At least half of you here are teachers I believe. You all know the tough state now of getting things done on time and, also with the purpose satisfied. I am pretty sure you all would have made a hundred ways of researches to enhance teaching methods. Here you all are, only because of the pandemic. There’s absolutely no doubt in saying that every industry we work in will have challenges that we have to get adapted to.
Here are a few tips I’m with, that may bring a positive impact on the way you have been teaching so far. But before that, kudos to all of you for bringing things this far with no dropping!
This might sound crazy, but it is ultimately the most important point of all. Like in a school/college environment, you don’t get to feel the teaching setup at home. This surely is an impactful factor as our minds work well in respective environments.
For instance, let’s say you had a bad day at home and then have gone to work. Irrespective of whether you prepared or not, there’s absolutely no doubt that you will be delivering the best when you start teaching. It’s simple psychology that you get distracted from what you were sticking to before and you are visualizing where you got to concentrate more. Viewing a class of 100 or less and thinking of your personal issues is impossible.
This is the trick we are going to apply. Bring the mental setup here at home. When I titled this preparation, this solely goes to mental preparation. And to keep your mind away from what is happening around you, you must work on things that may disturb you while you are teaching. We all are different and it’s more likely not possible for me to assess what exactly disturbs you.
Let me give you one example, and make you find the wrong track by yourself. A new mom who is a teacher and has started to resume work will surely have to find someone to take care of her baby. This looks plain and pointless, but what could disturb her? There is surely a possibility that she’d think of her baby all the time while teaching if she hadn’t found anyone to babysit. This though subconsciously would make a massive breakdown in the way she teaches. Concluding this tip, make the best surrounding before you start teaching. To reiterate, make the best permanent surrounding and not for the hours of teaching.
Work from home supplies
Irrespective of the location you work from, working conditions are a must to be maintained. It is often misunderstood that working from home brings a lot of comforts and there’s merely a need for purchasing comfort supplies. This myth must stop. You as a teacher will need a lot of things to deliver your results as planned. Keeping yourself comfortable is straight impacted on the work you do.
Investing in a good workspace setup may not actually seem good for monetary reasons, but the future gets flexible for you! In this way, you can eliminate teaching fatigue and mental illness. And finally, you are there energized to retain in your roles surviving through this tough situation.
Make use of resources
Everything has an advantage, even the worst things that may happen to you would bring some good in it. This pandemic has given you the chance to teach from home. This straight away points to the number of resources that you can access that were not so convenient in classroom teaching. Internet is all. You know what exactly you need for bringing the best delivery of lessons.
I’d suggest you all extend your learning a little more and equip yourself with extra knowledge about a subject. What’s good about this? This gets you more confident about teaching. It is perfectly alright if you cannot deliver so much information about a subject that you have additionally learned. But imagine delivering the whole of 100% confidently and missing the 20% additional information you know. That’s a good go.
Another important thing to use is the facilities available online. When you teach in a classroom, you are left with a blackboard and few notebooks, maybe a lab facility weekly once? But virtually, you can make mountains with the facilities available. It’s important that you make use of all the OPTIONS available in the application you are teaching. You may have not used it before so widely but learning about this is surely important to excel in delivering methods.
What happens when you use these options widely?
Some of you may think that using these varied options in different applications is not something without which teaching is impossible. But we all need an upgrade in everything we do. Upgrades are never for the sake of newness but are very functional in results.
To deliver your service, if you get something more upgraded and functional, what more can you ask for? On a global level, we all use different platforms/applications for virtual teaching. So, it is more likely that I may not be discussing the same options/upgrades you may have access to. Let me take this generic and sound a little sensible. Below are some of the most options you must be using to keep your delivery methods on the highest bars of standard.
Set choices and make your teaching methods more interactive and productive. Bring in your students to the room of decision making and make them feel involved. This involvement is brought automatically when they know their choices are counted. This is how you get the room under control. This in turn triggers learning at its best.
Classroom/ no classroom, it’s important to maintain the decorum. Lately, teachers have been complaining that students have forgotten what discipline is. It’s true but can be fixed easily. Also, it’s totally normal for anyone to act differently when they are put in a different setup. You’d expect your students to follow the standard way of communicating to you like in class, but unfortunately, we all are in a different system now. Train them the new normal. Practice the habit of using the “raise hand” and that’s going to solve the chaos. They’d then know speaking in between lessons is a procedure. Also, this option lets the session be interactive, and it is in your hands to cultivate the habit in them to exchange words while teaching.
Teaching as you know must have feedback. They got the point or not? The answer to this can only let you move further. Start using this option more and you’ll be able to witness a huge difference in the way you have been teaching.
Mentioning multiple times, the setup we are now at is totally different from the classic. It’s inevitable to give your students the privacy they need. Not everybody can afford to be in a private space during sessions. Switching on their audio systems to communicate should never be a barrier to communication. Allow the idea of chatting while you teach. Keep an eye on the conversation so that you don’t miss to respond.
Visualizing can impact in a great way while we learn something. That helps bring concentration to control rather than letting it fly elsewhere. Instead of just calling out the theories by words, bring them in front of your students. Show them what you want them to understand. This is highly relevant as we all are already in a huge gap from each other. Connecting better will surely bring you the results you planned for.
While you share your screen, you know what exactly your students are seeing and there is no chance for them to get on a different track. Also, preparing them with visual models helps retain the ideas and concepts to cent percent.
In today’s world, making us of technology is smartness I would say. A lot of times our minds will not work aligned without accurate references. Even when there is a visual representation that a speaker is giving, the accuracy of what the speaker is talking about in specific out of the whole presentation is a question. With this draw option, the explanation gets easier and more effective.
I guess you all can relate to what I’m saying now. Circling or just underlining points while you teach gives an out and out the clarity of what you are trying to communicate. Another perspective of this draw option is drawing attention. Static visual representation, despite being informative or attractive at times loses the attention of the viewers. Thus, motion-oriented teaching is important. A small change or movement in the screen would keep the viewers tied to the visual.
Lastly, showing how to do/or where to do is made easier withdraw option. Again, here you can make a real reduction in the number of errors your students could make while actioning according to your instructions.
Here’s the most precious option! Screen recording is such an amazing option to increase the chances of retaining in the minds of students, what you teach. People differ in their learning capacities and as teachers, I am pretty sure you all would know the science better. Recording what you have communicated helps greatly in a lot of ways. For you teachers, they help you assess your teaching delivery methods. Your experience might be great with excellence for years and diversity, but we all are new to this virtual teaching. Thus, rectifying even the smallest mistakes would help you deliver better the next time. For students, they can refer to the recording whenever they have doubts. Learning got easier!
But since this is a sensitive part, involving data and privacy make sure you carefully assess what you are recording.
Adding a tip here, recordings saved with unique IDs and a curated format helps in uniformity and data retrieval at ease. Also, you get to track your schedule when you have these recorded and put them in separate folders.
The AGENDA! This is something that you all must work on wisely. Like in a classroom, we don’t have the advantage of enjoying 8hours of teaching time. A lot of challenges we can list in online teaching, and one major disadvantage is the time students can concentrate. It’s a tough job to bring their minds at one place for a very long time. No solution to fix their end, but things can be done from your side. You got to plan your session in a way that is absolutely time-bound.
This might sound silly, but it is totally worth planning each move you are going to take in the session allocated. This way, you can eliminate lagging in between to switch to the next. Also, sharing this agenda with your students will help them be prepared for what is coming up. In the end, it is all a matter of being organized and well-communicated. Having these two in the place will bring in maximum productivity keeping your energy constant.
No student in the class should be left unnoticed. It’s surely not an easy task to get in touch with all of them, but a genuine attempt to do so would keep you and the student connected. You can involve this type of interaction through games or fun activities if that’s tougher with teaching. There are plenty of games available online that enables participation virtually. Bonus here! Students will know you are bothered about their mental health. Just saying, these are not just for kids but for adults as well. Games are games, and they are available for all ages around!
I’ve put my points here, the ones that most people find silly to explain. Minute things are to be noticed, or they create a massive challenge. Closing this congratulating you superheroes for all the efforts you have been taking to keep this tied! Also, lucky you all for being trained in this pandemic to be online teachers!