Every teacher is faced with similar challenges every day. How will I best communicate to the students? Are the students understanding what I am teaching them? Hope I am not boring? Teachers also get frustrated by the behaviours of the students. How do I get them to follow instructions? Why are the always adamant to correction? Is it possible for them to fully concentrate?
These questions are common to all teachers, from primary to secondary school and they are looking for answers because they want their class to be more interesting and fun.
Here are some of the tips that can help you and your students have a more enjoyable class:
1. Greet students with nice smile: Greeting the students with a smile on your face sure works magic. It set a tone for the class and let the students know that you notice them and you are excited to meet them. This excitement could be contagious and in no time, the whole class becomes lively.
2. Build relationship: Students are easily attracted to teachers that they are free with. Don’t just limit your work to teaching your subject only, ask them personal questions, try to know what they are going through. Such can’t happen during general teaching but through one-on-one discussions.
3. Prepare a supply area: One of the things that cause distraction in class is borrowing things like pen, pencil, eraser etc. in the middle of the lesson. In other to prevent this, you could have a place for materials that the student might need, and anyone that needs any of them can quietly go their without distracting the entire class. You could even ask them to bring pens, ruler, pencil etc. at the beginning of each term to keep the stock full.
4. Have a daily plan: Taking a couple minutes to write out your plan on the board before the start of class will stop from students from wasting precious class time asking what they’re going to be doing. When students enter the classroom, they should clearly see a list of daily events including the warm-up activity, the class activities and materials needed, and the homework for the end of class. Daily goals are also helpful to keep students motivated and on task. This more effective if you are a class teacher.
5. Set a deadline: Students can go on working endlessly on a task when they are not given deadline. To prevent this, teachers need to set time limit for every activity they give the students. When a teacher tells students they have one minute to form a group and immediately sets a timer, students start moving with more urgency than if a teacher casually tells them to go find a random group with no time limit. This way, the students will be more focused on the task at hand than being busy with something else.
6. Plan for the technological distractions: How about students that come to the class with smartphones, headsets, earbuds etc. Some schools might have a general policy for such but in the case where there is none your school, you could ask the students to keep their phones with you at the start of the class or tell them to switch it off throughout the time that you will be with them. Whatever you decide, make sure students understand your expectations and the consequences of violating your rules. This will save a lot of time from disruptions and hopefully encourage more engagement from students in the classroom instead of in their virtual worlds.
Having to manage your class could be one of the most difficult tasks on earth, but you can always use some of the tips given above to ensure that you keep the students focused and engaged throughout the class.