Today’s post comes from guest writer Shannon Wills.
The best thing about children is that they’re so adaptable; they have open minds and are not as rigid in their thinking as adults. This is why it’s a joy to teach them if you know the right way to inspire them. It’s up to you as a teacher to be able to hold their attention and inspire them to garner more knowledge by:
- Letting your passion spill over: I still remember my favorite class in college – I actually loved the subject because our professor was so passionate about the subject. His face would literally glow when he lectured to us. It was as if his enthusiasm was contagious because he was able to hold the entire class in rapture. We listened to his every word and waited to see how he would teach each sub-topic. And perhaps this is most of us would ace his exams without having to study too hard. The point is that for a student to be inspired by your teaching, you have to demonstrate a passion for the subject, one that spills over and infects those who are in your class.
- Instigating their curiosity: When you make your students more curious about the subject, they’re tempted to learn more than just what’s taught in the classroom. They do more research on their own time and are inspired to augment their knowledge of the subject. As a teacher, you must think of ways to instigate their curiosity and drive them to want to know more about the subject.
- Mixing it up: No student likes a monotonous or routine class. So mix up your lessons and vary the way you teach the subject. If it’s diagrams one day, move to a more interactive way of teaching the next. Depending on the subject you teach, you could find ways to make your lectures and lessons unique and interesting so that your students wait eagerly for the next lesson just so they can see what you have up your sleeve.
- Making them feel at ease: The best teachers are not those who are knowledgeable and smart; rather, they’re the ones who can bond with their students and make them feel at ease in their classrooms. They don’t mind when they’re asked questions and doubts, even the ones that are most ridiculous. In fact, they welcome interaction and active discussions in class. When they’re able to come down to the level of their students, it’s easier to inspire them.
- Avoiding favoritism: No student likes a teacher who has favorites. Sure, some of your students may be better than the rest of the class, but when you single them out for special attention, you’re sending out a negative message to the others in the class. This makes them lose interest in your class, and eventually in your subject. So avoid favoritism when you’re looking to inspire your students.