Considering the dynamic nature of the education industry and the practices followed, a teacher’s role today is quite multifaceted in comparison to how it used to be. For example, earlier curriculums and teaching methods were standardized and the teaching tools were common for all. However, with the introduction of technology, the options for teaching methods and tools have greatly increased.
Now, a teacher’s job not only requires them to teach students their subject matter, but also provide all the necessary knowledge and information in a manner that is easy to grasp and remember. They are required to evaluate students, counsel them by providing suggestions for improvement, and collaborate with other teachers to develop better teaching methods. In other words, teachers are constantly required to show innovation in their teaching techniques. How? By using the following tips to enhance the effectiveness of teaching practices:
- Become an attentive listener: Being a good listener is important in any profession, but even more so when you are a teacher. This is because you are constantly interacting with students, other teachers, and even parents at times. Being a good listener helps as it allows you to understand your students better—and helps you cater to them in terms of their sensibilities.
- Create a sense of personal connection: It’s tough to bring about innovation in your thoughts and practices if you aren’t connected with your students and the trends in your profession. Without that, you won’t be able to rightly gauge the effectiveness of your lectures or find innovative ways of teaching the course material. As educators, you need to overcome that gap by talking to your students, understanding their shortfalls, and developing a connection in order to help and motivate them. The better the connection with your students, the easier it will be for you to get through to them—be it in terms of study material or even general counseling. Check out this recent article for helpful tips on how you can better connect with your students.
- Reflect on previously taught lessons to enhance effectiveness: Considering the interactive nature of the teaching profession, it’s necessary to reflect on what is working for your students and what isn’t. Sometimes even a great lecture may not be received as expected or create the required impact. As teachers, you must constantly examine your processes and concepts, keeping your students’ best interest in mind. Consider renovating your lessons to make the content more engaging and effective.
- Design engaging lesson plans and models: An innovative teacher is always looking for more interactive and fun ways/models of teaching to increase their students’ willingness to learn—thereby increasing classroom engagement. Using a fresh perspective to approach the subject matter, such as an interactive lesson on the IWB, can make a world of a difference.
For instance, some institutes have applied the concept of flipped classrooms, where the students are required to watch the lecture online as homework and then participate in a Q&A session in class. Such concepts create more space for open discussions while letting teachers develop a stronger rapport with the students. Here are some great video resources to help you get started.
- Collaborate to enhance your knowledge and skills: An innovative educator is constantly required to stay on their A game. This could be done by using innovative teaching techniques in class, or by creating a comprehensive curriculum to increase student engagement. Apart from constantly researching, regularly collaborating with other educators to discuss coursework or solve problems will yield better results overall. This can also be done by organizing and participating in conferences and seminars to promote the exchange of ideas and resources.
- Prioritize what’s important to your students: You have to look beyond your work and targets by removing yourself from the situation and instead look at it from the eyes of the students—only then will you truly be able to bring about innovation. You have to find ways to bridge the gap between the traditional image of teachers by creating a supportive environment in the classrooms. This will automatically enhance student engagement, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your teaching.
Think of yourself as a facilitator of learning by continuing to be a learner yourself. Join a learning community, stay up to date with your training, and be inspired by the latest teaching methods and trends. After all, giving to yourself will help you give the best to your students.
About the author: Making education simple and easy to comprehend is Dana Jandhyala's forte. She's had a long career as an educator, teaching in several different schools and institutes in multiple countries. Today, she helps students with personalized online tutorials by MySchoolPage that help make concepts easy to understand, which makes learning fast and fun. She writes to help students study better, and to coach parents so they can facilitate the success of their children.