First of all, congratulations on being a teacher! It is a very noble profession and there is indeed a scarcity of good teachers. In this rat race, where teaching is just like any other profession and teachers are more concerned about the profession that the task of teaching or making pupils better humans, the desire of being a good; rather a great teacher is really appreciated.
But, before you become a great teacher, you must be an interesting one. Your classes should be interesting and students must be interested in your class. And plain, bland and boring lectures are not going to help you achieve that. Think something different.
- Grab attention:
The first thing that you must learn is to animate your lectures. Regardless of how interesting your subject is, how informative your content is, a monotonous teaching style will just make the entire class to fall asleep. What you can do instead is –
- Walk down the podium and roam about in the class, amongst the students. Sit amidst the students or just drag your chair right next to them.
- Do a little acting. Add a little gesture to your teaching style. Physical gestures make teaching interesting and helpful for students to remember the points. So emphasize on important points with physical gestures.
- Add a little humour here and there. Throw a question that is humorous and funny. Students get rejuvenated with humorous dimensions to a monotonous lecture.
- Vary your intonations while you speak. Do not make the tone monotonous. Make it high pitch in some areas and low in some others. It will definitely grab attention.
The most interesting teachers are those, who can grab the attention of the students throughout the class or lecture.
- Make it interactive:
As a teacher, you must build and maintain the energy levels of the students always high. The more your students participate, the more your lectures will be interesting. Give them a chance to question, answer and participate in your lecture.
But, while doing this, do not try to ask students something from a previous lecture or something that is too difficult for them to answer. The purpose is to make them interested in what you are teaching. Ask questions that are absolutely simple and you know that they can answer. This will boost their confidence and they will build a trust on you that your questions are easy to answer.
I often use the strategy of –
Students think for a few minutes either individually or in pairs and share their thoughts on the very topic with the rest of the class.
- Engage your students:
Questioning is not the only way to engage the students in your conversation. When I read the faces of my students and find that some of them are clueless and inattentive, I simply refer to their names and make them a character in my story or lecture. It is mostly something happy, funny and interesting. Like “….then John found Michael on his way to the market….he was happy to find a friend to calculate the money!”
Now this is important. Quiz makes a teacher really interesting. I agree, there are students, who simply hate quiz and that is because teachers can’t make them interested. Always remember –
“There is no such thing as a bad student, only a bad teacher!”
And to be a good teacher and an interesting one as well, I throw quizzes to them. I make sure that my quizzing sessions are easy and simple and related to the lectures of the same class, so that students do not have to feel stressed about their previous lecture and memorize what I taught them previously. The quiz is not a test, but a fun way to recapitulate what they learned that day and to keep them interested in listening. While quizzing, remember –
- Ask simple and easy questions.
- Always ask the questions first and then let the students raise hands. Do not pick a random student and ask random questions suddenly.
- If a student fails to answer, let him pass the question. Make them feel that there is nothing to be ashamed of, while passing the question.
- Keep in mind, who has failed to answer previously and if he raises hand again for answering a question, prioritize him. It will boost his confidence.
- Make the quiz interesting by asking, “Are you ready for the next question?” “Here comes the next question!” “Who will answer the next question?”
Quizzing has made me a ‘star’ teacher amongst my students. It really works!
Most students are afraid of their teachers fearing that they will scold. However, as a teacher, you must know –
“Correction does much, but encouragement does more!”
The more you praise and the more you boost a student and make him feel that he is capable of doing something, he will grow the trust in you and in himself. The results can be fascinating. Scolding discourages and praising encourages. The teachers, who encourage are more interesting that those, who simply come, deliver a lecture and correct papers!
- Use technology:
Technology has made it very easy for teachers to make their classes and lessons more interesting. Rather than read out the textbook or simply delivering a lecture in words, use a projector to display images. Use the internet to show a video or to make the students listen to audio. If no proper educational video is available, spend a little time and make a PowerPoint presentation to bring out the most important factors and information before the students.
Be a great teacher:
The last, but not least important factor to make your lessons interesting amongst your students is to become a great teacher and to create a personality of your own. A few things must be kept in mind in that case –
- Be disciplined and punctual. Students do wait for teachers, who are interesting and being on time will make them happy as the time of a good lecture is maximized.
- Be well dressed and fashionable. It really creates a big impression on the students. The teachers, who present themselves well, are more loved and liked.
- Never offend someone by humiliating or by cracking derogatory jokes. Remember, you humiliate one and you offend all. All the students will lose trust in you, thinking that you do not love them.
- Never let down any of your students, if they go to you with their problems.
- Always stay in a happy mood. I know, there will be hard days, when you will not be in a good mood. But, you have a far more superior job in this world, where an entire class looks up to you as their favourite and your behaviour will have a deep impact on them.
If you manage to build these qualities in you, you will certainly be a great teacher and your lessons will be more interesting for your students! You must take these initiatives to make your lessons interesting to students, so that the purpose of teaching is solved. There is no good in teaching students something that they are not interested about and that they will not even want to learn at home, once they leave the class.