Every student is different. While approaching the same question, each individual has their style of channeling creativity, showcasing innovation, and exhibiting their comprehension, which they pick up from the classroom. As a teacher, it is your job to facilitate learning and ensure no child gets left behind and faces difficulty catching up.
The experiences you impart make a difference for every pupil. It empowers them to think, establish meaningful connections with each other and keep up with the curriculum designed for them. For many students, their school is a safety net, but when they cannot find comfort and belong within the classroom walls, they don’t hesitate to drop out.
Such is the case depicted by a 2016 report which stated that more than half of American high school students drop out without completing their education because their weak academic foundation did not prepare them for the roadblocks ahead. So how can you bridge this gap between a student’s learning and classroom milestones? Read on to find out:
1. Introduce Students To Healthy Introspection
In any new environment, students are bound to feel overwhelmed. They may find it troubling to make new friends or might not have the words to tell you they don’t understand the lecture. In any case, students need better ways to express themselves and prevent bottling up their emotions. Thoughts and feelings go hand in hand. Students who feel agitated will plummet with negative thoughts and may lash out or not cooperate with you.
Similarly, a child suffering from separation anxiety may not feel comfortable in class and may have a breakdown, unable to keep up with the intense sadness.
However, teaching mindfulness in the classroom empowers students to acknowledge their emotions and help regulate them. This includes discussing how they feel, what thoughts they have, and what they want to do to get better. You teach students not to mince their words but spell out their exact mindset without guilt or shame for not being able to power through every day.
Once every participant has had a turn navigating their emotions and speaking their mind, you may turn to coping mechanisms. This can be a few minutes of guided meditation before starting a class lesson, playing relaxing music, and encouraging students to hum along and draw or doodle on paper according to their mood. You may even walk students through deep breathing so they can curtail their anxiety by taking a second to examine their thoughts and prevent negativity from seeping in.
An additional perk of healthy introspection is that it has no age limit. So whether the child is in elementary school or is a college-going student, they all need a moment to evaluate themselves and find their composure.
2. Using Technology To Teach
Technology has encompassed every sector, and the evidence of digitization was strongly felt in 2020 when students had to sit through online classes. However, conventional learning doesn’t have to be void of technology. You can use various digital tools to make learning easier. For example, schools can provide pupils with chrome books or tablets which students can take home. This helps them become familiar with multiple applications and get comfortable working online.
While there are numerous platforms for you to explore, notable ones include Pear Deck. Through Pear Deck, you can upload lessons and encourage students to participate by either setting up their schedule or following you in class, also known as synchronous and asynchronous learning. The application also uses formative assessment, which tests pupils as they learn and allows them to try out retrieval practice. This makes keeping up with classroom activities much more accessible and a significant asset for students with learning disabilities to participate without feeling neglected by traditional teaching methods.
Another brilliant example includes Tiny Tap. This resource has over 100,000 learning activities for you and your pupils. You can also encourage pupils to try their hand at making their games with tools available in the application.
A legendary website turned application also includes Khan Academy. This interactive educational platform has lessons and activities for elementary school to high school-going students, including those appearing for their entrance exams, such as those for medical school. By creating a hybrid classroom that accounts for virtual learning and in-person teaching, you transform your classroom into an inclusive and diverse one. As a result, no student feels restricted in picking up new concepts and getting the space to explore new territories in an informed manner.
3. Employ Spaced Practice
Students have a lot to learn. New concepts, skills, and lessons are a part of a healthy curriculum. However, it can become immensely stressful for pupils to revise everything in one go, especially before tests. You can quickly remedy the situation by looking into the spaced practice. This is a technique in which you revise all fundamental concepts with your students over a long time instead of focusing on short but lengthy sessions.
Your class needs a break too. While sitting for hours, they may retain nothing from a hefty session. So by setting up a schedule and dividing the workload into a few hours, such as keeping two-hour reviews, you reduce the amount students have to shoulder and help them revise. In addition, this makes learning more complex and elaborate concepts easier in bite-sized chunks.
4. The Art Of Exchanging Examples
Examples make concepts more straightforward. They also aid in visualizing the idea. For instance, everyday models like using a roller coaster to illustrate speed or the shape of a television or phone to demonstrate dimensions make it easier for students to associate a concept with what they know and learn. As a teacher, you should encourage pupils to think of relevant examples.
This introduces fluidity in their thought process instead of making them assume that examples are concrete and only the ones you demonstrate are the correct answer. Letting every pupil share an idea or concept they know also engages them in a discussion. Famous examples like a tv show or a cartoon that relates to what you teach can get your pupils excited and find it easier to connect to. So anytime you want to spring a new topic on them, see how much you can relate it to their everyday life.
Being a teacher gives students the space and resources to grow and explore. The experiences they enjoy in the classroom make a difference in their learning. You have an inclusive and diverse environment that allows every student to excel and a winning education model.
However, to create a suitable learning environment, you should look into helping students express and understand their emotions, incorporate more technology-based learning, space out the way students study, and use quotable examples to make it easier to pick up a new thought. In contrast, these measures may seem simple. However, they bring your students together and help them feel connected with their education and themself making teaching easier for them.