There are seven principles of teaching that aim to improve standards, teaching and learning. Think of them as your seven commandments, they’re relevant in every learning situation.
Now it might seem obvious but building relationships and rapport with students is important, it’s one of the main factors in ensuring students succeed. There are many ways to open up the communication channels and build relationships between students and yourself, including learning your students’ names, personalising feedback on students work, sharing personal experiences (within reason!) and talking to your students on a personal level.
When you encourage team collaboration and learning, learning is enhanced. Group work improves thinking, collaboration skills as well as social skills. Ways to introduce this into your classroom are cooperative learning groups, encouraging students with different socioeconomic backgrounds to participate in classes and introduce the idea of peer tutoring every now and again.
The best time to summarise lessons and give feedback on work is when a subject or lesson is still fresh in your students’ minds. Feedback enhances learning as it helps your students identify what they successfully learned, and what they need to look at again. Great ways to help students reflect and learn on lessons is to follow up lessons with a summary of what should have been learned, Q&A style sessions and returning grades/marking within one week.
As we all know, we’re always rushed for time. Lessons range from 40-55 minutes, which means you need to introduce a subject, explore it, set some work around it and summarize it in a short amount of time. Learning should be efficient. Simple ways to ensure tasks are completed efficiently are having realistic expectations, teaching time management skills and helping students set their own goals and timelines for learning and submitting work.
Students with little motivation, children unwilling to try and children that exceed all need to be set high expectations. Ways to set high standards are encouraging students to work hard in class, giving positive reinforcement throughout your lessons and working one on one with students that might be struggling to learn something. Encouraging students to focus on doing their best, instead of worrying about grades is a really important way to boost confidence and ensure high standards are set, too.
It’s commonly understood that everyone has different learning styles, no two people learn something the same way. The best practice to ensure every student is covered in your lessons is to offer a range of activities that cover and complement learning styles. Encouraging students to speak up when they don’t understand is a good way to ensure no students are left behind.
These principles not only help you be the best teacher you can be not only for yourself but for your students.
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