How To Teach Effectively
Teaching is imparting knowledge or skill to learners, right? Well, yes—but more: Teaching is imparting knowledge and managing students simultaneously.
The days for standing in front of students lecturing went nonviral decades ago. Today it takes a more lively environment to teach in the 21st Century.
Teaching requires being in the zone, watching and facilitating, allowing students to partake in their own learning. Students have opportunities to discover and create their own lessons when they are given autonomy of doing so.
While lecturing has its appeal—introducing new lessons, providing anecdotes to enhance imminent lessons, communicating with students, simply by relating to their personal interests, students nevertheless must be actively engaged in learning that lecturing rarely provides.
How to engage students? Well, “Flipping the Classroom” is one such style, as it requires students to take over the classroom rather than educators teaching most of the time. Flipping the classroom allows students to apply the learning objectives to discover new ideas about the lessons and to create assignments in their way, and then to explain the importance of the lessons and share how they plan to use the lessons to better their lives; flipping the classroom keeps students involved because they, not so much educators, are doing the work.
Moreover, when students create their own lesson-designs, good grades should follow whether or not “little Johnnie,” for instance, understood the gist of the assignment. He did indeed complete the lesson based on instructions, did he not? “Be creative; discover.” Good teaching is providing good grades for the student and making complimentary, helpful notes on his assignments to cheer little Johnny along in learning so that negative grades will not hurt little Johnnie’s feelings, prompting him to give up trying.
Good teaching is extending the “most good” to every student. Everyday teaching is challenging because educators must also contend with individual-student concerns—on the spot. At this juncture, good teaching converts to good discipline. In doing so, educators must prepare themselves how to constructively handle common teaching scenarios.
When students venture off task, and some of them will, educators should reassess their students’ management plans. Educators may ask themselves Have students and I maintained civility by recognizing human traits we have in common? In other words, have we insisted on effective teaching and serious learning of the standards, so that everyone’s fullest potential is reached? Have we shown a sense of humor to lighten the load of the classwork? Have we been helpful to one another, assisting the other when necessary? Most importantly, have we been patient with one another, not accepting one’s innate ways as a bother but as a pleasure to help the other?
What to do when educators and students have blocked progress of teaching and learning? The strategies below will help:
(1) Talk with the student: Explain the importance of learning, and try to reach an agreement. Sometimes asking the student for his fine behavior and continuance of learning is the only strength necessary for misbehavior to disappear.
(2) As an assignment, instruct student to research the words “tack” and “deference.” Ask the student to assess his learning. Student will appreciate the learning but also will appreciate the teaching of important-civil words.
(3) Focus on the task or misbehavior and not on the student. Even if the student is wrong, he may be reluctant to admit it. A student may easily recoil if he feels singled-out.
(4) Provide a lot of positive reinforcement: Motivation. Motivation. Motivation.
(5) Talk earnestly with the student about the human-traits. When reminded, the student will behave appropriately because he will have recognized principles his mama or grand-mama taught him. Trust this. Besides, a human being knows–deep in his soul–to show respect. Just politely remind him.
(6) Apologize if the student’s feelings have been hurt. Yet, ask for and extend cordial behavior.
(7) Contact parent. Yet, do not complain about her child. Only ask for the parent’s support.
(8) Keep an eye on the student to show that he is being watched. He will secretly appreciate and respect the minimal attention.
(9) When addressing student, call him by his name. A student enjoys the attention he receives by hearing his name, and he appreciates that his identity is realized.
(10) End of day, go home. Rest. Reflect. Start anew.
About Cynthia Mathews, Ed.D. (2020)
Teacher: Zero Student Discipline Referral in twenty years
Apple Award Winning Teacher
Doctor of Curriculum and Instruction
Doctor of Educational Leadership
Professional Development Writer & Presenter