This is the second lesson on our how to become a good teacher series. We’ve learned that having a professional teaching qualification does not necessarily make one a good teacher.
In the same way, the mere fact that a person belongs to a particular profession does not automatically guarantee that his/her service as a teacher will also be professional.
In our lesson for today, we want to look at some challenges that a teacher you are likely to face and how to go about in handling them.
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As you may have learned already, every child learns in a completely different way and every person has a different learning style. In other, for you to succeed as a good teacher, there is a need for you to identify your student learning style, his/her learning problems and then quickly find a way out as soon as possible.
In doing these, you may want to consider the following learning challenges and its suggestions:
Discipline in a prompt and thoughtful way. Make the rules for your lessons and each exercise very clear and consistent. If a student breaks a rule, handle it immediately before moving forward. However, once you’ve made a disciplinary action, don’t dwell on it or you could create additional problems. Also, make sure that any consequences that you assign match the level of the offense committed.
· For example, if a student accidentally disrupts a designated “quiet period” this can generally be corrected with a simple verbal warning for a first offense.
· You can also ask the student to stay after class and speak with you. This is one way to issue a consequence without disrupting your lesson.
Assign leadership roles to difficult students. Some students create problems during lessons due to sheer boredom or feeling disconnected with the subject or their teacher. Start with giving a challenging student small, personal tasks to complete. Then, over time, give them more difficult and public responsibilities.
· For example, you might ask a student to serve as a time-keeper for an exercise.
· Be aware that this is an option that won’t work for every challenging student. If they don’t do well at the simple tasks, don’t give them more advanced ones.
Express a personal interest in all students. If you show your students that you enjoy their company and value their opinions, then they are far less likely to exhibit challenging behaviors. Make a point of asking your students about their daily lives and personal interests. While staying professional, tell your students information about you in return.
· For example, you might talk with your students about where they are going for an upcoming break.
Stay calm when addressing argumentative students. It’s really easy to lose your cool when faced with a challenging or critical student. Instead, take a deep breath and try to look at their perspective. Ask them to explain their position in further detail. Encourage other students to enter into the discussion.
Give quiet students many avenues of participation. There are many possible reasons why a student might remain silent in your lesson. Encourage them to learn by creating a safe environment for all opinions. Offer a variety of assignment options, including journal submissions or email logs. Avoid putting a spotlight on quiet students, unless that fits your overall teaching style.
Offer assistance to struggling students. Do your best to identify students who are struggling academically early on. Consider offering in-class resources, such as pair exercises. Or, direct them to external resources, such as subject tutoring. By doing so you can squarely handle your student with joy and help them to excel.
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