To teach is to impart knowledge to those seeking knowledge. Teaching is one of the most respected and valued professions in the world, mainly because the job of a teacher is very tough and full of responsibility. A teacher must know how to teach in the most effective manner and at the same time make learning enjoyable.
There have been many innovations in the style of teaching. From ordinary books and blackboards used a few years ago, teaching has now advanced to a level where a teacher need not be even present in the same room as the student. All this has been possible because of surge in technological growth. However, the basic technique of teaching remains the same.
Teaching involves planning, execution, use of media, group activities, managing the classroom, assessments and evaluations. Let us look at all these aspects one by one
- The first thing that any teacher would have to do is to plan the curriculum for the students for the entire academic year and also decide on the approach to be followed for teaching and learning.
- Your curriculum should have an objective. It should be aimed at achieving pre-determined goals and meeting expectations. These objectives need not be limited to academic achievements but also behavioral and social success.
- Plan your classroom sessions daily and have a scheme or work ready, which is nothing but a planned document of the things you are about to teach for a month.
- Lessons and lectures must be schedules with utmost care. It is advised to keep lectures in the morning rather than keeping them in the afternoon because the students’ attention span and concentration levels are highest during the day. Afternoons can be kept aside for practicals and experiments.
- The most important part of teaching is communication. A teacher must interact with the students to get continuous feedback from them regarding their understanding of the topic being taught. This will also help the teacher to modify and thus improve his methods of teaching.
- While communicating with students or giving them instructions, make sure you are clear and specific and that students do not misunderstand you. For this written instructions are the best tool.
- Another method of interacting and engaging in dialogue with students is through questioning. This can work both ways, with the teacher questioning students to make sure they have understood the topic being taught and the students asking teachers questions regarding doubts about the concepts being taught in class.
- Lectures and practicals are incomplete if students don’t get any hands-on experience such as in work practice or internship. Work practice lets students apply their learning in college to real-life situations and also test their learning in these situations.
- Problem based learning is a technique which is catching up fast with teachers. It is closely linked to enquiry based learning, which is another effective way of teaching.
Group teaching and learning
- All classroom teaching happens with a group; it is hardly ever a one-to-one session. Group education has many advantages, though it may be a hindrance sometimes.
- The size of the group is very important. If you have a very small group, then the absence of even one person will make a huge difference in the learning process.
- On the other hand, the larger the group, more difficult it gets to manage it.
- The traditional medium of instruction, which is still used today, is the blackboard. However, it is slowly getting replaced by the whiteboard.
- Nowadays, projectors are also being increasingly used for education and training and are very popular.
- One other basic medium of imparting education is handouts, which is an integral part of the educational system.
Managing the classroom
- Class management is as important as everything else, when it comes to teaching.
- The teacher should set some ground rules before he or she starts teaching and make sure the rules are being followed.
- Inform students that disciplinary action will be taken against those who do not follow rules or disrupt the class.
Assessment and evaluation
- The last step but not the least is assessing and evaluating students’ work. This should not be left for the end of the year. Instead it has to be a continuous process that has to go on throughout the year.
- An assessment needs to be both summative and formative or quantitative and qualitative.
- The teacher should be fair about the assessment and not show partiality to any particular student(s).
- This is also a good chance for the teacher to evaluate his teaching strategies by taking feedback from the students as this will help him to improve his teaching style which in turn will benefit students.
Follow these, or at least some of the above-mentioned ideas and see if makes any difference to your teaching. At the end of the day, how to teach your students is your personal choice; these are just a few pointers to help you in the process.