A Teacher's Personal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Teaching Tips’

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.
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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.

How to Maximize Student Interaction in Class

Being a teacher, you will need a clear feedback from your students. Students will not interact with you until they are encouraged to participate in all classroom activities and issues. To create an effective learning environment, you need to encourage your students to interact with you and their peers without hesitation. Here are some things which you can do to maximize students’ interaction in classroom:

  • You need to respect learners.
  • Being a teacher, try to see things from your students’ perspective.
  • Be an encourager and encourage hesitant and shy students to interact with you and fellow students.
  • Create and maintain a relaxed learning environment in class.
  • Enhance your communication skills and build strong rapport with your students so that they can communicate with you without fear.
  • Instead of giving lengthy explanations, ask questions.
  • Try to ask relevant open ended questions. Do not make it simple by asking just Yes/No questions.
  • During your lecture, give enough time to students to listen, think and process their thoughts so that they can then ask something or speak. While giving them time to think, don’t talk to them.
  • Be an active listener and try listening to every student in class.
  • If a student finds difficult to explain something, you should try to understand what he wants to say actually.
  • Also listen carefully to their language mistakes and make corrections immediately.
  • Take necessary actions to increase student talking time. At the same time, try to decrease teacher talking time. You can do this by using gestures instead of speaking too much.
  • To increase students talking time, make groups or pairs of students. Encourage students to interact with each other.
  • When a student starts speaking something to you, let him finish his sentence first.
  • Being a good teacher, you can also be a part of class instead of always acting as head of class.
  • You should make a balance between coordination and competition. Encourage cooperation when needed and set competitions at suitable time.
  • If a student speaks too quietly and slowly, move to him and encourage him to speak louder. In this way, you can also increase confidence level of your students.

These tips and guidelines seem very simple but they are very important to create a healthy learning environment.

Non-Verbal Methods to Control a Class

The way a teacher looks moves and holds his body has a deep effect on students. Body language and gestures of a teacher give a clear message to students how is he feeling. So mastering in using body language is necessary for a teacher to control his class. Here are some non-verbal methods which a teacher can use to gain control over his class:

  • The first and most effective non-verbal method to control a class is moving around in room. In this way, a teacher keeps an eye on every student and students do not get a chance to whisper and gossip with each other. This attitude of a teacher prevents students from making mischievous plans and gives a message that whole class is in teacher’s control.
  • Students notice their teacher deeply and look for a moment when the teacher looses control. Some students also take advantage of such desperate gestures of their teachers. So teachers are needed to be aware of their postures and gestures and avoid doing anything that shows over aggressiveness.
  • Eye contact can also become a method to control a class. Maintaining eye contact for a few seconds can show whether a teacher is happy or angry.
  • Teachers should be aware of what is going on in all parts of a classroom. If a student is found doing something wrong, he/she should be pointed out at once to show that teacher is seeing him/her. It all means that a teacher should have eyes in back of head. A teacher should show with his behavior that volition of class discipline will never be tolerated.
  • To maintain students’ involvement, smooth and effective transitions play an important role. If a teacher will give unclear and confusing directions with lengthy explanations, he will be failed to gain students’ attention.
  • Students’ misbehavior starts when they experience boredom. To reduce this boredom, teacher can show a feeling of progress with his behavior. Teacher should show enthusiasm to create the same in students.

If above mentioned methods are applied, a vital and positive change can be seen in students. Body language is always more powerful than what we speak. So a teacher should use these methods to gain control over class instead of raising voice.

Tips to Become a Confident Teacher

Being a teacher you may even work beyond your comfort zone. This can make you feel less confident and nervous. If you are anxious about a new situation or you have to teach something new, you can find a number of ways to gain confidence. Remember that if you will feel yourself confident, kids will also have confidence and faith in you. Here are some tips to become a confident teacher:

  • Always be prepared. It is not always possible to be prepared for everything but if you know about a situation in advance, you can get prepared for it to appear more confident. If you have done enough preparations, there is nothing to worry about.
  • Give importance to your gestures and postures. You should walk tall and confident. Make sure that you are standing straight. If you are scared you will become cower. All you need to overcome your shyness is to walk tall and straight. Doing this will add confidence in your personality.
  • Set classroom rules from the very first day. Prepare a comprehensive lesson plan using a good quality lesson plan template available online. Let students understand what you expect from them. Convey your demand in a calm and confident way. Convey your message in a way that makes it easy for students to remain disciplined even if you are not in classroom. When you will set certain rules, students will definitely understand that you are expecting respect from them.
  • Confidence should also be apparent in your voice tone. Convey your message in a confident tone regardless of whether you are sure about what you say or not. Never try to be a church mouse. If you will speak in a firm tone, your message will be heard and acted upon. If you have a polite voice, practice to speak firmly.
  • If you are loosing control over a situation, never get panic. The best thing you can do in this situation is to step back and take a few deep breaths. Have a photocopy of lesson plan in hand so that you may get help from it if you totally go blank. After getting relaxed, regain control of lesson authoritatively.
  • Don’t shout on students if they are not listening to you. Shouting will make you frustrated. Instead of it, stand calmly and silently and wait for sometime. You will see power of this tool within very short time.
  • Maintain a strict teacher-student distance to look confident. Do not let your students talk to you off topic. Be professional because breaking professional barriers will make it difficult for you to gain respect of your class.
  • To show you are confident, demonstrate your knowledge and go beyond routine lesson plan. You should show your students that you know more about topic than they do.

I hope that these tips will really work for you and make you a confident and successful teacher.

Tips to Become a Successful Teacher

Becoming a teacher requires facing a lot of challenges. A number of training programs are there to help teachers but at last a teacher himself has to do hard work to become successful. Here I am giving some tips to become a great and successful teacher:

  • To become a good teacher, you need to be prepared and organized. If you will organize your lessons in advance, you will find it easy to convey it to your students. At the same time, students will find their lesson interesting and easy. A disorganized lecture given by a teacher is recognized at once by students and they respond to it in form of losing interest.
  • A good teacher always uses a number of ways and modes to convey what he wants to teach. Some common modes of teaching may include making a group of students. A teacher can use other ways to create interest as well. For example, different books, dance and even music can be used as a mode of teaching.
  • To become a successful teacher, you will need to be patient. Being a teacher, you may have to face criticism by parents and other teachers as well. In this case, you will require being positive towards criticism. Take it as an opportunity to make adjustments and betterments instead of taking it as a personal attack. Teacher should also accept praise and admiration graciously.
  • Show care for your students. You can do this by listening to their problems, offering a compliment, passing a smile or patting them on shoulders. This attitude of yours will create a comfortable and friendly environment and students will become more expressive. They will ask questions with confident and hence will learn new things. Attitude of care and love should also be used with parents of students as well.
  • Address your class as a whole and do not point out a single student. If you will scold a student in front of all others, he will feel embarrassed and will turn against you. If you need to scold a child directly, do it privately.
  • Sometimes classroom becomes a place of tension and anxiety especially when you teach a rigid subject. To handle such classroom situation, use a good sense of humor. Laughing or smiling occasionally decrease distress and anxiety among students. Also encourage your students to join you in this. But make sure that all this should be within discipline and integrity of a classroom.
  • A good teacher never gives up. A successful teacher always encourages his students to overcome difficulties and obstacles. Being a teacher, if you will give up, your students will also find failure as the last option.
  • You should remain positive to show every student that you are confident to do anything. As a result, your students will adopt the same attitude. Their behavioral problems will reduce and entire class will work collectively to attain goals set by you.

Useful Tips for New Math Teachers

When it comes to think about a math teacher, students always think of a strict and boring person. So starting out as a new math teacher is always nerve-racking and frightening. Math teachers find it very difficult to impress students. Here some tips are given for new math teachers. Following these tips will make it easy for you to win trust of your students:

  • Remember that every new thing seems to be scary and difficult so when you will stand up to teach math, you will be a bit scared and nervous. To overcome this situation, most of teachers try to look serious and show a frowning face. It is absolutely wrong. A frowning and serious looking teacher discourages students and makes them afraid. On the other hand, a little bit of humor can make students feel relaxed.
  • Teaching students in a light mood is necessary but at the same time you must have full control over your class. Establish class rules on the very first day instead of having problems all year long. Let your students know that what kind of behavior is acceptable in class and what will not.
  • Make groups of students during math class. Students will find it easy to learn and study math when they will have a partner with them. If this happens smoothly in class, it will create an organized class as well. At the end of term, you can also have competitions among different groups to evaluate each.
  • Try to identify general math problems your students are confronting with. Help them overcome those problems and motivate them in a positive way. If you will motivate your students, they will reward you in form of best result. For good efforts and good grades, reward students with awards or certificates.
  • Try to make lesson interesting to hold students’ attention because students may feel bored when same patterns and formulae are used every time. For making lesson more exciting, use everyday examples to teach. Be creative and allow your students to bring scrap materials from home to use in assignments and projects.  For example, for teaching metric system, ask your students to bring empty boxes and bottles from their home.
  • You should also specify a time for your rest and relaxation. If you will feel stressed, you will not be able to teach difficult concepts of math in an effective manner.

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