Updated: Mar 2, 2022
How can teachers help students become more effective learners? As educators, we constantly work to improve the classroom experience for our students. But what can we do to make sure that students are getting the most out of every school day?
For five tips on how teachers can help students become more effective learners, see this article.
How teachers can help students become better learners
As educators, we are constantly searching for new ways to engage students and help them learn. There has been much attention given to the importance of making learning more personal, social, and relevant to students' everyday lives. And there are many influential teachers out there who have figured out how to foster environments that encourage students to think critically and collaborate with one another.
Let's look at five tips that help teachers help their students become more effective learners inside and outside of the classroom.
How can teachers help students to becomore more effective learners?
1 | Become an outstanding teacher
There are many ways to become a top-level teacher and help your students become more effective learners. A good teacher, by my definition, is someone who not only teaches content, but involves their students in the learning process. They do this by creating a connection, making the material interesting and relevant, and exciting the students’ minds to want to learn.
It's time for the truth about learning. The truth is that teaching kids to learn does not have a magic formula. However, there are some important steps teachers can take to help students become more effective learners.
Treat every student as an individual. Every child has his or her own strengths, weaknesses and learning styles. Some students will pick up concepts quickly, while others may need more time or additional strategies.
When children see you as a person they can trust and rely on, they will be more open to your instruction which makes them better learners.
Help students see past their mistakes. Many students fear taking risks because they worry about making mistakes. They may feel pressure to be perfect in front of their peers or teacher and this can inhibit them from learning new things.
Helping students see past their mistakes helps them understand that failure is not the end of the world. Students who can learn from their mistakes are less likely to give up when challenges arise and this helps them become better learners.
Create a classroom environment where everyone can participate in discussions and debates. All kinds of intelligence are needed for a classroom to flourish. Some people excel at sharing their opinions, while others may need time to form their thoughts into words before speaking out in class discussions or debates.
By encouraging everyone to share their opinions, you’ll see a lot more engagement from your students and you might even help them develop new ideas they may not have considered otherwise.
12 top traits of outstanding teachers
Teachers can help students become more effective learners by becoming an outstanding teacher. You can expect an outstanding teacher to possess the following traits:
Must perpetually be open to new ideas.
Must be able to communicate those ideas in ways that are easily understood.
Must inspire others with their enthusiasm for learning.
Should be willing to admit when they do not know something and ask for assistance in order to learn it.
Should take an interest in helping others learn and not just get them through the course.
Should want to see others succeed even if it is at their own expense.
Should believe in themselves and their abilities.
Should strive for excellence and never settle for mediocrity.
Should be willing to take risks and try new things even if they fail
Should have a desire to learn and improve above all else.
Should realize that they are only one aspect of the learning experience and that other people's input is valuable as well.
Should respect all people regardless of race, creed, or gender.
Education truly is a team effort—one that relies on high-quality teachers and motivated, hardworking students. So while it can be easy to focus on day-to-day challenges, and on innumerable aspects of the job, we need to remember that we should prioritize our students’ welfare first and foremost.
Put simply: if students aren’t learning, teachers are doing something wrong.
2 | Help students master the material
It would be nice if students could spend the school year mastering the information they learn in class, but that’s not how real life works. Students often struggle to retain what they read, get lost in a labyrinth of concepts, and forget everything they learned by midterm.
Students always find a way to give the teacher a hard time. You can pinpoint this to the fact that with all their energy and all their impatience to understand new concepts, students are bound to struggle at some point (though students should never be underestimated).
That being said, teachers also make mistakes and fail to notice certain aspects of their students' skills as well as mindsets. But this article is not an exhaustive list of teacher shortcomings; no classroom is perfect. However, we will be taking a look at today's article on what teachers should do in order to equip the students with the necessary skills they will need to master the material.
Teachers can help students become more effective learners by helping them master the academic material. Students who have mastered their course material are better able to demonstrate what they have learned to both their teacher and to themselves.
Let's face it; many of us go through school without ever really mastering any of our course material in a meaningful way. We might memorize facts and figures, but we don't really know why the things we learned were important or how they fit into the greater scheme of things.
It's easy for that kind of knowledge to slip away over time, especially for those students who never took the time to really grasp it in the first place.
One thing that teachers can do is to encourage students to think about why things are the way they are in their subjects of study, not just what those things are. The best teachers help students make connections between one subject area and another as well as with other areas of life outside of school.
Teachers should also encourage students to investigate an idea or concept on their own before coming together with other classmates or a teacher to discuss it. This type of learning can be much more meaningful than simply being told something, especially if the material is new and unfamiliar, because it helps students understand not only what they've learned but how and why, too.
If you're a teacher or a parent, then you've undoubtedly encountered the phenomenon known as "The Procrastinator." You know the type. The kids who give a half-hearted effort on Monday, but seem to make it up for lost time by Thursday afternoon.
3 practical actions for helping students master the material
Teachers can help students become more effective learners by helping them master the academic material and developing positive study habits. How do you go about this?
Here are some tips:
Make them aware of their learning styles.
Help them set goals for themselves, and develop strategies for achieving those goals.
Provide them with plenty of opportunities to practice the material they have learned, and encourage them to form study groups with their peers.
Many educators have become frustrated at their students’ inability to master the content presented in school, and that has resulted in a great deal of criticism. But this criticism seems to me to be missing the point. One of the sayings I like is “good data does not guarantee good decision-making, but bad data almost always guarantees bad decision-making.”
Basically, don’t be too quick to blame your students for performing poorly in school; these poor performance levels often indicate that something is wrong with your teaching methods. A student who has trouble mastering algebra is not necessarily stupid or lazy—sometimes they simply aren’t being taught correctly.
3 | Use students' interests to your advantage
When it comes to effective learning, use students' interests as a great motivator. Teachers must learn how to adapt classroom materials and teaching styles to promote students' interest in the subject matter. By doing this, teachers increase students' engagement in their lessons and this ultimately leads to more effective learning.
So, you've finished your lesson plan and are ready to face the day's class. You make eye contact with the students, but they don't return any smiles. Instead, they're playing on their phones or chatting with one another.
Troubling as this may be, you can use this behavior to your advantage by incorporating more hands-on techniques into the classroom from time to time.
This is because students today are more interested in what is relevant to them as opposed to what is relevant for them. This can be a challenge for teachers who want to get their students' attention and help them learn new concepts and skills. But incorporating an element of personalization into lessons can pique students' interests and effectively convey a lesson's content.
In order for students to become more effective learners, teachers should take into consideration these three important factors: relevance, motivation and engagement. Students will only be able to become effective learners when they feel that what they're learning has relevance to their situations or interests, are motivated to learn it and are engaged in the process of learning.
If teachers can successfully tailor their lessons to the individual interests of their students, not only can these students be more effective learners, but they also have an opportunity to develop an interest in and a passion for a subject that previously held no appeal.
4 | Teach through storytelling as opposed to lecturing
If teachers want their students to become more effective learners, then they must take a page from the playbooks of children and great storytellers.
Teachers can help students become more effective learners by using storytelling as a form of instruction and allowing students to ask questions at the end of each story. This will allow students to develop their critical thinking skills and become engaged in the lesson. The use of storytelling has been proven to positively impact students' attention and engagement while also improving their problem-solving abilities.
Many teachers are familiar with the theory of learning styles. The idea is that each student learns differently based on certain cognitive preferences. Some people do better with visual learning, while others learn better when they can hear information.
Trying to fit all your students into one particular style, however, is a mistake. Instead, teach in different ways, depending on the content and context of what you're teaching.
Students need to learn many distinct elements. Some need to be taught facts and figures, while others need to learn how to apply those facts and figures in real-world situations. Some may need to be taught a new skill or procedure, while others will have that skill or procedure explained to them.
Teaching in different ways provides students with lots of opportunities to learn in their own preferred way and also helps them apply their knowledge in new contexts.
Storytelling is one way you can do this. A story is an excellent way for students to learn about people, places, times and events that are unfamiliar to them. For example, if you're teaching about early American life, you could tell a story about a writer who publishes an inflammatory book deriding the nation's Christian citizens as hypocrites and frauds for their institution of enslavement.
What was it like for this writer? How did he feel during the journey? What happened to him?
The method of teaching through storytelling can be a powerful way to bring students into the lesson. It helps them understand the subject, concept, or topic in context, which is far more effective than simply throwing information at them.
5 | Be patient with your teaching and allow for exploration
In a recent presentation at a conference, the presenter noted how teachers are not always effective for students overall. The presenter was trying to illustrate how teachers could become more effective. This made me think about how students can become more effective learners as well. I concluded that students can be taught some of the same skills that would benefit teachers in improving the learning environment. Some of these skills include patience, and how to explore for ideas and solutions better.
The best teachers are the ones who get to know their students and identify what areas they need to work on. As a teacher, you must be patient and allow for students to explore topics freely.
Difficulties in learning are not just due to the student's lack of knowledge of the subject matter, it could also be that they do not understand the way teaching material is presented. Students may perceive your teaching differently from how you perceive it. It's important for teachers to be open minded about how students learn and understand things, so that can lead them to more effective learners.
It is true that we all have different learning styles, but all teachers should be teaching in a way that allows students to explore and discover. Teaching someone with the same methods you used to learn is a great approach, but it doesn't work for everyone.
The main aim of your teaching should be to help students understand and get ideas from the subject. You might think that if you are explaining something well enough, your students will get it. But this isn't always true. This is why it's so important for teachers to allow their students to explore and discover on their own.
As a teacher, it is easy to get frustrated with students when they don’t understand what you are presenting. It can become tempting to move through your lesson more quickly, but this only leads to students’ frustration and fear, making them less likely to ask questions or “get it” on their own because they don’t think the time spent is worth the embarrassment of asking questions and not understanding the material.
Don’t be afraid to take time, break out any and all resources that you need to, and allow other teachers in the room to help you. Teachers working together teaches students a great lesson on team work while also allowing students and teachers alike time to fully process and internalize new material. We may not always see full comprehension immediately, but that shouldn’t discourage our hard work.
We should teach our students how to learn. If everyone was great at learning, school would be much better.
I hope that you found at least one of these tactics especially helpful. It can be tricky to help students become more effective learners—after all, the methods we should use vary from student to student. Still, finding ways to help them succeed in school is certainly something we want to strive for, and I hope that you’ll take some of these ideas with you to your classroom.
At the end of the day, students are going to learn how they learn best. However, teachers play an integral role in guiding their students towards finding this “sweet spot” for learning, and it is important that teachers discover what their students need so that both parties can get the most out of each school day.