The primary goal of a teacher is to help her students learn the best they can.
But a teacher alone cannot accomplish this goal. Learning is a two way process. It involves not only a teacher but also the student and even the parents. Therefore, how can you as a teacher maximize the learning potential that exists within each of your students? Here is how you can.
1.Encourage curiosity and questions – You cannot learn if there is no curiosity of interest in learning. Curiosity is vital to the process and fortunately children possess an innate sense of curiosity. In a school, it might be ever so easy to shut that down and ask a child not to ask questions. However, if you do want your students to learn, then the first thing you need to do is encourage curiosity and questions.
2.Don’t talk at students, talk to them – A lot of teachers make the mistake of talking at students. As a consequence whatever they have to say often goes over the head of their students.Talking to your students means, lecturing them, inviting them to respond to whatever you have to say, asking them to talk, responding to them etc.
3.Figure out what constitutes good learning for you – You cannot motivate your students to learn if you do not lay down the rules for what constitutes good learning habits. At the beginning of the year, create a checklist of things that you expect from your students. Share that checklist with your students and then all of you can work towards common learning goals.
4.Figure out what constitutes good learning for your students – Your students too must have some concept of what constitutes good learning. Find out what they consider good learning and see if the parameters meet up with your own checklist. An amalgamation of your parameters and your students’ parameters should allow for holistic fully-rounded learning.
5.Set Goals for Learning – (They should not be grades or marks based) – If you do not have learning goals, then the process of learning leads to nowhere because what are you working towards if you do not have an end destination in mind? End goals are important because they allow you to structure your journey accordingly.
6.Create positive attitudes towards learning – Bathe learning in a positive light. Talk about it in a positive light and exalt it. When you imbue learning with negative connotations and characterize concepts as difficult and hard to learn, it makes students reluctant to learn. A little bit of positivity goes a long way towards inspiring students and of course, makes your job a hell lot easier.
7.A hands on approach is always better than a theoretical approach – Theory is distant and not always easily understandable. If you want your students to learn, then you need to adopt a hands on teaching approach. It bridges gaps far more easily and helps learning.
8.Class Discussions foster the learning spirit – Learning does not happen simply by absorbing content. You can only learn when you have dissected and argued a concept to the death. Utilize class discussions to help along the process of learning.
9.Create learning route maps – The point of making these maps is so that your students can chronicle their learning journeys from beginning to the end. These route maps can be created for the entire year or for short periods of time, or even for singular chapters or units. Creating these route maps can inspire students to learn more and do better because they give students concrete evidence of how far they have come and how much they have absorbed along the way. Think of it as a learning timeline of sorts where the graph only goes up higher and higher.
How do you help your students learn better? Share your opinions with us in the comments section below!