Helping you get your message heard
Tips for the Teacher
For new teachers, you cannot teach what you do not know. Prepare by researching your lesson. Hopefully you have a quality curriculum. What you understand you are able to communicate. For experienced teachers this is basic knowledge, but as time goes by and you become familiar with teaching, these facts can be overlooked in the grind of routine. Your communication can become stale. Rote. Boring. Add something fresh by gaining new insight from your curriculum.
When a teacher loves to learn and understands truth and understands what it means in light of worldview, how it brings meaning and connects all subjects, they will be charged with enthusiasm and able to inspire others. Interest inspires. Know-it-alls bore. Never pretend to know. Model life-long learning. Add good books to textbooks subjects, and read portions aloud. Never underestimate the power of enthusiasm in every subject. Endeavor to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm by developing your own curiosity.
The teacher's job boils down to three categories: to observe student effort and understand their progress; to remove obstacles to the learning process and build good habits ; to continually encourage the student.
Also, you cannot progress if you don't know where you are going. This means short term goals and long term. Concerning lessons, make sure the steps to learning are logically in order. Analyze steps and break them down if needed to pre-teach any skills necessary for moving to the next step. In a lesson find similarities/comparisons and create illustrations from them. Find the relationship between this material and the individual– its practical value. This is one why of learning the material. More important is for the love of knowledge. But if the child sees he can use this skill/information now, he will cooperate.
People learn by building on a previous foundation of knowledge. Charlotte Mason calls this the science of relations. This is what is happening. The student is making connections between things known to make new connections. If a student complains that they don’t understand what we are talking about, we need to find the familiar knowledge from which to introduce the unknown.
Lead students to see the relation between bits to understand the whole. This pertains to all subjects. Most can understand this concept in thinking of history and math. It applies, however, to reading, science or literature as well.
Complete mastery is the goal. Obtaining it is a science in itself. Be encouraged that complete mastery of some things is better than incomplete mastery across the spectrum. Delaying mastery in reading, writing and math by kicking the can down the road, er– the next grade, only muddles the system because the student is expected to know what he doesn’t. Focus mastery on what is needed in these subjects at grade level.
Review as you go. Do not wait to review at the end of the week, month, quarter, etc. Don’t spend chunks of time reviewing. Review while you build the new. Everyday. Use fresh approaches, use the information in a different way or introduce deeper truths to the material you are reviewing.