A Teacher's Personal Blog

Posts tagged ‘Useful 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.

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.

Three Steps to Get a Teaching Job

Do you want to know how to get a teaching job? It is quite simple as getting a teaching job is identical to getting any other job in terms of basic requirements. Getting a teaching job is a whole process but there are three main steps which need to be followed. Here are these three important steps:

Writing a Great Resume

When it comes to get a teaching job, the first thing you need to do is to write a great and impressive resume. Your resume is the first impression which you will have on minds of your potential employers. It will provide you as a strong base to step forward. While writing resume, mention all your qualifications, certificates as well as experience. Mention all those things which show you as good teacher.

Preparing References

You need to list names of some persons in your resume as references. You will definitely do not want your references be surprised by a call from your potential employer. Let them know that they might receive call in regards to the job you have applied for.

Getting Prepared for Interview

A teaching job interview is somewhat different from other job interviews. In this interview, you will face some kind of questions that are not usually asked in other job interviews. Therefore, before going for interview, it is better to guess what those questions may be. Also prepare answers of all possible questions. Some of the common questions may include:

  • What kind of atmosphere would you like to have in your classroom?
  • How will you handle a disruptive or problem child?

You will be able to impress your potential employer if you will answer these questions confidently, professionally and honestly.

Finding a teaching job is difficult as there is always a tough competition. But great resume and an impressive interview can increase chances of getting a job which you want.

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.

Tips to Improve Student-Teacher Relationship

Teachers should build and maintain a good relationship with students. It is somewhat difficult to build a relationship that is friendly as well as involves retaining a level of respect. Teachers, who succeed in building and maintain such a relationship with students, also become able to have better control over classroom. Here are some tips which can be followed to improve relationship between students and teacher:

Be Friendly: First thing you need to do is to treat all your students the same. Try to know how friendly you should be with your students. You need to set some limits while being friendly with your students.

Give Respect to Students: Make sure to receive same amount of respect from every student. Students always learn what their teacher does. If you will treat them with respect, they will return you the same respect and love.

Be Available: To improve relationship with your students, you must be there whenever they need you. So make sure that you are available for students to talk you during lunch time, after class and before school time. Students may need your help regarding studies or they may need someone who can listen their problem.

Understand your Students: You not only need to listen to students but you should also understand them. Students might face various problems in school. You should not be too strict so they cannot come to you due to fear.

Be Kind: Always greet students with an affectionate smile on your face. Talk with them and listen what problems they have in their lives. This behavior of yours will make students feel that you take care of them and are interested in their activities.

These were some simple rules of improving your relationship with your students. This may also become a key to your successful teaching career.

Tips for Teaching Job Interview

If you just have graduated, you will be seeking a job for a teacher. But getting a job as a teacher is not as easy because most of the institutes demand experienced teachers. In such situation, you can only get a job by impressing your interviewer. You can do so by answering all the questions appropriately and confidently. Here are some general tips for teaching job interview:

  • First of all create teacher portfolio to take it on interviews. Place all documents in a quality folder to keep all things together.
  • First way to impress an interviewer is to dress appropriately. Wear a nice and clean dress when going for a teaching job interview. You can also get a nice haircut to enhance you looks. If you are a man, please shave nicely. If you do not want to shave trim hair to get a nice look. Also check details about other accessories like shoes. You should look like a professional by your entire appearance.
  • Arrive early on interview venue but do not arrive too early. You should be there about ten minutes before actual time given to you.
  • Try to get some information about your potential employer. Carefully read their mission statement so that you can answer interview questions with reference to the purpose of institute.
  • Foresee the questions which may be asked along with their answers which you will give. For having a look on sample questions, you can also search online to have an idea what might be asked.
  • Get prepared to speak to a panel of teachers because teacher interview often takes form of a team interview. After walking into room, introduce yourself to all persons by shaking hand and making eye contact. Do not give a dead fish handshake and do not let your eye contact develop into a stare either. Be a good listener and listen to their names carefully and try to remember their designations.
  • Answer all questions positively and avoid mockery. You should be honest and not try to lie as your lies will definitely sound different and will go against you.
  • You will also be asked about your favorite lesson so be prepared to talk much about it. Make sure your favorite lesson is student centered.
  • You should also prepare some questions which you will ask. At the end of interview, you will be asked if you also have some questions. You can ask questions about hiring process, need for supporting documents, demo lesson etc.

Sample Interview Questions for Teaching Applicants

Here some sample interview questions are given which are mostly asked from teaching candidates. It is not necessary that interviewer will ask every question given below but if you will prepare answers of these questions, you will be able to leave a good impression.

  • How and why did you decide to become a teacher?
  • What do you want to do in your life?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Are you a compassionate person? Give example.
  • Are you an objective person? Explain your answer with example.
  • Are you a positive and energetic person? (Back up your answer with example)
  • Describe three of your strong points?
  • List three of your weaknesses as a teacher?
  • What was the most frustrating thing that happened to you when you were student?
  • What was the best thing you feel when you were student?
  • If I were your principal and we were setting goals for school, what would your suggestions be?
  • If a student says that you are the worst teacher he ever had, what would be your reaction?
  • How would you rank these in importance? Give reason of your answer. Planning, methods, evaluation and discipline
  • How can you tell me that a person is a good listener?
  • How would you react if a student fails to meet deadline?
  • It is your first day in class and you are writing something on whiteboard. A paper clump hits you in back. What would you do then?
  • Do you believe in building rapport with students? If yes, how?
  • How do you encourage students to learn?
  • Can a student be forced to learn?
  • How will you handle a student who is intelligent but has behavioral and discipline problems?
  • How will you present a new thing/word in class?
  • Do you wish to use computers in classroom? How?
  • What do you think is the role of a principal?
  • Is there a clash between your insight of principal’s role and his role as your evaluator?
  • Describe your student teaching experience.
  • What subjects have you taught?
  • During your teaching, were you ever involved with a condition at school that involved ethnic tension?
  • If yes, how did you handle the situation?
  • What do you do when a discipline problem arises in your class?
  • Are you patient? Did you ever get angry with your student?
  • If you are given a chance to create an ideal school, what would it be like?
  • Do you like to face challenges? Back up your answer with example.
  • How do you feel about noisy classroom? How would you handle noise in classroom?
  • What is your educational philosophy?
  • What you like and dislike the most about teaching profession?
  • What will you be doing in five years?
  • How would you make a difficult phone call to parents of one of your students?

Summer Job Options for Teachers

Summer vacations are great time for teachers to make some extra money. Teachers try to seek creative but easy jobs to do in summer vacations so that they can make money and enjoy holidays at the same time. Here I am going to give you some options of jobs which teachers can avail in summer time:

  • Teachers can do a sort of seasonal work at state parks. When it’s too hot in summer, people come out of their homes to spend sometime in state parks. At this time of year, state park authorities also look for impermanent workers for summertime jobs. They need temporary workers and hire people for this job with an understanding that these workers will be on a leave until next summer. Seasonal workers are paid a handsome amount for this job so you can avail this opportunity if you want to make some extra money.
  • Summer time is also especially known for enjoying swimming. Every year a lot ok kids are ready to learn swimming. You can spend your summer in waters as you can teach swimming to kids and adults alike. You can teach both beginning and advanced courses for swimming but it all depends on your expertise. If you also have experience of being a lifeguard, it is a plus point for you and it will help you finding a better job. If you have a pool in your backyard, you can go private and teach lessons by accommodating a class in your home.
  • You can also provide your services as a camp counselor. In this way, you will have a chance to teach a different kind of classroom. Instead of teaching ABC or 123, you will be teaching how to develop skills to live outdoors. Isn’t it interesting????? You will also avail an opportunity of spending great time outdoors and going back to school with a refreshed mood.
  • You can also join summertime food programs and offer lunches and dinners to kids living in poor areas. Join any of the programs you like and help the suffering. In this job, you may be paid less but the satisfaction gained is matchless.
  • Pool parties are at their swing in summer time so pool stores do a flourishing business. You can join a party business and become responsible for providing supplies to various locations. It is a cool idea to work in hot days of summer. Isn’t it???

Tips for New Teachers on Classroom Seating Arrangement

Considering seating arrangement of students in class is very important especially for new teachers. If bad students sit next to good ones, behavior of bad students may influence the behavior and character of good students as well. Similarly, if you allow a poor student to sit between two outstanding students, their good behavior may also change the nature of poor one. Si it is really important to take care of seating arrangement of students in class. Here are some guidelines in this regard:

  • Size and shape of classroom plays an important role in deciding what you can do with the seating arrangement. There are a number of factors that can affect seating arrangement of classroom so try to consider as many factors as possible.
  • Consider what type of activities you class will be doing. If you want your students to work in groups, you will have to adjust the seating arrangement accordingly.
  • Also decide how much you like to move around in classroom. If you like to move to different areas of classroom while giving lesson, you should arrange seats in a way that creates enough space for you. If you will not consider this, you may collide with objects and students and you will lose focus on your lesson.
  • If you like students to discuss lesson with each other, arrange seats so that students may face each other. Students will find it difficult to discuss if they will have to stare at each others’ back.
  • Keep in mind the position of whiteboard. If you use whiteboard a lot, make sure that chairs are facing it. If you also use a projector along with a white board, you should position chairs in a way that students may not have to face trouble in order to pay attention to your lesson.
  • If you have students with special needs, take them into consideration and allow them sit in front row. It is for those students who have vision problem. If a student sits on wheel chair, allow him sit on front corner.

After considering all above factors, you will be able to create a seating arrangement that will definitely work for you. If you need to change arrangement during the year, do not worry about it as little changes are necessary.

What a Teacher Should Wear?

Being a teacher, your day is full of hustle and bustle. In such a busy routine, one wants to be dressed up simply and casually. But teachers are professionals and they need to be dressed like professionals. As a teacher, you have to deal students, parents, colleagues and administrators. All of them trust you to be a mature, professional, competent and capable person. To live up to their expectations, you should dress appropriately. Among all teachers’ tips that you will get throughout your career, teacher’s tips on dressing will remain on the top. Some of these great tips are given below:

  • One of the most important dressing tips is not to look like your students. Regardless of what grade you teach, you are a professional and therefore you should not use pants and shirts that are cut low.
  • Your dress should be simple especially if you are an elementary teacher. You have to deal with a lot of kids so you should dress simply. If you are a female teacher, wear minimum jewelry. You will always want your expensive and classy jewelry to be kept safe so leave it at home and do not wear it in school.
  • Being a female teacher, avoid wearing tight and adhesive tops and short skirts. In other words, your clothing should be less distracting. Similarly, men with strong and prominent muscles should avoid showing them by wearing such clothes. You should remain stylish yet sober because parents consider you as a wise and mature person who guides their kids in the right way.
  • It is also recommended that sleeveless does not look appropriate in a classroom as it looks too casual. Always look for sleeved clothes to wear in classroom to have a mature look. If you are young and just started your career, you will have to work even harder to present yourself as a mature person.
  • Do not go in classroom with all the cosmetics applied on your face. Believe me; having a peacock palette on your face will not look appropriate in classroom. Use bright colors in home and parties only.
  • Avoid trendy and high heel shoes in classroom. Go for simple flat shoes that are also comfortable. If you have to do some sporting activity with kids, wear shoes accordingly.

While dressing, do not stick to the youthful side of your personality. In school, remain simple and create a respectful image of yourself.

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