Teaching can be a rewarding job, especially when the students respond to what you teach. Moreover, if they apply the skills they learn from class in their lives, it makes your teaching extend beyond the classroom and become actual manifestations of your efforts.
We tend to view teaching merely as a job, while in all actuality, it is an experience. The process is not limited to the time you spend with your students inside the classroom. It is expansive and can retain its influence across generations.
So, teaching itself is a responsibility, and once you start looking at it that way, you learn that you hold the reins to someone’s future. The seeds that you sow today will be the plants and trees that will flourish and stand firm tomorrow.
There is a reason why accomplished people credit their teachers for their achievements; there is a reason why teachers are considered to be the backbone of a society, and there is reason enough why teachers are considered to be benevolent friends.
However, lately, teaching has developed into a profession, wherein people think of it in terms of a social transaction. The students pay their dues to learn, and the teacher gets paid for teaching the students.
Things used to be different in the past. Think of the Greeks, for instance. They made advancements because of the way tutors used to focus on the strengths and weaknesses of their students. They used to polish their skills and got involved in their intellectual growth.
If you want to raise a generation of future leaders, you need to act like one yourself. In an Online Master of Education in Curriculum and Teaching Program you can learn about the various elements of a good teaching strategy that will help become an inspiring teacher and education leader.
You are under the responsibility of making your contribution toward shaping young minds that could in the future be in charge of the nation’s affairs. Therefore, remember, every action of yours counts.
With that in mind, we have prepared a list of things you need to consider if you strive to become an inspiring teacher.
1) Understand your students:
Unless you have a good understanding of who your students are, you cannot be an inspiring teacher. You should level up your communication skills with the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses.
Not everyone comes from a privileged background. With students coming in from diverse backgrounds, they are likely to have different experiences. Those experiences can have varying effects on them and could shape their behavior.
If you develop an understanding of why a student behaves a certain way, you can be empathetic towards them. Besides, sometimes a student is bright but doesn’t show it openly.
If you see past their outward behavior, you can connect with them, and they might try to focus more on the lessons. Therefore, understanding leads to connection and connection leads to learning.
2) Encourage questions:
Oftentimes, due to peer pressure or general shyness, students are not able to express themselves in front of people. As a teacher, you have to ensure that students feel confident about themselves in the class.
This is extremely important because if you fail to build this attitude in your students, they will not ask you any questions. Even if they are not clear about the concepts, they will hide them from you. This is extremely dangerous for their growth.
You need to build a positive attitude towards questions in the classroom. Do not discourage anyone, rather welcome any question they pose and try to answer it as simply as possible.
Once you start doing this, students will become more comfortable asking questions. This will, in turn, lead to a greater understanding of the concepts. It is always better to kickstart each lesson with a flurry of questions that can then be answered by closely following your lecture. This way students will come to class prepared with questions of their own as well.
3) Communicate, don’t delegate:
You are not merely going in front of those students to do your job. You want to fulfill your responsibility to the full. And a great part of your responsibility as a teacher is to focus on communication while you discuss complex topics with your students.
If you just lecture them, some may understand it and others may not. Even if you build a positive attitude towards questions, the onus is on you to effectively deliver your knowledge.
If you are dealing with a complex topic, try to use simpler vocabulary to make it easier for your students to grasp meaning. Cite real-world examples to help them relate to the contents of the course.
If they fail to understand, take it as a sign. Think outside the box, and come up with ways to make your lectures as comprehensible as possible. Your job is to ensure that even the weakest student gets to develop a firm grasp of the concepts you are teaching.
4) Unconventional approaches:
Education is not merely a classroom activity. It can be a fun outdoor activity, too. So, whenever you have the chance, conduct your class outside, sitting in the middle of that beautiful lawn outside the lecture hall.
While classroom decorum is important, you do not have to make it boring. You can have fun activities to make education engaging for your students.
If you think the students can learn about something from a movie, play it for them in the class. Alternatively, you can give them movie assignments as homework.
Multimedia resources can be useful if students are not fond of reading. That is not to say that you should not encourage reading. But not everyone learns in a particular way, therefore, you should be innovative with your approach.
If you get along with your students well, you could maybe take them out for a cup of coffee at a nearby cafe. There you can discuss the subject more casually.
Teachers should strive to develop upon these teaching strategies so that they can inspire students to learn. Your students will respect you if they believe that they are gaining something valuable from you. You can only inspire people if you have their respect and hold influence over them.
Given that your job is to ensure that they learn, developing these attitude traits should be your focus to foster a spirit of encouragement and curiosity among the students.
In time, your students would start seeing you more as a friend and might start to warm up to you by telling you their problems and asking you for your expert advice. People warm up when they believe others make the effort to understand them.
They’ll try to remain aloof if you stick to treating the teaching profession merely as a job. You need to rise above the stereotype. You need to show them that you are there to help them, guide them, and polish them into becoming future leaders.
The future belongs to them, but it can only be shaped the right way if you inspire them to take charge of their present.