Whether you are teaching in the UK or abroad, it pays to double-check your teaching style regularly as there will always be room for improvement. In addition, each class you take will have a unique set of students, so being adaptive in your teaching style can pay dividends. When you start to reflect upon key aspects of the lesson or about the strategies you use, this can lead towards greater student engagement whatever their ages.
There is much to remember when you are teaching and the following painless and simple teaching hacks can make your job go more smoothly and be more effective:
1. Redefine your lesson
This simply means make a note as to what works and what does not in the class. Write down some brief notes as ideas for improvement occur and then implement your own suggestions next time. This way, you will gain important new insights as well as being able to incorporate ideas or suggestions gleaned from your students.
2. Don’t underestimate the lesson plan
This is essential and helps you to stick to the main points while ensuring you cover all of the required content. It’s useful to take a quick look at your lesson plan at least the day before you begin to teach as this will refresh your memory of the syllabus. If you regularly teach the same subject, you will be able to re-plan the lesson to maximise results if need be or to identify those sections of the lesson which are confusing.
3. Get organised
Are you surrounded by clutter or chaos? If so, this may distract you. Make sure your classroom and desk space are kept as clear as possible. Not only will it ensure clarity of mind, it will help you to avoid misplacing needed items and offset any feelings of being overwhelmed.
4. Keep much-loved resources to hand
If you have a favourite pen, notepad or teaching resource, use it regularly. Perhaps you like to use PowerPoint or other visual aids; if this works for you and for your students, make it an instinctive part of your style. By doing so, you add familiarity and confidence to the task at hand which will increase your potential to engage with your students.
5. Running out of time
All syllabus content is important for your students and you can’t miss out on vital information just because lesson content overruns. Instead, make notes on your lesson plan so that you know exactly what information was not covered and then take time to include it in the next session where possible. You can also do this for any improvements, important questions asked or difficulties experienced. The lesson plan is your vital tool for success so use it well.