Teach Like a Pro
Few things are more satisfying than being a good teacher. It's magical when you see the light bulb go on in your student. It's also quite difficult to do well. To help you be the best teacher possible, this list covers five key strategies that the top teachers in their fields use.
1. Provide the proper context for your students
The most important thing you can do is to give your students the proper context for learning. If you can explain to students why the material they’re learning is important, they’ll be more willing to listen and learn. The world will be your oyster.
2. Teach concepts that apply to your students' lives
Another strategy teachers can use is to teach concepts that apply to their students' lives. This encourages students to think about the concepts you’re trying to teach through the lens of their own experiences.
The way you do this is by asking students questions about their lives, their interests, and their struggles. If your topic doesn’t have a lot of relevance to an individual’s life, don't force it; just keep it real and keep it simple.
3. Get support, give supports
Seek the guidance of teachers who know well. Let your teachers know if you are struggling. Each teacher will have a different level of experience in their chosen subject. Seek their counsel. It will make for a more pleasant and productive classroom experience.
Take the time to explain strategies and techniques to students on a regular basis. Provide study tips. Outline all the quiz and test questions ahead of time. Consider more advanced materials. Let students be the judge of how to structure a lesson — have them develop their own lesson plans and then give them feedback on them.
4. Give feedback that is helpful, not hurtful
When you’re giving feedback to someone, aim to give them feedback that’s helpful, not hurtful. It’s most effective to give short, specific feedback because it’s easier for someone to absorb it.
It’s also important to give feedback in the most timely manner so it can be acted upon right away. Give appropriate feedback every time you see someone struggle. And remember not to be destructive in your feedback.
5. Encourage self-learning by giving your students freedom in their learning methods
One of the greatest gifts a teacher can give a student is the gift of self-learning. You have the power to encourage independence in the way your students learn by giving them the freedom to choose their own learning methods. You want to reward independent thinking.
One last thought: the best way to become good at teaching is to listen to and not lecture
Give this a try. See what happens.
At the start of lessons, set up prompts that encourage your students to tell you how they learned certain concepts. Write your ideas for prompts in a small notebook, where non-teaching hands won't see it. Write up to twenty ideas a week.
For example, prompt students in the class to explain how they learned to identify the elements of a triangle.
You never know what you might learn.