Why Are Some Teachers so Successful?
Have you every noticed that some teachers have a greater success rate when it comes to teaching their students than others? Is it due to the fact that they spend more time in preparation before class or is it that they find enjoyment in what they do? It is obvious that when a person is engaged in an activity that is not only enjoyable but profitable as well, they tend to be more effective.
Perhaps in the beginning, you found it gratifying when you embarked on the journey of teaching. Then as time progressed, you found it to be monotonous, tedious and quite stressful. It could be time to change that standard “black coat” into a “coat of many colors.” Simply put—freshen up your act.
Let's Investigate Technique
One of the first things to discover is your classroom delivery. Do you enter the room and start the lesson with a frown on your face and an attitude that coveys your dislike for your job? Try instead to look at things from the student’s perspective. Since they are mandated to attend classes, make the experience as enjoyable as possible.
Start your day by greeting your students with a smile. You may have had a rather uneventful weekend, or it may have been five-star rating—let your students know that you are glad to see them and that this week is going to be one of exploration and discovery.
Put a little enjoyment in your lesson by making a game of it. Allow some of the students to be participants and others spectators. Create a reward system that will encourage them to want to study each assignment. Students enjoy competition and will literally “shine” when praised for doing a good job.
If you must lecture, find a way of doing it that will interject a bit of excitement into the course. Interposing a small anecdote or short story can not only get the attention of your students but build up interest as well. They will be eager to know what you are going to do next.
The Classroom Environment
There may be very little you can do about this if you are not stationary in your classroom settings. However, why not take a little something with you that can be an enhancement from one location to the next. If you are an English Literature teacher and you are studying Hamlet—why not bring a skull into the classroom (you may be able to procure one from a novelty shop.) A math instructor may want to have a slide-ruler or a small globe for a geography instructor.
If you are in a fixed classroom and you can allot the time, allow your students to help you decorate the schoolroom with what they can find to represent the seasons. In the spring, they may want to bring a flower. The summer may bring to mind sand and seashells. The fall is represented with the beautiful changing foliage. Your bulletin board can be a smorgasbord of many variety of things. Remember, the right type of environment can set the stage for either a pleasant learning experience or a very bad one.
Be Interested in Subject Matter
Hopefully, the subject you teach is one that you enjoy. Again, it will be reflected in your attitude. Always keep current on what is happening in the news and try to incorporate a bit of it into your presentations. What is the weather like? How is the economy? See how these things affect your students. Rainy days tend to make everyone feel a bit letdown or melancholy. That would be the perfect opportunity to wear something colorful and engage in conversation with the students on how the bright colors make them feel. If you are a teacher of the lower grades K-6, this would be perfect. For older students, you way want to discuss briefly about what feelings come to mind on days such as this. Once you get your students in the habit of expressing themselves, you will find that they will be more open when its time to concentrate on the lesson.
Let’s Just Talk
There may come opportunities when you may just want to talk to your students about general topics. This is good when all the assignments are up-to-date, and you have that extra time. Once students are aware that there will be discovery time—they may be more encouraged to complete routine assignments. Depending on your student body, this is a good time for students to feel free to discuss subjects that they find interesting. Just be sure that you keep things in their proper prospective and not allow the same people to dominate the conversation.
If you can, bring in magazines or newspapers that can be discussed or if there are computers in the room you can refer students to stimulating, informative websites. Some school are progressive enough to provide their students with IPads or other tablets. Make sure that you monitor their usage!
The reason that some teachers are more successful than others is because they have recaptured their love of educating. They are able to understand the needs of their students and to present just the right mixture of cultivating, exemplifying, and even entertaining the mind.
It should not be a gruesome chore! It should be an adventure of a cognitive nature. Explore ways to interact with your students and someone will say of you— “I wonder how she has become so successful in teaching!”
© 2019 Jacqueline Williamson BBA MPA MS