The most important challenge that you may face as a teacher is attracting and maintaining your students’ attention. Conveying ideas and information so that what you have taught stays in the students’ minds is an integral part of effective teaching. To achieve this, you have to reinvent the learning experience in classrooms by infusing some innovative ideas into your teaching.
Many teachers tend to teach the way they were taught as students. However, the teachers may use less-than-ideal teaching methods that emphasise rote learning. Memorising facts and trying to recall them when required have been proven to be ineffective learning methods. Also, the way students learn has changed with time, especially with improvements in technology. Most students now have access to smartphones and computers, which you should take into account while teaching them.
You can implement the following ideas for effective teaching.
Let the students interact
When you allow students to collaborate, any limitation that exists due to your authority ceases to exist. You can outline a topic, allot a task to the students, and ask them to complete it by the end of the class. The task may be a problem they have to solve or a question they have to answer. You can divide the students into small teams. Then, you can ask each team to look for information online, gather ideas and find ways to complete the task. At the end of the class, the students from every team can share what they learnt with their classmates.
Use examples from real life
You can make learning in the classroom engaging by linking lessons to what students experience in real life. This way, the students will find it easy to understand and learn what you want to teach them.
You should use study material that is culturally relevant to your students. Experts say that students take less interest in their lessons when they don’t find references to their own cultures in the lessons. You may also use audio-visual media to demonstrate real-life situations related to the concepts you want to teach to the students.
Adopt hands-on learning methods
When students learn by doing practical tasks, they tend to absorb concepts a lot better. A number of educational technology companies now offer activity kits for hands-on learning. You can also design a few such activities on your own. For example, you may ask the students to make paper aeroplanes and find out how fast aeroplanes fly.
Make them laugh
Humour helps build a positive environment and inspires creativity in class. When teachers and students laugh together, students feel like they are all part of a team. This helps them easily recover from small failures and encourages them to perform better in class.
Pair two students, one who has mastered a topic and another who is struggling with it, to help them both improve their capabilities. The ‘mentors’ will use their creativity to explain things to their peers, and the ‘mentees’ will also gain from the interaction.