By Teachers, For Teachers
If you’ve been in the teaching profession for a while, then you know that there are a few universal teaching strategies that effective teachers know and do on a daily basis. These are the teaching strategies that teachers have learned throughout their career. From overplanning to building a strong student-teacher relationship, these simple strategies are helpful and useful. Here are five of the top teaching strategies that effective teachers know and do every single day.
One of the best-kept secrets that teachers have is that they always overplan. The reason for this is that you never really know how long a lesson or activity may take. For example, if you plan a lesson and are envisioning that it will take about 30 minutes, but it in reality it only takes 15, then what are you going to do with the students for those extra 15 minutes? If you didn’t overplan, then things can get chaotic, or you may have to pull out those boring worksheets that students dread so much.
They key to overplanning is that when you are in desperate measures, then you know you’ll always be covered. One of the easiest ways to over plan is to create a “Top ten” bulletin board where you have ten tasks listed in the order you want your students to do them. For example, the first priority is for students to finish any homework or projects. The next task is to complete an app that reviews math facts, and so on. You would change the bulletin board as tasks and homework changes daily or even weekly. The overall goal is to plan for more than you’ll actually need. The top ten bulletin board is just an easy way to achieve this goal. It also has a variety of activities and tasks that will challenge students versus filling time with worksheets or games.
Teachers have to be consistent in everything that they do, because it’s the glue that holds everything together in the classroom. If you want your students to respect you and succeed in your classroom, then you better be consistent. This means that you must follow through with everything that you say. If you tell your students that if they misbehave then they can’t have “Fun Friday,” then you must take that away if they are not behaving. When you give your students any type of verbal instruction, then you must be prepared to follow through.
Consistency in everyday routines is also important. As you know, children thrive when things are predictable, and having an everyday routine that students are used to doing is a great way to show them that you are consistent.
The best teachers know the value in having a good relationship with their students. They know by building a solid relationship they can reduce classroom interruptions and misbehavior, gain respect, as well as learn more about their students so they can help them succeed in every aspect of school.
As you know, adolescence brings insecurities, so protecting a student’s self-esteem (not humiliating them in front of their peers), as well as helping them gain self-esteem (giving them the tips they need to succeed), is just another way that you can help build the foundation of a successful student-teacher relationship. Listening is also important in maintaining a relationship with your students. Many times, children feel like their voices are never heard, so taking the time to listen to students concerns is a great way to show that you care.
Simply said, student choice leads to student voice. Student choice provides a pathway for students to succeed. When they are given the opportunity to choose what or how they will learn, you are giving them a voice. When students are able to use their voice, they are investing in their own learning, which means the work that they’ll produce will matter because it came from their choosing. Effective teachers use student choice as a motivator and as a means to keep students engaged and invested in their own learning. Overall, the best teachers use student choice because it promotes students control and gives students a sense of purpose.
When teachers first start out, their goal is be the best teacher they can be. Howerver, it’s easy to forget that learning should be fun, because most of the time teachers are just trying to make sure they follow the curriculum and get everything done by the end of the semester. Many teachers have to remind themselves how to boost the fun factor in their classroom. When you make learning fun, you’re engaging your students. Luckily, there are many new tech tools on the market that can help with this. Technology is a great way to make learning fun. From iPad apps to Smartboard activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
These are just five the most popular teaching strategies that effective teachers use daily. What are your favorites?
What are the simple teaching strategies that you know and do every day? Please share your favorite go-to strategies in the comment section below, we’d love to hear what you have to say.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds Masters of Science in Education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Hey Teach. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @empoweringed, on Facebook at Empowering K12 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.