In many walks of life, there are times when you need to be a teacher, perhaps it is your job to teach but even if it isn’t there will always be times when the responsibility to impart knowledge falls squarely on your shoulders. This could be in your home life when you have children, maybe you have a leadership role at work where you need to train and inspire others or perhaps you need to teach a friend something new. Whether you teach for a living or not, there are always times when being a good educator will come in handy.
Much has been written about how to improve your skills as a teacher, great minds in the world of education such as Douglas Reeves have written thousands of pages of advice on the roles of teachers and if you wish to improve your teaching skills then here are 5 great tips to follow.
Adapt Your Style
Everyone learns in different ways and you must adapt your teaching style depending on what type of learner it is that you are teaching. Some students will learn easier with visual aids, some will be more analytical and some will suit a more vocal style of teaching, ascertaining what kind of learner you have on your hands will be half the battle when teaching something new.
Always a Student
If you want to be a successful teacher then you need to remain an eager student, this will help you remain knowledgeable about what you are teaching. Even if you think you are a strong teacher, you should always seek to improve your skills, methods and approach to teaching.
Be Flexible and Patient
A draconian teaching style won’t suit anybody and it is important that you are flexible and patient with your students. A flexible teaching approach means that you are open to having regular engagement with your student(s) as opposed to preaching to them. Patience truly is a virtue when it comes to teaching and it is important that you don’t become frustrated when people don’t learn things straight away.
Ask Open Questions
When recapping on what your student or students have learned, avoid asking questions that have a simple yes or no answer, remember that you are trying to embed the knowledge that you are teaching. When recapping, ask the learners to explain to you different parts of what you have just taught, this way you can not only see if the information has landed, but also gives the student the opportunity to reinforce the knowledge that they have just learned.
Keep it Relative
When teaching something that can appear boring, try to keep it interesting by relating it to something that your students enjoy. If for example you are teaching math then relate it to sports or something like that, this way you will be leaving a visual imprint in the minds of your students as well as keeping the subject exciting.