TIPS FOR TEACHERS

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					                              TIPS FOR TEACHERS
Elementary and common sense tips to make teaching easier and more successful.

      When asking a question, first ask the question, wait a few seconds to give learners
       time to think about the question and their answer, then give a learner’s name who
       has to answer the question. In this way every learner is given time to think about an
       answer and is thus involved. If you should say “Tom, give me the name of ….” Tom
       works up so much stress that he can’t answer – and the rest of the learners don’t
       even think about a possible answer! (This of course implies that you know all your
       learners’ names!)
      After completing a section of work, the teacher normally asks a few questions to
       determine the learners’ grasp of the new work. Never ask a question like: “Are there
       any questions?” In most cases you will get NO QUESTION which should not be
       taken to indicate that the learners have understood! It may actually be that the
       learners don’t know or understand enough to ask a question! Sometimes only one
       learner asks a question, which is not necessarily an indication that all the learners
       understand the work. It is much better for the teacher to ask direct questions to
       specific learners about the new contents (as indicated in the first bullet) – only then
       can the teacher really determine whether the learners understand or not.
      Here’s a clever and funny tip for learners who always want to borrow a pencil from
       the teacher: Lend them very small and dirty pencils! (Can you think why you do
       this?)
      To help the teacher with the marking of papers, get your learners into the habit of
       always handing in papers with the right side up on top of the pile. The teacher thus
       always gets the papers in the proper order for marking.
      Something old: For teachers who are doing playground duty or who have large
       classes (as many of you do), use a whistle to get attention – you will protect your
       voice! Some advice though: don’t use it too often.
      Display learners’ work in the classroom – it is a good educational technique as it
       motivates learners to have their work displayed. Remember to constantly change
       the displays to give other learners opportunity to have their work put up – thus your
       classroom decoration is always new.
      Make your personal file in which you keep letters from parents, DoE letters sent to
       you, letters you sent to parents – and especially any and all material relating to
       disciplinary actions taken against learners!
      Make a point of saying something good about at least one learner every day – and
       make sure that every learner gets a chance! It need not be the best performance –
       even a child who has shown even a tiny bit of improvement will blossom after being
       mentioned. It does not even have to be work-related, like
           - “ Dineo really helped me today by cleaning up the class.”
           - “ John talked so nicely to the new learner in our class – thanks, John.”
       Don’t remain standing in front of your class all the time – move around so that you
        are close to different learners from time to time, especially the more restless
        learner.
      If you want learners to take turns at individual tasks like reading or giving answers
       to exercises, walk around the class and softly tap the next learner on his/her head.
       Don’t do this in seating sequence, for in this way the learners will all be following
       the text – and not working out only his/her answer beforehand and not do anything
       more!

## Next time we will be looking at tips on how to “connect” to a difficult learner.

      Teach students to be organised – one can only do ONE thing at a time! When
       starting a new lesson, get the students to clear their desks so that their attention is
       not divided between the lesson and their possessions.
      To make sure you have students’ attention, walk up and down the rows slowly
       (don’t create nervous tension!) and stand next to a student who seems to be
       restless.
      It is also good to involve a disruptive student in discussions and to give praise for
       such efforts – the student will hopefully want to participate next time.
      When you are ready to start a lesson and the class is still noisy, stand absolutely
       quiet – they will start noticing you without your having to shout. Wait before you
       start using another technique. An excellent trick is to start whispering to some
       students who have already quieted down – we are all curious and cannot stand to
       hear a whisper and not be part of it! The students will start listening in an attempt to
       hear what is being whispered!
      Planning is the reason for success with your lessons. Always have 3 or more back-
       up activities prepared in case your initial activity doesn’t seem to work. The more
       you keep students busy, the fewer problems you will have. Work at a faster rather
       than slower pace – force them to pay attention. There are wonderful activities you
       can do to test whether students have really paid attention (or done their homework,
       etc). . . . more about this next time!

Blackboard use:
    Try to write a summary or agenda of what you intend doing beforehand on the
      board so that students get an idea of what will be done.
    Never talk while writing on the board with your back to the class, as students might
      not hear what you are saying – otherwise, raise the level of your voice to ensure
      that everyone hears you clearly!
    Students feel very special when they are talking and you write certain key-words of
      their answer on the board. In this way you give importance to them and they feel
      valued.
    Use the top half of the board to ensure that even students at the back can see what
      you are writing, which should not be obscured by students sitting in front of them.

				
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