Teenagers are considered to be a challenge for any teacher, some teachers can hold out quite well against them, while some can’t. Well today maybe a good day for some teachers because I am providing them with an arsenal against the unforgiving teenage classroom.
Tip 1 #:CHECK FOR UNDERSTANDING AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT “RIGHT AWAY”
During a class gather constant data on what students have understood while you’re teaching, and act immediately on the information.
Use questions to generate a deeper understanding, and think of answers to your questions as data. These answers are the non-verbal indicators of student’s mastery over the topic.
Respond to the data immediately; shorter the delay between recognizing a lack of mastery and fixing it, more likely the intervention will be effective.
Fixing this lack of mastery can be done through – re-teaching by a different approach, re-teaching the problem step, explaining difficult terms or using a slower pace.
Tip 2 #: SET AND DEFEND A HIGH STANDARD OF CORRECTNESS IN YOUR CLASSROOM
Do not accept partially or almost right answers. Hold out till you get the exact right answer.
Make students answer the questions with technical vocabulary, encourage them by hinting that they are almost correct until they are 100% correct.
From students’ perception, as they strive to provide precise answers to specific questions, they believe they are capable of getting correct answers as students who excel academically. Also they realise that there is a high standard expected from them and they strive towards it.
Tip 3 #: RANDOM CALL OUTS SHOULD BE A THING
In order to make engaged participation the expectation, call on students regardless of whether they have raised their hands.
Ask a question and choose one student to speak the answer out loud while all the other students answer in their minds.
This allows you to check the understanding effectively. Students come to expect that the questions might be asked in a universal and impersonal way and hence everyone readily thinks of the answers as they think they are about to be called on. It’s a given positive that students know that you think they know the answer.
Random call outs is also a precedence to push towards deeper understanding with progressively harder questions.
Tip 4 #: THERE’S ONE ACCEPTABLE PERCENTAGE OF STUDENTS FOLLOWING A DIRECTION 100%
There is one acceptable percentage of students following a given instruction in the class, and that’s a 100%. Anything less means that the instruction is subject to interpretation or it’s subject to situation and motivation.
This sets a standard and not a goal, as goals can be either met or not met, but standards have to be met. The standard of 100% compliance, this culture of compliance in a classroom is very positive and most importantly a matter of habit. Also it should be noted that the compliance shouldn’t be an empty exercise of power by the teacher. To get 100% compliance use the least invasive method like nonverbal intervention, private individual correction.
Tip 5 #: AT EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, BE BOTH WARM AND STRICT
At exactly the same time, be both warm and strict, because warmth and being strict are not opposites.
Caring, funny, concerned and nurturing are some traits that exude warmth and are essential for a good student-teacher relationship. At the same time, for effective teaching the teacher should be by the book, relentless and sometimes inflexible.
Explain to students why you are doing what you are doing.
Students understand that they are held to very high standards that will be enforced by someone who genuinely cares about them.
-Rishyashringa J. S., Project Leader, BrainSTARS