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Every person who enters the teaching profession has dreams of changing the lives of the students they teach. Many teachers receive the necessary training and degrees, but lack the experience that will help them make a difference from the very beginning. Luckily, a few simple strategies can help teachers inspire learning. In fact, good teachers can become great by following some simple guidelines.
Recognizing Differences between Students
A teacher must acknowledge that every student is different. While some students learn from visual clues as in pictures or videos, others learn from hands on experience. By incorporating different methods of instruction, a teacher can be certain that each student comprehends the information presented to them. For example, by instructing students to participate in interactive assignments in additive to reading and verbal instruction, each student has the opportunity to learn the material their own way. Essentially, a teacher who can reach each student will find that more students are responding to the lesson at hand.
Allow for "Wait Time"
A common mistake made by teachers is not giving students enough time to consider a question before expecting an answer. Usually, when a question is asked, the mind needs time to consider the answer. By providing up to five seconds before requiring an answer, more students will be able to provide adequate answers. Studies show that once this wait time is allowed, more students will volunteer to answer questions. Additionally, this encourages students to ask more questions.
Organize the Learning Space
When designing the setup of the classroom, a teacher must determine the most effective layout. Generally, it is important to create a layout that ensures each student is able to see and hear clearly throughout the lesson. Typically, a classroom for young children consists of multiple sections allowing for play or reading or art. Because of this, it is critical that the teacher is able to see the children at all times when in these areas. Further, the atmosphere in the classroom must be conducive to learning.
A teacher must always be prepared for class. Some would say this is a reasonable expectation for anyone in the teaching profession. In addition, a teacher cannot allow personal life to interfere with necessary preparations for class. If the teacher is not ready when class begins it is difficult to insist that the students come to class prepared. By taking the time to plan, a teacher can be certain that whatever may occur outside class will not interfere with the classroom structure.
Making Time for the Students
Every student needs interaction with the instructor. Regardless of how well a student is progressing in class, each student needs to know that the teacher is available for further instruction when necessary. When a teacher is accessible, students feel more comfortable asking for extra guidance. However, if a student feels intimidated by a teacher, he is much less likely to approach the instructor. Furthermore, if a student is unable to receive clarification on a point they do not understand, they will not adequately learn the lesson.
These simple teaching strategies will help teachers ensure their students are receiving the full benefits of the lesson. After all, isn't that the basis of a teacher's job?