The education sector is extremely dynamic. While the lessons can still be the same old Mathematics formulae or the grammar rules in the English language, teaching methods have been evolving throughout time. Educators and teachers have to keep up with all the changing trends from around the globe and innovate their teaching styles from time to time. The advancement of technology seen from the beginning of the 21st century has changed the education sector greatly. Information is readily available with a click and the entire world has been opened to teachers and their students. Now it seems foolish to rely on a single textbook to teach the concepts. Teachers and students can now make use of the vast volumes of information available and the latest devices to aid them in the classroom.
The downside to increased dependence on technology in our daily lives must be taken into account here too. School-going children, pre-teens, and teens are showing signs of losing attention quickly. Flashing screens and faster internet speeds provide high-quality graphics and videos which keep children hooked. This keeps children from developing longer attention spans in activities that don’t involve screens. They are unable to focus in class. They find long lessons taxing, books have become boring and most lose their interest as the lesson progresses.
Educational institutes have now started focusing on drafting proper curriculums that do not only focus on the material to be taught and the learning outcomes expected from students. They also stress a lot about how lessons are to be conducted. Teachers are expected to take training on how to effectively deliver a lesson. Many well-reputed, accredited universities offer on-campus and online advanced degrees which, upon completion, can equip educators with the knowledge to design good curriculums and instruct teachers on how to make their lessons interactive and engaging for students.
Using appropriate technology in class has proven to be beneficial. Presenting images, diagrams and charts can help students visualize the concepts and understand them better. But the teacher’s presence, tone, body language, and activeness in class can make all the difference. If you wish to keep your students engaged in class, this article is for you.
We’ve jotted down some of the tried and tested techniques that can help you grab your students’ attention throughout the lesson.
Understand that Each Student is Unique
Interacting with students, whether individually or in groups, throughout the lesson can help you understand them well. Yes, the students are all in the same age group, but every child is unique and shows different strengths and weaknesses.
Engaging with them in discussions relevant to the lesson or practically any topic under the sky can help you comprehend each student better. If you are able to pick their strengths and weaknesses, the students will feel like they are seen for who they are and will be able to connect with you much better. You can devise then devise lesson plans that can cater to all students.
Interact with Colleagues
You can always seek help from any other teacher you feel has more experience than you. Teachers who show good results every year can be your guide. Similarly, you can discuss your student’s progress in other subjects and come up with an effective plan together to help a lagging student buck up.
Use Real-World Examples
Students are known to grasp a concept better if they can relate it to something they use or know about. For example, the most repeated question teachers face is ‘where will we use this?’ and it is prevalent in the subject of mathematics. To overcome this obstacle, you can reference recent developments, organize a field trip, bring relevant objects in the classroom for physical demonstration or invite guests so that your students can form a real-world connection to the concept for better understanding.
Ask Questions and Allow Brainstorming
As a teacher, you should keep all lessons very interactive. Ask questions during lectures. Keep the children on their toes – figuratively, we mean. Bounce questions off of students randomly to keep them engaged throughout the lesson.
What’s more important is to keep your questions informative. Simple yes/no questions can help, but they can never help you understand your student’s mind. Make your questions equitable and legitimate. Don’t seek correct answers only, and don’t discourage anyone who answers wrongly.
A good teacher should allow brainstorming and encourage students to take their time and think about the answers. There shouldn’t be any rush. It is equally important to let students revel in their thoughts for a few seconds to a minute so they can articulate them well. This also encourages students who don’t have an answer right away.
Let Them Teach
Let students take charge and be a teacher for a while. You can assign different topics to your students for them to present in front of their fellows. This boosts students to do thorough research on their topic for a better presentation and can also improve their presentation skills and lift their confidence. This can benefit them greatly in their careers. And you can plan this practice beforehand or make it impromptu.
Encourage Group Work
You can plan specific tasks during your lessons that involve pairing students up or forming groups. The hustle that erupts while forming groups or pairs wakes up sleepy heads. This also encourages students to hear the opinions of other students. They engage in informative discussions and ask questions amongst themselves, allowing them to be well prepared for your inspection.
Unleash Their Curiosity
Use the last few minutes of every lesson to assign some fun tasks for students to complete before their next lesson. This can mean giving them a slight hint of what they would learn next. Encourage them to look up the topic you will be teaching next. This way, you can begin the next lecture by asking questions, seeing what the students were able to research on the relevant topic, and then proceed with your lesson based on how much the students were able to study independently.
With enthusiasm, bring your smile and the energetic zest in class too. Be personable and approachable to all students to keep them engaged. Establish a strong relationship with your students so communicating with them becomes easier and better.
Students are known to be more attentive in the presence of a teacher they feel a connection with. Share your personal incidents, laugh with the students, and joke around to keep the environment accessible.
A teacher’s role in shaping a child’s future is unmatched. You can change your teaching style easily by changing a few teaching ways that don’t employ expensive and taxing materials and gadgets. This way, you can ensure maximum attention of your students during lessons and, eventually, better results. So be the change, bring the change. The future lies in your hands.