Let's face it. Some people are just not born to be teachers. Sure, they are smart and they can pretty much teach you the entire book. But teaching is more than just telling the students what they need to learn. After all, learning is an experience and as a teacher, you are ought to facilitate an experience that is worth-remembering as the facts and figures and diagrams you teach in your classroom. So, being a teacher myself, here are some tips culled out from personal experience on how to make your students more attentive and your class less boring.
Tip No. 1: Know That Each Student Is UniqueThere are basically three types of learners: those who learn with their eyes, those who learn with their ears and those who learn with their hands. It is important that you must have a general sense of your class what type of learners are dominant in the group. If you feel that a class learns well with their eyes, then make your presentations more visually appealing. Use diagrams and charts and figures to emphasize a point. If the class generally learns with their hands, do more physical activities inside the class. And since no two students are alike, use variety in your mode of teaching.
Tip No. 2: Appropriate HumorYou don't have to be funny to be humorous. Some teachers are just too serious while inside the class. Learn how to loosen up a bit. You don't have to push hard just to be funny. Usually the best source of humor is your own personal experience. Another good source of humor is the commonly shared experiences of teenagers. Smiling alone inside the class already draws your students to you, giving them the impression that you are sociable and easily accessible. When a student cracks a joke, for as long as it is an appropriate joke, ride along with it and allow the class to laugh.
Tip No. 3: Schedule Outdoor ActivitiesThe classroom can be suffocating. Plan some activities that would allow them to be outside of the four walls of the classroom. It may be a field trip or even do a lecture in the school yard picnic-style. You can be creative in your activities, for as long as it is outside of the classroom. You can schedule this once a week or once a month.
Tip No. 4: Be UnpredictableStudents don't like monotony in the class. Surprise your students (in a good way) all the time. While there may be the usual routine in the class, try to break from the routine from time to time. An example would be to re-arrange the seat plan or the way the chairs are placed inside the classroom. Keep them guessing all the time. This way, they would always look forward to your class.
Tip No. 5: Relate Your Lessons To LifeWhether it's Calculus or Trigonometry or Microbiology, try to relate the lecture with everyday life. What could be the greater or bigger lessons that they can learn and apply in their own lives other than just the theories and principles? Allow them to talk about it in class. When you ask them what matters to them, students tend to feel more wanted. By relating your lessons to real life situations, it doesn't only make your lessons easy to remember but it also makes it relevant to them.
Tip No. 6: Talk To ThemStudents know the difference between lecturing and teaching. When you teach, you are basically talking to them, conversing with them. So, no matter how difficult the lecture is, build the rapport between you and your students. Maintain eye contact with them. Involve them in the discussion. Tickle their minds. Challenge their spirits. Be emotional or passionate when you teach. Most of the times, the kind of emotions that you display also gets exhibited by your students. They basically mirror what you show to them.
Tip No. 7: End With A CliffhangerEnd the class with something that would always make them anticipate your next class. End with an open-ended question or a challenge. I am not referring to take-home quizzes or tests. Make them feel that what they heard today in your class is not enough and that they need to come back next time to hear and/or witness what's next.
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