How to be a Better Teacher
In the past few years, there has been a surge in the online modes of teaching. Different teachers found different ways to keep the class engaging and fun when they teach online. Even when students found themselves helpless, they were able to learn holistically, with the support of right guidance provided by the teachers.
Here are some of the methods adopted by the best teachers to make online teaching an engaging journey.
Prefer PowerPoint Presentations and Videos
Using only audio makes the student lose interest quickly. One effective way of teaching could be to use PowerPoint presentations with videos in them. Videos have a more engaging experience as one both listens and watches the content at the same time. Two senses are at work together. This makes retention and learning better.
Prefer Interaction rather than One Sided Learning
Students should be asked to interact, rather than just being passive listeners. Group discussions should be encouraged too. A topic could be given beforehand and then students can be asked to share their thoughts amongst themselves. This will enhance learning and develop critical thinking in students.
Lockdown has taken a toll on the mental health of the students. They have suffered due to decreased interpersonal communication and isolation. Negative news that floats on the Internet affects students’ productivity and learning. Teachers should make sure to encourage the students, and see the things in a positive light. Motivational quotes for students could be prepared by the teachers to encourage students and lift them out of negativity.
There is a famous saying regarding the teacher-student relationship. It is- “The strength of our relationships makes the difference in translating our passion for teaching to passion for learning”. To make a passion for teaching a passion for learning, teachers should be like friends to their students. Students should be able to share with them whatever they want to – not just academic problems but problems in personal life as well. Students are in the need of constant support and teachers acting like a friend is even a better option
Learn From Students
Teachers should always be open to the feedback given by the students. Sometimes when a student corrects them, they should be open to leaning instead of coercively maintaining the teacher-student hierarchy. Misconduct or rudeness on the part of students however should not be tolerated. Classroom Assessment Technique(CAT) can be employed by teachers to know if the students are able to grasp the concepts in the class, or not. CAT involves questions such as “What did you learn in today’s class? Were to able to understand the topics taught in the class?” This makes students be honest with the teachers and also allow the teachers to learn from the students.
Practical Assessments and Quizzes
The students should be given assignments that use practical and contemporary knowledge, rather than giving tasks or assessments that make use of only theoretical knowledge. For example, students in a Literature class can be asked to perform a play or recite a poem, rather than asking them to only write lengthy essays. Similarly, in a science class they can be asked to create a new innovation rather than asking them or testing them on the basis of formulas and theories.
Make use of Technology
Artificial Intelligence and Computing is going to change the education system forever. Teachers therefore should always be open to technologies that help make the learning experience better. They should also encourage the students to learn how to use the technologically advanced apps or productivity apps that can easily make their learning better.
Keeping Themselves Updated
It should be the responsibility of teachers to keep themselves updated regarding the new, contemporary or advanced topics in the subjects that they teach. For instance, the teachers of science or commerce, should teach their students about cryptocurrency. Teachers should also give relevant examples of contemporary issues. For example, teachers of economics can use the example of an ongoing pandemic, to discuss the impact it has had on the economy.
Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan believed that “teachers should be the best minds in the country”. A teacher impacts a thousand lives. A student is what a teacher makes of him. It is therefore important for teachers to actively learn and help their students grow, both academically and personally. A good teacher is a very good student at the same time. As Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam once said-“Life as a teacher begins the day you understand you are always a learner”.