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Inside the Classroom: How Teachers Everywhere Can Help Improve Their Students' Success (298 hits)

It’s no question that some teachers are better than others. But what makes an effective teacher? What exactly is the relationship between a good teacher and a successful student? The answer is relatively simple; however, its simplicity is belied by several factors.

The one constant in life is change. We find Darwinism in schools: those who are able to take advantage of their environments and work hard are usually the ones who do well later in life. It is the same with teachers. Those who keep up with the times and take advantage of new resources, specifically the internet, are better able to relate to their students.

The internet is chock full of tools for educators. Some are free, and it may take some trial and error before finding a good fit, but it never hurts to explore your options. Accessibility is key here: a majority of students now have internet connection and one, if not more, internet-utilizing devices. Most view the internet as a distraction for students, and it certainly can be. Even the most conscientious of students need a reminder once in a while. With the internet, teachers can reach out to their students whenever they need to—to update them with a change in the schedule, let them know that a class may be canceled, give them online access to grades, or inform them of a postponed due date. Students appreciate having access to this information at the touch of a finger, and it helps prevent them from claiming a teacher didn’t tell them something.

Acknowledge and Support Diversity
Every teacher should know that the world is full of people much different from them. It is their job to make sure that each of these people is guided to a thoughtful, well-rounded mindset that will help them succeed later in life. But diversity is so much more than culture and race. There are also many children with different capabilities and conditions, including ADHD and autism, both of which have garnered a lot of attention.

Most people don’t know that 1 out of 8 children under 12 years of age have detectable hearing loss in one or both ears. That means there’s a high chance of having at least one student with hearing loss, whether it has been diagnosed or not. These hard of hearing students are often “forgotten.” Teachers talk to the board, or their voices reverberate throughout the room, or the A/C runs and obscures the voice, and so many other factors that prevent these children from understanding spoken language. Hard of hearing students are more likely to be unsuccessful if measures aren’t taken.

But teachers shouldn’t slow down the class to the detriment of faster-paced students. They should merely try to accommodate those who need help as best they can: don’t talk to the board, always play captioned videos, supply student handouts or online notes as often as possible, and put up posters and bookcases to absorb sound and prevent it from reverberating. Even if there are no students who need the extra help, these certainly won’t hurt students who can hear and understand perfectly well.

Classroom Management
There’s a difference between management and control. Management evokes the image of a leader; control: a dictator. Students want to learn. But sometimes it can be hard for them to look past a commander to see the information for what it is, rather than feeling it is being forced into their heads. Rather than setting up an environment built on rules and punishment, build one based on positive reinforcement.

Studies show that teachers can build and improve student-teacher relations by instituting a reward system. This system can be on an individual basis, but it may be better to advocate teamwork by having the rewards given on whether the entire class or groups of the class work together well. The rewards can be simple, such as snacks or candies. Or they can be less conventional, such as free days—use sparingly, of course—or mini talent shows during the last five minutes of class, in which select students are allowed to perform. This is positive reinforcement. Misbehavior does not necessarily constitute punishment, merely the withholding of rewards.

There are many other ways a teacher can help facilitate of the growth of their students’ minds, but first and foremost comes the teacher’s willingness to support and help each of their students. The more practical executions of help includes being sure of accessibility of assignments, videos, and lectures, and positive reinforcement in the classroom. Students are more likely to respond positively to a positive environment—and the only one capable of creating a positive environment conducive to learning and success is you, the teacher.
Posted By: Anica Oaks
Wednesday, October 11th 2017 at 5:05PM
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