With all the gimmicks and stuff that you use in teaching, including pocket charts, can you say that your method of teaching is effective? Or you believe that you can still level it up? If you think that your teaching skills still have rooms for improvement (as it will always have), then you have come across to the perfect blog!
Check out these eight tips on how you can advance or further develop your teaching skills. You may have been doing some if not all of the following. Let us know what you think about it and if it will work well for you:
Study your topics ahead of time
I cannot stress any further the importance of mastering or at least studying what you will be teaching. First of all, how can you explain something that you barely understand? Some may argue that they already “know” or master their craft so there’s nothing to worry about. However, I believe that if you understand how education and learning works, educators always have rooms for improvement.
Never skip a day to review the lessons you will be teaching. Be humble enough to know that you can still learn lots of things. You may be surprised that you can employ new teaching strategies upon understanding further your subject matter.
Read and watch videos about different teaching strategies
Educators may categorize different teaching strategies to broader terms, but nevertheless, there are still many ways on how you can reach out to your students. Different tactics and gimmicks will fit your subject matter, the manner of discussion, need or whatnot. What can help you the most is to you studying – read and watch videos.
There is nothing wrong with checking others’ teaching strategies. However, you should be mindful that whatever you read or watch has their context. Some strategy they did may be fun and productive for them, but you have to think if it would also work in your environment.
Check the teachers’ guide for the textbook you are using
This tip goes well, particularly for the basic education teachers. Most, if not all, purchase books and services from different publishing houses. On that note, maximize what you have – check the teachers’ guide, free CDs, lectures, seminars, etc. as these will help you gain more insight on what you can do.
Note that you don’t have to follow everything that is written in the guide. The activities there are just suggestions on how you can start or spice up your discussion. You check it yourself and see if it will help you.
Prepare and avoid cramming
Teaching skills do not revolve around what you do inside the classroom. It also involves what you do inside the faculty room; in short, you need to prepare. Prepare your lesson plan, instructional materials, and other things you should arrange before your class.
Teachers do not favor the students that are always late or cramming, so we should also be fair to them and ourselves. You will not be able to excel in teaching inside the classroom if you are not entirely armed with preparations. So yes, similar to going to war if you would say.
Be mindful how you deliver your lesson
Each teacher has a unique way of teaching or delivering lessons. One of the things that could help you improve your teaching skills is by knowing where you are at the moment. How do you teach? What is your class management style? How are you known to be in the school? Be mindful of who you are as an educator.
Self-awareness is very essential. Reflect from time to time what makes you a teacher and assess yourself. More than other people telling you how and what you are as a teacher, it would be better if you know yourself better.
Ask your colleagues, observe
Teachers should be open to criticisms and comments. One way on how you can improve your teaching skills is by asking your colleagues and observe. It would be more contextualized compared to reading and be watching teaching styles of people you barely know. At least, if you will be asking your colleagues, you know you are dwelling in almost the same environment. Observe, observe, observe. Take your time and do not rush. Improving is not an overtime process, and it will take up some time, but it will be worth it.
Remember how you learned before
Teachers were once students, and we maybe are even if we are already teaching. You know, education is a life-long process, and the teachers are not the sole bearers of knowledge. Teachers also learn from their student’s different matters – in subject proper, life itself or whatever.
An efficient way to improve your teaching skill is by looking back on how you were taught before. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that you are going to copy your former teachers’ methods, but it’s more on assessing how were you able to understand things. Teachers should be conscious on this matter as we are teaching younger (or maybe older, but quite rare) kids. We may not be able to connect with them due to age gap, but it doesn’t mean we don’t understand them. Let’s take a step back and think, how were we able to learn before? Assess the learning capacity of your kids.
Get to know your students
Last but not the least, if you aim to excel in your craft, get to know your students. They are not robots who will simply follow whatever you tell them to do, or quickly grasp what you have taught them. Bear in mind that they have souls and feelings, they have bodies, and they also get tired. If you have the opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level, grab it. We are teachers; we significantly affect lives.
If you know your students better, you can tailor fit the lessons well or at least have an idea what their interests are and what keeps them engaged.
At the end of the day, a teacher should always take note how important our role is as educators. Hopefully, we do not make studying as a burden to our pupils but rather an opportunity for them to improve themselves and be better not only for their own sake but for the society. One way to get there is by enhancing our teaching strategies, and ourselves as educators.