Some teachers create an everlasting impact on the students. They possess the power to capture a student’s attention when they start teaching; whether it’s an offline classroom or video teaching, such teachers convey the ideas clearly and effectively.
However, most teachers find it challenging to tackle this challenge effectively. Their teaching methods lack qualities to attract the student’s attention.
To tackle this challenging situation, here are some innovative teaching methods that will help make your class more interesting.
Look beyond obvious
Every teacher ensures to ask their students, “Is everything clear?” after their mini-lecture. Then, they hop on to the next topic with a few solid affirmations and nodding heads. But unfortunately, they miss the ones who did not utter a word or nod.
The absence of nods and questions is a non-barking dog. But, when you count them, it will be more than you realize. So, make sure to include this teaching aid in your methods.
Watch the non-speaking peers
Watch the students who are not speaking while their peers are saying. Those staring eyes stuck at the speaking student. Then, after the student finishes speaking, look at the other student’s eyes – Do they all return to you, as if the next move is passively viewed as yours? Determine whether they are engaged or not? Are they understanding or not?
Cold Call those who look confused or are staring back at you. Ask them if they understand what other students said or whether they have any questions about the topic.
Determine the underlying reason
The moment we see a disturbance or an off-task behavior, we offer a reprimand. But unfortunately, we often miss noticing the episode began a step before when the offender was bothered by someone else or was frustrated from their lack of understanding.
Learn to look for subtle clues like something has just happened out of sight or hearing. Avoid punishing only the retaliator.
The Cause-Effect Relationship
Every class has a talkative student and a troublesome student. They stay in the eyes forever. However, at times this chatty child may not speak, or the wise guy does not attempt to get a laugh.
Such situations are rare. It is necessary to know the cause behind the change of behavior. Analyzing such a situation is an added advantage to your teaching methods.
Assess students smartly
Multiple Choice Questions hide the reasons behind the student’s chosen answers. It is necessary to know the unheard reasons as much as the answers to the quiz.
To make this possible, turn every 5th question into one where students mention the reason behind their answer. This way, you can rate their confidence level in answering the questions.
You may also roll out Part 2 of a quiz that requires an additional explanation of chosen answers to some of the hard questions of Part 1. Take off a point for the correct answer with the wrong reason and give a point to the opposite.
This teaching method helps you know who has understood the topic and who hasn’t?
Analyze your Monotony
Teachers, at times, tend to call only a select group of students without realizing it. The pattern may include calling more girls than boys, the least shy, the most talkative etc.
Monitor your teaching method either via tape or a colleague for a week. Watch out if you have fallen into an unproductive and unconscious pattern.
Determining this pattern is extremely necessary if you have a regular whole-class discussion. The habit extends to the whole year if you do not take steps to address it.
Commenting on the feedback
It is crucial to watch students after giving them feedback. Helps you know if they understood what you said and appreciate the help.
It is tempting to give feedback, look for a quick nod, and join another group. However, a good teacher resists this temptation and waits for a proper response.
Spot Check Student’s Notes
Please pay attention to the student’ notes when they take them. Avoid piling it up for days. The key reason behind spot-checking is to ensure the usefulness of current lessons for future tasks.
It may feel like an interruption to the lesson, but it saves time. Spot-Checking is a valuable teaching aid that makes you a better teacher.
Alter the Course of Action
Don’t be afraid to change the course of your teaching method when you notice things not working as they should. For example, call a time-out and ask learners what is the trouble or quickly re-direct the learning to make it productive.
A prominent blind spot of many secondary and college teachers is, not realizing the time elapsed while teaching and how heavy the cognitive load is during that period.
According to research and our very own common sense, it is necessary to pause and do a quick check of understanding every 10 minutes or so while teaching. Teachers can use teaching aids for a prompt learning-response system like paddles, thumbs and fingers, note cards, or clickers to analyze effectively.
Setting a timer on the computer for a while is recommended to know what a 10-minute chunk is.
Take Feedback from Learners
No matter how effective your teaching methods are, it is fruitless if the students cannot understand. Hence, taking regular feedback from students is necessary to enhance your teaching methods.
The feedback can be as informal as a thumbs up or thumbs down in the middle of a discussion, a traffic light post-it or other exit slip. It can also be in the form of a brief survey for homework with questions – What worked today? What did not? What would you like me to review tomorrow? etc.
Teachers who don’t seek comments on their teaching may unwittingly limit their effectiveness. It may also result in losing an opportunity to gain tremendous student respect for acknowledging what they can all see when it is not working?
Teacher educates students. They employ teaching aids to make students understand and use what they learnt. A good teacher does not have all the knowledge but possesses the ability to disseminate whatever they know. A simple video teaching of a good teacher can contribute the same knowledge and understanding as in person. Adopting above mentioned teaching method can yield 100% effective teaching results. It also makes you a good teacher in every student’s eye.
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