Intrigue New Generations: 10 Effective Teaching Methods
A good teacher works on the constant improvement of their educational skills, on widening their knowledge base and discovering various methods to connect with their students. This noble job position comes with many challenges which occur on a daily bases and it’s not a job for the faint of heart.
The fact is that new generations are very difficult to intrigue. They have access to any kind of info they are in need of at their fingertips and literally – smartphones enable them a temporary insight into any topic which they find satisfactory enough.
As an educator, you should strive towards implanting permanent knowledge your students will be able to use later on in their careers. A majority of schools are dealing with transitions regarding educational material because a selection is in order; a clear barrier needs to be built between materials that are useful and applicable and those which are surpassed and outdated.
Until that time comes, you need to find that balance by yourself, while fulfilling the standards set by your ministry of culture. The following methods will be helpful with that cause.
A Topic’s Core
A general problem with different classes is that they have the very same concept – they all start with the “about a subject” section which couldn’t be duller. If you start your lessons with vague information about a subject your students need to study for a semester or even two, you can optimistically hope that their interest will be mild.
Instead of telling a full classroom of students what people generally know about your subject, you need to show them its core. Make them see what their goal is and why they need to work slowly in order to gather that knowledge.
A method like this is a low kick, but you need to work with what you have. Young people all over the globe are dealing with the fear of missing out (FOMO) and they subject all their responsibilities so they can be in progress with trending events, situations and – topics.
Therefore, you should organize your classes in such a manner so that students simply mustn’t allow themselves to miss out on them because they won’t be able to learn the material any other way. Although this may not be completely true, the fact is that your teaching will get them closer to fully understanding a problem than the internet or anyone else.
“On the next week’s episode”
I’m sure you’re aware of how teasers can build up anticipation which is why you need to incorporate them into your classes. We live in the age of TV shows, and what’s “on next week’s episode” is always a popular subject.
Fortunately for you, classes already have the concept of TV shows, and you can and should grasp the attention of your students by giving them an intriguing piece of information they don’t fully understand. This nonchalance will leave them hanging, especially if you also casually mention how it belongs to a higher degree of education that’s comprehensive.
Challenge Their Intellect
Speaking of advanced materials – you need to understand that new generations are highly egocentric, even more than the previous ones used to be. A majority of students suffer from “knowing way too much” which is nothing new, but an interesting thing is that you can use these piece of information to your advantage.
Therefore, aim for their ego and present new educational materials like a matter only a small percentage of them will be able to understand. Being doubtful about their intellectual capacity is a certain way to challenge them. However, you need to be able to justify these claims, so make sure to deliver. This isn’t a method that should be used from class to class, so use it wisely.
Strike All Three Types
A common mistake that a surprising number of educators make is that they use only one medium for teaching which is actually working for about one third of a classroom. If you do set high standards and you expect from your students to be brilliant, you need to enable visual, auditory and kinesthetic aids, so that all of them can overcome the material you set in front of them with the same efficiency.
My sincere suggestion is to do some research and learn about educational pieces of software you can use for this purpose. The truth is that they won’t take your classes seriously if you don’t tech up – it’s the age of technology and you should roll with the punches.
Assess Learners’ Needs
The beginning of each semester should be all about assessment – each class you encounter is as different as each individual student, which is a fact I’m sure you’re already aware of. That being said, you can’t expect your previous methods to be as efficient with your current students like they were with your last class.
This is a call for experimentation, which isn’t something you should hesitate from. It’s quite imperative to learn about your students and thus find the right means to help them. So, it’s quite simple. Let’s call it student-teacher karma; really – you’ll get as much as you give.
I consider this to be one of the biggest problems – during their career, teachers somehow manage to lose that spark. You can’t expect from your students to have a desire to give feedback to indifference.
The thing is that a significant percentage of your job is repetitive, and teaching for a decade or so can really suffocate your desire to transfer your knowledge. It’s understandable, but not a thing you should justify and accept.
Being forever passionate may be one of the biggest challenges you’ll face during your teaching career, but you should never quit. Try to go back in time and remember all those brilliant minds that inspired you to research, learn and become the professional you are today. Now, compare them with the dull classes you used to attend – the material that made you yawn back then might have been an interesting matter in the hands of a passionate educator who’s still curious about their subject.
That might be the core of your problem – a lack of curiosity at the current moment, but it’s not something that can’t be fixed. Start by refreshing your knowledge by attending a seminar; traveling and discussing your subject with other professionals in your area of expertise is a certain way to light up that spark.
Follow Your Train of Thought
So, your students can’t follow you. A significant percentage of interest among your student is lost because they can’t understand you. Whether it’s your methods, speed of teaching or the material itself, it needs to be adapted to your classroom and their capacity to learn and memorize.
Although we mentioned how challenging your students intellectually is one of the ways to keep them interested, that doesn’t imply that you should pile them with a bunch of unfamiliar pieces of information that are left unexplained.
A balance is necessary here – your methods should be properly balanced. You should dedicate one class to tapping into their curiosity and the very next one to enabling them to figure out what they couldn’t. Basically, it’s a matter of proper organization which can be dealt with easily.
Quest for Answers
Which brings me to my next point – answers should come as an award to them and awards are given after hard work. The whole semester you teach should be a journey that starts with a problem, goes through numerous theories and ends with solutions.
Although the internet really made it easy for new generations to find precise data in a matter of minutes so they can never truly understand the whole experience of digging through books, that doesn’t mean that you can’t set quests in front of them. As a matter of fact, you should challenge them to write an essay that’s internet-free – much like we used to do it in the dark ages.
Respect and You Shall Be Respected
Educators are taken for granted and this is one harsh reality that needs to be changed as soon as possible. However, this is a two way street and I don’t know who started it first, but a lack of respect is a relationship maintained by students and teachers.
Basically, students believe teachers are indifferent and teachers believe that students are ignorant, and this whole situation gets us nowhere. Someone needs to be the bigger person here, and considering the fact that educators are more mature and more experienced, I think it’s up to you. After all, you’re the one molding young minds and fashioning the future of humanity, and if you don’t teach them how to be respectful and well-mannered by showing them a real live example, who will?
A common misbelief is that an educator’s job is a repetitive cycle that should be repeated semester after semester. You have the power to introduce new changes each new day and face various challenges by being dynamic. Try and look at it this way – as an educator, you always have an element of surprise up your sleeve and your students are an audience waiting to be amazed.