As a teacher, your main goal is to educate your students and create a place for safe learning. But over time, even the best teachers may find their teaching methods a little stale, which leads to boredom and students who have little desire to learn. Thankfully, technology has made its way into the classroom and changed the way we teach and learn. Whether you’re already using technology or are just gearing up, here are a few ways you can engage, inspire and create long-lasting relationships with your students.
Create Meaningful Relationships
In addition to providing students with a proper education, you need to foster real relationships in the classroom. Your students need to trust you and that means creating a safe environment where they want to be. When students feel welcomed, they’re more likely to take chances and even help others who might be struggling in the classroom.
To be make this happen, you need get creative and keep their attention. Traditional models of teaching may still work with some students, however, now’s the time to embrace technology. Students, especially Gen Z and younger, have an opportunity that older generations didn’t, so implementing technology into their life and helping them broaden their skills gives them a huge advantage. The key is finding ways that they’ll find interesting and want to use both in and out of the classroom.
Creativity is a skill that factors into almost anything in life. Whether it’s art, music or technology, students need to learn how to effectively use creativity to the fullest. Imagination is the catalyst of many creations. In fact, all it takes is a mere thought to get the ball of creativity rolling. However, some students may find it harder to do this than others. This is where you can step in and assist them. An effective method of helping students with their creativity is to have them do various exercises and activities.
For example, a writing prompt about a hypothetical situation is a great way to give your students the ability to think outside the box. Another method involves giving your students complete control over their imaginative creations with no limitations whatsoever. Having that level of control can make it much easier for students to think and really immerse themselves into the process.
Define Learning Goals
Without clearly defined goals, your students may not know what they’re striving for. Set clearly defined learning goals that are easy to understand and achieve. You can create a tiered program in your educational model that can be easily modified to every student’s way to learning. Both you and your student need a set of shared goals and then a set of individual goals you’re working towards.
In addition to goals, you also need to make your expectations clear. Pay attention to how your students work together and by themselves. Understanding their learning style will also help you define and then refine expectations for the classroom. Since not everyone learns the same, and there may be students who need a bit more guidance, you need to quickly identify these students to prevent them from struggling.
You also need to set standards for classroom behavior; individually and while working in groups. This is even more important when working with technology. You need to set the standards and make sure that everyone in class is using technology for the right reasons.
Inspire Higher Learning
Everyone has that one teacher that made a difference. Whether it was their quirky personality or their kind nature, you remember them as the ones who made going to school worthwhile. When it comes to your classroom, you need to inspire higher learning. Students of all ages need to feel motivated to do more, not just show up in class. You also need to evaluate your teaching style. Even teachers who recently started working may want to invest in continuing education. Ongoing educational workshops and courses allow you to tailor your learning plans accordingly. If paying for higher education is a concern, you can look into taking out a student loan from a private lender to ease the financial burden.
Use Social Media
Social media is one of the most used aspects of the internet to date. It allows people to connect with others all over the world including their teacher, share their thoughts and creations and discover things they never would have dreamed of. What’s more is that social media isn’t just one platform. Twitter, Reddit, YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok are the most used social media platforms these days. There are millions of users spanning across each one and each platform has its own unique functions that separate them.
Making a difference in your students’ lives is what teaching is all about. And while some students seem like they aren’t reachable, all it takes is the right tools to get things going in the right direction. Technology, in addition to having patience and empathy, can change your students’ lives for the better.