If you’re reading this article to help yourself learn tips and strategies to improve your lessons, then CONGRATULATIONS! You’ve already passed the first step to becoming a good teacher! Openness to constant learning depicts how much room you have for constant growth. Professional teachers are always ready to acquaint new learning methodologies and incorporate technologies in their teachings for promising results.
Why is there a need for constant improvement in teaching lessons?
Why do you need to upgrade your wardrobe according to the newest fashion trends? Why do you need to upgrade your phone to the latest model? Why use internet searches when you can go to the library and read a gazillion books to work on your project? The answer to it is simple. Change when the world changes, and adapt to the new elements.
As long as you’re not a part of The Flintstones living in the Stone Age, you need to upgrade your teaching methods so your students can get a better, more realistic learning experience applicable to the rapidly changing world ahead of them. The outdated teaching lessons might fail to improve the students’ mindsets or challenge their thinking processes. Resultantly, you raise little Frankensteins who are incapable of thinking on their own and do what’s engraved in their brains.
Therefore, teachers have a great responsibility to improve their teaching lessons continuously. Applying for courses and learning new strategies isn’t just for teachers instructing higher grades. It can start with teaching PreK and go up to teaching any level of students whatsoever.
Now that you’re more determined than ever, let’s look at the following tips and strategies to improve your teaching lessons.
1. Know and Differentiate Your Students:
When even a pair of identical twins are said to have different personalities, how can you assume all your students to be the same? Getting to know your students on a one-to-one basis is very important. Building a rapport, finding out their weaknesses and strengths, their different learning abilities, and gauging them on different levels might take time, but it isn’t impossible. You cannot expect yourself to teach them on the same level. Introduce activities that challenge the quick-wits in your class but also ensure the slow learners participate. Make the students who are quick problem-solvers do “extensive activities” other than the standard activities while the slower ones can solve the standard ones and catch up with them.
2. Incorporate Technology and Digital Learning:
We hate to admit that the younger generation is smarter at working with technology than us, but it’s true! Hence, using it to their advantage can come in handy. Showing podcasts and videos for better understanding, taking the students on virtual tours, promoting student blogs, and assigning online projects are ways to become tech-savvy. Incorporating technology and digital learning can help your classroom become more interactive and fun.
3. Use Summative and Formative Assessments:
Summative assessments are conducted when a term of lessons is completed. They are usually assessments of the learning. On the other hand, Formative assessments are conducted every day to gauge the student’s understanding of the topics. These assessments help identify the concepts that the students don’t fully grasp. They are usually assessments for learning. Formative assessments are a good way to detect the root cause of a student’s misconceptions.
4. Opt for Personalization:
You’d probably be thinking it’s too obvious. Well, yes, it is. But it is way more integral than you imagine. If you want your students to have a strong base, you need to teach them on a personalized level. Ask them about their hobbies to induce them in your lessons and get their undivided attention and interest.
5. Induce Cooperative Learning:
Two heads are better than one. Imagine if there are five in a group. Collaborative or cooperative learning is effective, efficient, and always fun. Make two or more groups in your classroom, and you’ll find yourself as a referee in a healthy competition! Cooperative learning encourages students to seek help from colleagues, rely on each other, enhance their thinking skills, and make collective decisions. It also helps them notice their peers’ qualities and even learn from them.
6. Enforce Metacognition:
What happens if you start making your students question their thinking processes? Metacognition literally means “thinking about thinking.” You start asking them questions like:
- How do you know?
- Are you sure?
- What made you think this way?
- How do you know this is the right answer?
- Is there any alternate way?
This will help the students better understand the topic, ignite critical thinking, solidify and verbalize their reasoning, and make them more confident.
7. Provide Feedback and Reinforcements:
On every correct answer, treat your students with reinforcements—appraisal, stars, ranking, or any other way you find beneficial. Maintain a feedback column in the notebooks (in case you’re teaching primary classes) and give detailed feedback on everything. It will help them work on their shortcomings.
8. Introduce Gamification:
How would you like it if you played games in every period? So much fun, right? There’s no better way of teaching kids than with games! Everyone loves playing games; it’s a known fact. You can make pairs or groups or divide your class into two teams to start with the fiesta. Play math games, puzzle games, or games that keep them motivated and ensure visible results. Gamification is always a go-go!
9. Maintain a Welcoming Environment:
Asking questions can be a little difficult for some students. You need to make sure you have a welcoming environment that encourages and appreciates every little query a student has! Ensuring an environment where everyone contributes their thoughts and opinions is essential.
Children are natural learners. Having 30 pairs of eyeballs following you around and noticing your every move can be overpowering. However, building a good rapport with each one of your students and ensuring each one of them understands your lessons to the fullest is every teacher’s responsibility. Being persistent in learning to improve your teaching lessons will make you a better professional, and the strategies discussed above will surely help you on this journey!