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Teaching Strategies

The Best Teaching Strategies

Welcome to this collection of great tips that can help you be a successful teacher. Use these tips in your professional life, to be a teacher that students will always remember.

1. Prepare. Prepare. Prepare.

This is very obvious, but often ignored due to pressures of everyday life or just plain lack of motivation. However, you have to prepare for each of your lessons, even if you have taught the same material before. This may take as little as 15 minutes or as long as two hours, depending on at what stage of your teaching you are. If you are a new teacher, write down, word by word, what you are going to say in the class. However, remember that in teaching, nothing will go according to the plan. However, it helps to have an outline of what you need to say in the class, if you are a new teacher.

2. Be organised

Great teachers are good organisers. They have files and folders to keep their important papers and past year papers. They have their stationery – pens, pencils, chalks for blackboard, markers for whiteboard, staplers, safety pins for an emergency – all neatly packed in a box that they carry to carry. Your class is at 10.30 am, and you are feverishly searching for your red ink pen at 10.29, you find it at 10.31, and you run to the class that is upstairs, hoping that the principal does not catch you for being late to class. Students lose respect for such teachers. Also, plan your lessons for the week on every Sunday, see that you have all the material, and photocopy whatever you need for the week on Sunday itself, or on the previous week. Planning and organising is very important in a teacher’s life.

3. Be flexible

You may have prepared, but do not be stubborn about sticking to what you have prepared. A student may ask a question that will take some time away from your plan, but that is okay. Answering students’ questions builds your bond with them. Sometimes, there are distractions from students, which you do not want. However, be flexible enough to deal with it. A teacher who is flexible is respected more than a teacher who is very rigid and unwilling to accommodate even the slightest change in plans.

4. Be gentle, but firm

Teachers who shout and scream in the class are almost always new to teaching or are burnt out. An effective teacher uses his/her voice to good effect. If the class is rowdy, be silent, and just look at them. Slowly, they will be quiet. You can be gentle in your dealings with the students, but be firm. Once you have decided on some form of punishment, stick to it.

5. The issue of punishment

What kinds of punishment are possible? Is it okay to punish? Caning is not a thing of the past in many schools, but rightly so. A better word than punishment is management. How do you manage a student who consistently fails to bring his books to the class? The humane way of managing such a situation is to ask the student why he or she did not bring it. Most often the answer is that he forgot to bring it. Then the teacher has to find out why he forgets. Does his have the class timetable at home? If the child is young, does someone older help him to pack his school bag? With an older child, you can ask him to fix a time for on the previous evening, to pack his bag while consulting his school time table, which should be prominently displayed at his study table. The point is more often than not, there is a reason why students behave the way they do. The key is to treat them as individuals who are reasonable and respectable.

Watch this space for more tips for great teaching.

Image courtesy: ministry-to-children.com

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