Whether you are a newly fledged teacher or a fully fledged professor, it is common knowledge that handling those notorious little kids is not an easy task at all. But being a teacher entails a lot more responsibility than just that. When you come to the real task of instilling some knowledge or value into them, it is one real brain cruncher. Here are a few practices that you could adopt to get the best out of yourself and your class
1. Build a rapport
Cultivate good communication to understand the needs of the learner. Talk to connect rather than to give a sermon.
2. Engage with the class
This could be difficult. Kids do not have long concentration and easily get bored but if you find a way to hold their interest, then you have hit upon a gold mine.
Always keep in mind that kids are naïve and it is part of the juvenile culture to try and get on your nerves. Even you must have done it as a kid. So instead of reacting to it sometimes follow the saying, “ignorance is bliss”. If matters get worse then you can always plan for a dialogue with the concerned parents and take collective action.
4. Be humorous
Nothing will work in your favor more than breaking the stereotype in a child’s mind – that school is a serious place of coercive learning. Occasional doses of laughter will pep up their minds and make them love or look forward to your sessions!
5. Personal attention
Different kids have different skills of coping with whatever is being taught. Make it a point to have weekly personal interactions with them to find out whether they have hit a roadblock.
Continuing with the previous point. Kids who need a different approach of teaching or extra help must be given specialized attention. And if you could help one child overcome his/her obstacles, you would sleep peacefully at night thinking you touched someone’s life in a good way.
7. Give positive feedback
Negative feedback breeds negative reactions and pushes the child further inside his shell. The message that needs to be professed is that “it’s okay to make mistakes as long as you rectify them and progress constructively, no matter the time”. Being pushy will lead you nowhere rather create unwanted hostility. Remember patience is a virtue.
8. Encourage peer learning
It is common knowledge that children feel more comfortable with their age group. So encouraging group assignments or activities involving subgroups where one tutors and one critic and vice versa helps easy learning through application.
9. Meta-cognitive strategies
Treat students as adults and let them plan out, organize and monitor their own work. Peer group interactions improve and self reflection also happens along the way.
10. Formative assessmentsAssessments should keep happening unit-wise or weekly instead of a summative assessment at the very end. Formative evaluation will help the teacher be aware of where the class stands in terms of unit-wise progress and whether there is still room for improvement.