The A to Z of Classroom Success
It isn't easy to manage a class and student learning. But use a few of these tips and you'll be on your way to classroom success.
Managing a classroom and being successful as a teacher isn't easy at all. It is part science and part art and part psychology. The goal is to create a classroom that manages itself.
Here are our somewhat unorthodox but time-proven and tested tips from A to Z on how to best manage a classroom and succeed as a teacher. Review them often and let us know what works in your classroom!
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Animate yourself, your learners and your material. Brighten things up, however you can. Actively learning students will manage themselves.
Bring real-world examples into your classroom. All students want to learn "real" things.
Contextualize, conceptualize, clarify. Go from big picture to small picture. Step by step.
Develop recognition of and recording of collocations. All teachers are language teachers. Enrich student vocabulary.
Empathize equally. Be fair. Students will turn off if you aren't absolutely fair to everyone in class.
Foster cross-cultural exchanges. Reach out to other teachers and classes, connect them. You and your students will benefit.
Group learners with imagination and variety. Change groupings often. Students should get a chance to work with every classmate during the year.
Help students to manage & help themselves. The goal is learner autonomy and self-management. Model and discuss this.
Include the excluded. Again, fairness. Promote equality, equity and make sure everyone is included at all times.
Justify unpopular classroom decisions. Learn to talk to your students about decisions regarding the class and learning, even include them in the decision making process.
Keep the students on their toes. Of course, not all the time. But make your classroom a place where there is room for the unexpected, a place of wonder, happenings.
Leave the classroom happy. When students exit the classroom, confirm they are happy. Let your students leave with a smile. Students won't remember how the class started but they'll remember how they felt when it ended.
Motivate intrinsically. Rewards, points, candy are not a long term solution for life-long learning success. Find out what motivates your students deep down and use that.
Nodding is not proof of comprehension. Don't assume students understand based on their body language. Get them to show their understanding by summarizing, repeating and reasoning.
Opinions are more than, "it depends". Find ways for students to take a stand, experience and share their beliefs responsibly in class and in life.
Prepare plan Bs, Cs and Ds. Be prepared for all kinds of scenarios. Remember, your lesson plan is just a plan. Abandon it if students need differing instruction, support or experiences.
Question all grammar rules. Don't teach a standard English rather "common usage". Rules of language are always changing, teach so your students understand the exceptional nature of English.
Recycle and revise. Students succeed through repeated exposure to knowledge, concepts and learning. Plan accordingly.
Silence should not be artificially filled. Don't be afraid of silence in class. It has its place and too, can be a sign of student learning. Keep them in "active" thought.
Test - Teach - Test. Students need to experience success in learning. One way is to test or quiz students. Then teach. Finally, test again and the students will see in comparison to their first "shot", how much they did learn.
Understand your students. Interview your students personally, get to know them as the unique people they are. Build your understanding of them and this will no doubt impact your teaching of them.
Variety. Variety is the spice of life. Yes, develop a routine in your classroom but also add spice, variety. Vary your delivery, your activities and even your own expectations accordingly.
Welcome. Greet all students as they come into class, even if it is just a glance. Show them your acknowledgement and that you know and care they are there.
eXtra enthusiasm Monday mornings. Mondays can be trying but go the extra mile to make Mondays exciting, peppy and setting the tone for the rest of the week with a "can do" attitude.
You are a different teacher than you were before. Each return to the class, you are different than before. Wiser. More informed. Learn to accept and recognize your own growth as a teaching professional.
Zig-zagging is often more interesting than a straight path. Don't hesitate to run with a teachable moment that happens in class. Or based on your students' experiences, learn about something aside. Remember, a lesson plan is just that, a plan - not a schedule.
So there you have it, some things A to Z that if you put in place, will help you succeed as a teacher. Choose one or two to focus on during the school year and you'll be teaching like a champion in no time!