If you have been teaching for a long time, then after a period of time, all your tried and tested methods of teaching seem like they don’t work anymore. Your students seem listless and uninterested and you honestly do not know how to fix this. Don’t worry, you are probably just stuck in a rut. Your teaching style shouldn’t be the “one size fits all kind of style”. Rather, it should be adapted to the needs of your students. Here are a few ways in which you can switch things up.
1. Assess the kind of students you have at the beginning of the year
Every year, you have new students. And obviously, these students are going to possess varied abilities and intelligence. For the first week or so, gauge all of their learning styles and try to apply the way you teach to the way they learn. Sometimes, you might not have to change a thing at all, but sometimes, you will find yourself making a whole lot of changes. Continue gauging them through the year and make changes or adjustments to your style wherever necessary.
2. Have students teach each other
You don’t have to be the only one who is teaching your students. Your students are more than capable of teaching each other too. Not only does this take some pressure you, it also becomes a novel experience for your students and will help them learn better. In fact you can have them to volunteer to have them teach the class once the week, while you can sit back and chip in wherever necessary.
3. Play educational videos at the beginning of your class.
Everybody uses the internet and so should you. There is a ton of educational stuff out there on the web that you can use to enliven your classes, be it videos, music, movies etc. You don’t have to use it all the time but the days which you feel particularly stuck as to what to do, the internet can be your friend.
4. Try flipped classrooms.
Flipped classrooms (for a more in-depth perspective on flipped classrooms, read our article here) are a relatively new concept wherein the traditional concepts of learning in the classroom and homework at home gets turned on its head. In flipped classrooms, students learn at home by themselves with material provided by the teacher and do their homework in school under the teacher’s supervision. You could tentatively introduce the concept in your classroom and see if makes a difference in the way your students study. If it does, congratulations. If not, hey you at least tried out something new.
5. Have story time – connect stories to educational concepts
Many lessons seem like abstract concepts to students because they cannot relate to them. If you want students to relate and learn, then you need to make concepts more accessible and believable to them. Use storytelling to do this.
6. Share some tunes
Just because you are a teacher, it does not mean that you have to spend every breathing second teaching. Sometimes, you too need to kick back and so do your students. Music is always a good idea when it comes to wanting to bond with people. Share your favorite tunes, encourage your students to share theirs and find a way to weave it into lessons.
7. Spice up your classroom
Classrooms play a big part in the learning process. The dingier they are, the harder it is to teach in them. Brighten it up, put up posters and art all around the place. It does not matter if looks like a rainbow vomited all over the place. A colorful place is far more inviting than a stark space. Or else, take your class outside. Teach your students on the basketball court, under the shade of trees or even in the middle of a garden. It’s the novelty of the experience that counts.