Nobody wants to be that teacher, right? You know, the one whose students leave horrible reviews on secret ‘Who not to get as a Teacher’ Facebook sites. The boring one, the unapproachable one, the one who makes learning an absolute drag for students. Nobody really wakes up in the morning and intentionally chooses that kind of violence, do they? Lest you are relegated to the annals of history as an ineffective bore, read on to learn more about teachers’ action planning strategies.
Utilizing Action Plans
If you want to be an effective and engaging teacher, it is imperative to have an action plan. Your action plan is like a roadmap outlining the learning journey, the intended destination or learning outcomes, and the vehicle or strategies needed to make the plan’s execution successful. Action planning resources are readily available on the internet; Adobe Education Exchange has a great example of an action plan for teachers that you can use as a template. A clear plan and effectual strategies will help ensure that your courses are stimulating, rewarding, engaging, and enjoyable for students.
Explore various teaching strategies.
The surest way to lose student interest is by lecturing. Traditional teacher-centred learning models have proven to be far less productive than student-centric learning models. When students are engaged as active participants in their own learning, they tend to feel encouraged, empowered, and far more likely to succeed in the course.
Besides, varying your teaching strategy and employing brain-boosting exercises are essential. For instance, you can ask students to give a short summary or overview of the things learned in class.
You can also create games using applied knowledge techniques. Creating scenarios, role play, and theoretical problems will get students’ gears turning—and it also helps to effectively bridge the proverbial chasm between theory and practice.
Be meticulous about organization.
Being organized is crucial for teaching success. It is essential to ensure that students understand the course’s objectives, what is expected of them, and what they can expect to learn at any given point in the course timeline. Further, organizing your course content, so that clear links are made between taught concepts is vital. Take care when preparing your course syllabus.
A good course syllabus is an exhaustive one, which outlines teaching and learning objectives, required course readings, student assessment, and the course schedule. A clear, well-organized syllabus will mitigate confusion and help students to feel more comfortable.
This organizational approach should be adopted at the classroom level too. Be clear about the learning objectives or each session, structure the lesson’s flow, and stick to it. Further, organizing the way you deliver course content is critical. Construct a teaching framework or template within which to structure course information. This helps students to make explicit connections between concepts and makes data accessible. Common organizational frameworks include topical, structural, problem solving, sequential and causal.
Don’t be a bore.
No, you don’t need to be a professional comedian (it doesn’t hurt to cultivate a healthy sense of humour, though). But you do need to communicate well with your students. Capturing students’ attention and piquing their curiosity helps stimulate a sense of excitement for the course.
Be emphatic and emphasize.
These two go hand in hand. Nobody wants to listen to someone speaking monotonously. If you don’t sound interested in your own topic, don’t expect students to be interested either. Also, put emphasis on your essential points. Doing this will drive home the most important take-aways from the lesson. Remember not to hog the spotlight either. If students don’t get to be a part of the conversation, they will lose interest quickly. Make the lesson an interactive discussion and allow students’ voices to be heard.
Focus on being a real person.
Don’t roll your eyes. This one is important. Students respond best to teachers who they feel are approachable, accessible, kind, and empathetic. It may seem daunting but learn your students. Learn their names, ask them about who they are, why they’ve taken the course, and what they hope to gain by the end of it. Ask their advice on how you can help them to succeed. Don’t be mean. Encourage questions and ask for feedback. Focus on creating a comfortable learning environment and not being afraid to be a real person for your students.
Integrating these strategies into your teaching practice will help you become a more competent teacher and ensure that your students get the most out of the learning experience.