Most people become teachers because they enjoy the art of teaching. It’s incredibly rewarding to see that “light” come on in their eyes when understanding is finally reached and they “get it” for the first time. It’s an amazing reward when students come back later and tell the teacher “You were the one who made the difference in my life and changed it”, and that is something most great teachers love to hear. There are some very effective Teaching Strategies that teachers can use to get the students interested in learning and to be successful in school.
Starting with the Basics
There are a number of strategies that exceptional teachers have used to ensure that they know what is going to be covered and know what their students are to learn on any given day. Here are some Teaching Strategies from some of the most successful teachers:
- Lesson Plan – The most important Teaching Strategies is to have the plan for the lesson before ever starting even the day in the classroom. There are a number of lesson plans that include yearly, quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily and it helps teachers stay on track and know if the students are learning at the expected rate of speed. Yearly plans and quarterly plans are more of the goals of what they need to have learned in that time frame; they are not very detailed, but more of a measurement tool. Monthly and weekly lesson plans have the details of what needs to be covered and how to measure the student’s progress. Daily lesson plans are detailed with how each lesson is to be covered, activities that they can do to learn the material, and testing to ensure that the students are keeping up. Make sure to have contingency plans covered, and assorted ways of covering the material to keep the students engaged, interested, and learning.
- Expectations – On the first day of class, one of the most important of the Teaching Strategies is to set the expectations of the students and establish the rules of the classroom. This includes expectations of behavior, participation, and the consequences for breaching the rules. Be sure to have a positive approach to each member of the class, and let them know that their best performance is expected, and make it a safe environment for the students to ask questions if they are lost or do not understand. Above all do not tolerate students making fun or bullying those who are behind in class – make it their job to help.
Assorted Teaching Techniques
Since not all students learn in the same manner, have a wide assortment of teaching techniques available to ensure the learning continues for each student. Teaching Strategies include using these different techniques effectively in addition to standard lecturing and testing to ensure learning has occurred.
- Use Questions – Instead of lecturing for another 45 minutes, start asking them questions. Situation questions are a great way to get the students participating again and making them “think” about what they are studying and how it relates to life today. Try to make these questions apply to life as it would be in today’s times and why understanding this information is important. Go back and forth from active listening to active learning.
- Role Play – One of the best ways that students can get involved in the classroom is to roll play. If they are studying history, get a historical play and have them read the parts and discuss what the characters are actually doing. Sometimes it actually helps for a student to be selected to “Play the teacher” and repeat the lesson they just went over. If they can explain the material to each other, they are making great progress.
- Team Based Projects – One very popular method of getting students engaged is to have some material written on the board that has several errors in it. Divide the class up into teams of three and have each team work together quietly to determine all the errors that have been written. Have each team raise their hands when they have found all the errors, and make it into a competition – just make sure they have the material written down and that all the errors have been discovered and they didn’t just raise their hands because everyone else did.
Experience is the Best Teacher
Every teacher when they are new is excited about trying their preferred Teaching Strategies and looking forward to getting those students who are excited about learning. The true reward is getting through to the students who are not as smart as some of the others and finding successful strategies to help them succeed and turn them into great students.