Tips for Teaching and Academics: Tips to Succeed in the Classroom
The world of education is changing. Parents expect digital learning and engaging content at their child’s fingertips. They are also looking for immersive, hands-on experiences that simulate what their child will experience in the real world. Teachers have to change with the times. That doesn’t mean they have to give up their desks and get online. The key is to find ways to leverage technology in a creative way that will make students interested in attending class again next week. A recent poll found that more than half of Americans now work from home part time or irregularly due to family obligations or other factors. But even with laptops and smartphones at their disposal, most students aren’t comfortable bringing them to school. For this reason, a lot of educators find it challenging to get new students interested in attending class again next week. Fortunately, there are some simple tips you can use as a teaching assistant or an academic advisor to encourage your students to return for another period of study:
Keep it simple.
complexity in a lesson can cause students to become uninterested in the subject. Complex topics don’t offer the same amount of specific information as simple topics do. For example, a unit on the bacteria in the digestive system might have information about the number of bacteria in the human digestive system and the order in which they’re found in the digestive system, along with information on the types of bacteria that live in the digestive system and their roles in the process of digestion. But a unit on the human immune system might not have as much specific information. It would focus primarily on the cells that line the digestive system and how they help the body fight off invaders. While both topics are important, they’re less complex in the digestive system unit.
Use short, effective lessons.
Too much information can be a bad thing. A lot of academic content is wordy, has a lot of unnecessary details, and is meant to be consumed in one sitting. This makes it challenging for students to absorb, and it can even make them moody and teary. That’s not a good use of anyone’s time—or anyone’s emotional energy. To avoid overwhelming students with information, consider using shorter lessons that contain more information, but also contain the information students need to know. For example, an economics lesson might cover the basics of how economies work, while also including information about the effects of taxation and regulation on the economy.
Make learning fun.
Many students are put off by the idea of learning because they associate school with dull lessons, low-key tasks, and smaller, more tangible rewards. But learning shouldn’t be taken seriously. It’s an opportunity to learn how to think and see the world through new eyes—both literally and figuratively. Learning should be fun. That means you have to make learning feel like a game. Games are people activities. They get you involved with your language, thoughts, and feelings. They also take your mind off of what you’re doing so you can have a better time. One way to make learning fun is to involve your students in problem solving. This might seem like a silly idea, but think about how you spend your free time. Do you ever spend your time solving problems for other people? If you do, you’ll appreciate the benefits of problem-solving in a classroom setting. A great way to get your students involved in problem solving is to have them create a project. For example, one student might design a game that challenges other students to find a solution to a problem. Another student might help the first student with their project and then turn their attention back to their lesson. You’ll get more out of your students if they feel comfortable working on projects that allow them to use their unique gifts (e.g., creativity, visual skills) instead of being asked to just “solve” a problem.
Show students how to do it.
Do you have a student who always seems to make a mess? That kid could use some motivation to finish projects. Try to show your students how you do things so they can see what you do and feel inspired to try something new themselves. For example, if you do term papers for students, let them help with the writing. Or if you teach a history lesson, let them read the chapter and then offer to show them how you do it. Doing so can give your students a taste of being in charge and let them discover how they actually enjoy teaching.
Help students adopt a work-from-home routine.
Hate going to class but don’t have the energy to do it after school? Work from home instead. This is a perfect solution for students who choose to work from home in order to avoid social pressures or who simply don’t have the energy to attend class. Some students may prefer to work from home because they enjoy doing so, or they may be required to work from home to complete a certain task (i.e., go to the doctor). In either case, there is a chance that working from home can be a positive experience for the student. You can also try to get your students to work from home once a month. This will allow them to unwind from school and clear their minds, while still having the ability to earn their pay cheque.
Parents want to ensure their child’s educational experience is as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. That’s why they look for ways to make learning fun, provide effective instruction, and help students adopt a work-from-home routine so they can focus on their studies and their future careers. To be successful in the classroom, you’ll need to keep it simple, use short, effective lessons, make learning fun, and show students how to do it.