Create Innovative Strategies Beyond the Classroom
Edited by Florence I. Edim, Graeme, Karan Khanna, Eng and 1 other
The classroom can be as boring at times. Therefore you need to find creative ways to pull the strings to make each and every experience inside the classroom informative and fun at the same time.
Make Your Classroom Colorful.
Who would want to study in a classroom that is dull and boring? The answer is: Nobody. Psychologists believe that students are more inclined to study in decorated classrooms than ones that are empty and boring. And maybe that is why different schools have class decor competitions every year. Think of it like this: Would you prefer a lush, furnished apartment or a simple, empty building as your home? Obviously, the answer would be the lush, furnished apartment. The same is true with classrooms or any other working place. So, the first step toward creating a fun environment is to decorate the classroom with charts and other creative stuff. In this way, the students will feel a sense of belonging in their classrooms. Ask students to make charts or projects for their class that can be hung there.
Don't Teach Them; Inspire Them.
If you want your students to really learn something, then make sure they WANT to learn it and are not just being forced to learn it. Coming to a class and reading a paragraph is easy, and pretty useless. The real job starts when the instructor makes an effort to instill an interest in the students. Even if one student gets inspired on a given day, the instructor can pat his back. The only way to make this happen is to inspire them and to instill a love of learning in them. Tell them an interesting story before moving on to that day's lecture or an interesting incident from a scientist or a mathematician's life before teaching science or math.
Use Visual Aids to Help Teach.
Won't you get bored if there is nothing else and you're just made to learn from those boring books? Then why not bring an extra element of fun and creativity into it? Instead of reading from the books and helping children take an extra nap in the classroom, why don't you introduce visual aids? Studies have shown that the human brain is more attentive and vigilant when it sees things than when it just hear things. Therefore, if you want to teach about a scientific experiment, then why don't you go an extra mile and show students a video of it? The knowledge that students gain from seeing things is way more than what they get through only hearing things. Furthermore, it is easier to remember what you have seen than what you have heard.
Plan Field Trips.
What's more fun than sitting and reading? Going out and seeing it, of course! If you can manage it, you should arrange some field trips for your students. One trip a month would do a lot of good for you and your students. In this way, the students will love to learn because they know that they will get to see those things too. For example, taking students to a museum may instill a love for history in them. They will likely be overwhelmed by the findings and beg you for more history lessons. Trust us! Don't believe it? Try it!
Allow Freedom Of Speech.
A good teacher is not one who just delivers a lecture with perfection, but one who is loved by the students too. Instilling fear in your students is not a good approach when it comes down to teaching and learning. Your students will love you and your lesson only if they know that they will not get punished for speaking their minds. Encourage students to ask questions and be a part of the class discussion. Every now and then, use "Food for thought" techniques and ask students what they think about it. If a student comes up with a different opinion, don't ignore him or scold him. Don't even try to end the argument by saying, "Because I say so!" That's the worst approach. Listen to him and try to find a midway.
Know Your Students.
Yes! We know that there is a planned curriculum that is handed out to every teacher, and all the teachers are supposed to teach according to that curriculum. However, every class is different. Your first classroom visit will give you an overall idea about how your students are! Are the students really active and hyper? Are the students slow and take time to perceive things? Or is there a mix of the two extremes? If your students are fun, active and hyper, then teaching them the regular course material probably won't be enough. They will get bored. If they are slow, shy and introverted, teaching them the regular material, without simplifying it, could be a burden for them. So, try to understand your students before going about delivering lectures.
We can't think of a single person who would prefer text books over practical knowledge. Everyone loves to practically implement things. Therefore, the best way to engage your students in learning is to ask them to make projects. Many schools around the globe implement this strategy. You can either assign students individual projects, or the whole class can work on a single project. In the latter approach, students will learn techniques like teamwork and resolving conflicts.
Getting honest feedback from your students every now and then is a good way of evaluating yourself. This way, you will know what are the areas where you excel and the areas where you are lacking. You can either do this at the end of the month or at the end of the term. Another way of evaluating your teaching style is to ask students what they learned at the end of each lesson. Give them a minute to list all the important stuff that they learned that day. In this way, by reading their answers, you will know if you're delivering your lectures properly or not.
Use Art and Music.
Not every child is a science lover. Similarly, not every child is a math genius. Some will find chemistry to be the toughest thing on the planet Earth, while others would take it as a piece of cake. Therefore, you need to take the entire class with you. Introduce a common element in your lectures that everyone loves. For example, if your class is super good at art, then maybe you can teach geometry through the arts.
YOU Are Important.
Yes! YOU are the most important part of this entire discussion. If you feel happy and bouncy, your lessons, teaching methodology and attitude will reflect it. Similarly, if you're depressed and frustrated, that will be reflected too. Children are very smart. They detect the teacher's mood very quickly. Who would want to learn from the teacher who is in a bad mood? NOBODY!
Therefore, it's very important to dump all your worries and tensions outside the classroom. Once you have delivered your lecture, now you can go back to worrying about those problems.
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Communications & Education
Recent edits by: Eng, Karan Khanna, Graeme