Most people think that teaching is an easy job. Why not with all the school holidays, right? However, teaching is not as simple as it is cut out to be. You have to manage children with different personalities everyday. You have a strict time table with all the learning goals that you have to accomplish by a certain date.
To top it all, you have to create, mark and give feedback to worksheets, activities and tests on a daily.
Here are some tips to let you manage your job a little easier as a teacher.
- Use body language. We teach students about the importance of body language when we are communicating, and why should we limit that knowledge to them? According to a TED Talk by psychologist Amy Cuddy, body language can actually affect your mood. Energise and take control by doing the power pose – which is just putting your hands on your waist.
- Use a timer. It sounds basic but most teachers overlook this little detail in classes. Replicate the real world with your students, especially when they do tasks. For tasks that take longer than, say, ten minutes, have a timer projected on the board so that the students can be conscious of the time that they are allotting to their tasks, thereby pushing them to work towards deadlines.
- Use technology to keep students engaged. We said to keep it real in the classroom, right? That includes using technology. Using Google to get information is akin to using a coffeemaker to have a cup of Joe these days. There are so many technological advances and apps right now that can be used in the classroom like Class Dojo for Class Management. Sites like the BBC can be used for educational games to keep your class engaged.
- Use technology to communicate with the parents. Put up a QR code during a PTA meeting so that parents can have your contact details easily. Or if you don’t want them directly messaging you on the phone, preempt their actions by updating them with what happens in the class. Use mass emailing services to engage with parents. With internet tools at our fingertips (like MailChimp), communicating should not be an issue. Eliminate communication problems with your parents by setting up a class newsletter to update the parents regarding class progress, important dates, homework, etc.
- Use NoiseDown. Ever had a noisy class? Technology has the solution to your problem. An app called NoiseDown has been developed that measures and monitors the level of sound (decibels) in a room. If the sound is getting too much, it will alert the class and that they should lower their volume. As it is interactive, most students make it a mission for them to work together to keep their noise levels down.