. Problems may be a child’s friends and family or his personal condition. Psychological analysis will definitely give a reason why a student is not learning and help finding a solution.
  • Often a weak student cannot understand the lesson because he has not understood the previous lessons in previous classes. Therefore such child should be taught individually according to his understanding level.
  • Encouragement plays an important role in the success of a child. Teachers should find out strengths of weak students and applaud him with encouraging words.  If a child is given confidence, he will feel his importance and worth. Once confidence level of a weak student increases, he will improve.
  • Persuade a weak student to make a time table for studying. Sometimes students do not have a specific goal regarding their education. Teachers should observe such children and then inspire them to fix a goal for study and life as well. Help such student to make a time table so that he can do all things on right time.
  • Some weak learners also have a problem that they forget what they learn. That’s why such student loses confidence and he starts differentiating himself from good students. Teacher’s duty here is to give student tips on how to recall and how to write systematically.
  • Teachers always give importance to good and strong students in classroom. But it is necessary that a teacher should go to weak child and ask him personally whether he has understood the lesson. Teacher’s asking approach should be polite and not rude.
  • To engage the learner in habit of studying, teachers can give him questions. That is just a practice that can enable a child to learn on regular basis.
  • Weak students need special attention even after school hours. But teachers often hesitate to give extra time to students after school hours. If a teacher tries to give just one extra hour to a weak student, he will definitely improve.
  • Good and strong students in class do not like to sit with weak kids. This is another cause for no improvement in weak students. Teachers should prepare seating arrangements properly to let weak students sit with strong ones. Teachers can also ask strong students to help their weak fellows.
  • Teachers should also try to find if there are any physical or mental problems with weak students. For example, if a student is unable to write something from board, he may have some eye defect. Some kids may also suffer from physical problems which make them lazy. Teachers should find problems first and then treat children accordingly.
  • Try to be a friend to the weak child. When a friendship is built, student starts loving his teacher and after that child obeys whatever his teacher says. Here mystery of student’s success lies in understanding and friendship between teacher and child.

Tips to Handle Violent Children in Preschool

Preschool children may show excessive aggression due to many reasons. Most common reason of violence may be that a kid may become annoyed on being sent to school. Kids may show violence and aggression by either fighting with other kids or biting others. In some cases, they can even want to damage a property. If you are a preschool teacher, you will be definitely aware of this. Every preschool class has one or more such students who are extra violent. Aggression in young kids should be taken seriously and being a teacher, you should learn to manage such children. Here are some tips in this regard:

  • Before taking any action, observe and monitor the aggressive kid regularly and carefully. Try to determine causes and issues that make him violent. You will find over-stimulation, frustration, stress and lack of speaking ability as some of major causes.
  • After knowing reasons of aggression, tell that child to stop this behavior at the least sign of anger. While asking him to do so, keep yourself calm, firm and patient. Do not raise your voice while talking with a kid especially the aggressive one.
  • Start with a slight punishment. Give punishment of time-out to that kid for not more than 10 minutes. These ten minutes should begin after the kid is seated separately and became quiet. After this punishment, do not allow him to rejoin his friends. Instead ask him that he has to play alone for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • After this light punishment, remind him that he should behave in an acceptable manner if he wants to rejoin his friends. Younger kids immediately learn from such reactions of teachers. Also teach them not to show same behavior again. For example, if kid has bitten someone, tell him that biting is bad and it hurts others. In most cases, a kid will understand and not do it again.
  • In this whole process, involve parents also and ask them what they do as a reaction of such aggressive behavior of kids. Assure them for your support and communicate with them to devise better ways to deal with this problem. Ask parents to employ some disciplinary measures at home also while in school, you can do your best to handle them.

Handling aggression and violence in preschool kids is not difficult. All it needs is parents support as well as appropriate measures taken by teachers.

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