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Teaching doesn't have to be hard

Updated on May 11, 2011

For an easy life...

Teaching doesn't need to be hard. Any teacher has a few golden qualities to master to be effective, and successful.

First of all, planning. Create routine, Some children need, and respond best to, an ordered day. Like anybody, they appreciate knowing what lies ahead, what is going to be happening. Shambolic planning or unscheduled changes can lead to disgruntled, disorientated, disappointedand sometimes disruptive children    .

Secondly, boundaries: Establish boundaries for students. They need to know the behaviour expected of them, the standard and quantity of work they need to produce ...and the consequences and sanctions if standards and targets are not met. Conversely, they should be familiar with the kudos and pleasure in performing well.

When explaining, lecturing, instructing or giving input, a teacher should ensure clear, simple, age-appropriate language. Illustrations and board notes of key points aid in the learning process. Teachers should try to keep their teaching interactive with a chance for student questions and discourse. 

A teacher should give a learning intention; a purpose to tasks; reasons and relevance. Any follow-on work that a child is expected to produce needs to be valuable and not just copied or 'churned out'. 

Diversity and variety in a teacher's approach can result in a more dynamic learning ambiance. Consider pace of delivery, the method and conveyance of content, depending on the lesson. The presentation should be ideally multimedia; including oral, visual and participation. This allows for different ways that individual children take knowledge on board. 

Teaching methods should be varied and illustrated. There should be a safe and stimulating environment to work in. Allowance for movement and flow within the classroom reduces the necessity for a child to be just confined to a desk. Some children, and adults, find it difficult to concentrate while sitting for a long period. Give them the chance to move about and re-gather their focus.

A teacher should convey enthusiasm and passion. Preparing achievable activities and participatory tasks which can be completed in the time available, as well as some open-ended investigations keeps a lesson lively and effective. Expose students to teamwork; leading and following, delegating and communicating. Provide the opportunity for individual tasks too..

Children should be given the scope to use their initiative, extend and expand, exceed and excel. By giviing an valuable open-ended task to speedier children a teacher can spend time helping and reinforcing work with slower students.

 A teacher should build on the individual talents and strengths of every child. Also, speaking directly to each child and offering some positive feed back, as well as constructve improvement strategies makes a student 'want' to produce work. 

Praise and encourage every child. Divert and guide them away from difficult, frustrating tasks to a more positive task for that particular child's ability. In other words - be aware if a child is struggling and be ready to give extra input. you may have to deliver the work by aproaching it from a different perspective. A frustrated child who is heading for failure, soon becomes disillusioned and diffident.Carefully phrase your teaching to elicit correct answers from them.

Give positive feed back to each child in turn. Discuss the merits of the task  they have completed and tell them how they have met the objectives of the lesson. Make them feel worthy and successful.

Finally, give time for more playtime and breaks. Humans are programmed to socialise. Laugh, listen to music as a group, sing, have fun and exercise – both teachers and children together.

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